It’s been 40 years since Steve McQueen left us, the opportunity to discover some little-known facts and anecdotes about this actor whose face and blonde hair marked the 60s and 70s of American cinema.
He almost was Rambo
Steve McQueen is one of several actors who have been considered to play John Rambo in First Blood, the story of an American serviceman returning to the United States traumatized by the Vietnam War. At the time, Burt Lancaster was to play the sheriff and the film was to be directed by Sydney Pollack, who opposed McQueen’s engagement. In the mid-1970s, McQueen was indeed 45 years old, an age that the director considered too advanced for the role of Rambo, a young war veteran.
He would have crashed in his car to have a role
During the filming of season 2 of the series In the Name of the Law, Steve McQueen is contacted by director John Sturges to play one of the roles in his next film, The Seven Mercenaries, a Western-style rereading of Akira’s Seven Samurai. Kurosawa. Problem: Steve McQueen is contractually bound to CBS and cannot go and shoot what was to be his first real success. Legend has it that the actor rented a Cadillac and rushed into the Boston bank so the series could be put on hold and he could shoot. The Seven Mercenaries. The reality is more banal, McQueen had to negotiate intensively that the shooting ofIn the name of the law be accelerated in order to have time to shoot this western.
A rebellious youth
The actor had a difficult childhood since from the age of eight, he lives with his mother (he was previously raised by his grandparents) and his successive stepfathers beat him. McQueen therefore prefers to live in the street, and meets a gang with which he commits several crimes. He is even apprehended stealing hubcaps! He then did several odd jobs and ended up enlisting in the Marines from 1947 to 1950. It was with the money earned in the army that he could afford his training as an actor in New York.
He saved a movie!
During the filming of Papillon, the producers had not gathered the budget before giving the first crank. As the rushes came to them, they would show footage to potential buyers and then send the money to keep filming going. But there came a time when the machine seized up and the team had to work three weeks without receiving a salary. When McQueen was made aware, he indicated that he would not be shooting until everyone was paid. And from then on, production did what was necessary to resolve the situation.
He wanted creative control over his films
McQueen often fell out with directors on the sets of his films to get the creative control he wanted. It is in this context that he took part in an ephemeral and idealistic adventure: First Artists. Created in 1969 with Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand and Sidney Poitier as the stars involved, the First Artists had decided to give the actors control of their films in exchange for a commitment to shoot three films for the studio and a reduction in their salary. In 1971, Steve McQueen joined the company and shot Guet-Apens (1972), An Enemy of the People (1978) and Tom Horn (1980), the last film produced by the studio.
His grandson is in the business
If you are fans of the Vampire Diaries, you surely know Steven R. McQueen, who played Jeremy Gilbert for six seasons. He also took over this role in the show’s spin-off, entitled Legacies. McQueen also played a supporting role in Piranha 3D and the TV movie lead. Two days for a marriage proposal, in which he gave the reply to Poppy Drayton.
It didn’t just make friends!
With a strong character, McQueen has often clashed with his partners on screen. From the shooting of Seven mercenaries in 1960, he was chosen by Yul Brynner, the star of the film, to play one of the other two main roles. But Brynner will bite his fingers, considering that on set, McQueen tries to draw attention to himself, making small gestures in the background so that he is noticed. The shoot will be anything but cordial.
McQueen also won’t hang on to Dustin Hoffman’s game on Butterfly, will have a rivalry with Paul newman during The Inferno Tower and this, until their place on the poster, with the name of Newman at the head and McQueen below but … placed the closer as possible that of his professional rival! A few years later, having creative control of the film Tom horn, the actor will get angry with three successive directors (Don Siegel, Elliot Silverstein, James William Guercio) before the film can be finished by William Wiard. On the set of Ambush, director Sam Peckinpah will also bear the brunt of the fact that McQueen had the final cut of the film. he confide to : “[McQueen] chose all of those Playboy shots from him. He had fun with all these hunky shots “.
However, McQueen will remain friends with Paul Newman, and in time will reconcile with Yul Brynner.
He did his own stunts
From Bullitt to The Great Escape, his car or motorcycle stunts have made Steve McQueen famous, as evidenced by this montage, produced by us, because when it comes to stunts, images are better than a long tirade!