Actors saddle up for ‘Yuma’

Foster, Fonda chat at the <i>Variety</i> screening

“3:10 to Yuma” director James Mangold, along with thesps Ben Foster and Peter Fonda saddled up Tuesday for a Q&A session as part of Variety’s screening series at the Arclight. Mangold discussed remaking the 1957 Western classic saying, “This seemed like such an underappreciated movie to me in the sense that everyone talks about the ‘High Noons’ and there was something richer for me in this film,” Mangold said about what attracted him to the original feature, which was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard.

Fonda, who plays a supporting role in “Yuma,” directed the 1971 Western “The Hired Hand” and had nothing but praise for his fellow helmer.

“Working with Jim is like working with an anamorphic director,” Fonda said. “He has this widescreen ability to see what we’re all up to. Each of us got his attention individually and it was remarkable because that’s not often what happens, especially in something so dramatic and fast and punch, punch, punch. He kept things at a pace that made us all able to do what we had to do.”

“Fever dream” is a phrase Fonda said he picked up from Mangold as a way to examine and participate in the Western genre as opposed to so many films over the last twenty-five years that have strived for historical accuracy.

“There is this historical accuracy to the point that you actually don’t have a myth anymore and you don’t have a dream anymore,” said Mangold. “We were making a fever dream of a moment in America – the quest for freedom, the quest for religious freedom, the yearning to be an entrepreneur, to start again, to have wide open space, the ideas of cultures that have been diminished or trashed. All these things that are pieces of our history are all parts of the Western and what’s beautiful about the form is that all these parts of who we are as a country can be examined without making it take place now.”