Both are playing against type, and they say they avoided rewatching the 1960 version, although they did make a point of sitting down to see the original 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. Pratt says that he enjoyed playing a character who was less innocent than his other movie roles. "I think he carries around some major heavy stuff inside his heart that's convinced him that he is less than savoury," he says. "And when you think you're a bad guy, you let yourself do bad things. That is all deeper stuff to play as an actor than [Guardians of the Galaxy's] Peter Quill."

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven

Even so, Washington enjoyed the fact that while their characters are flawed, they're clearly the good guys. "Audiences like to know who they're rooting for," he says. "I remember going to the movies and having that feeling, 'I wanna be that guy.' Unfortunately, that was the 1970s so it was usually drug dealers."

A lot has been said about the ethnic diversity among the seven heroic rogues who are hired to protect a small Wild West town. But Pratt says they never thought in those terms. "There's definitely a conversation that's happening around the world, and the movie seems to have become part of that," he says. "But that wasn't our intention. At the end of the day, it's two hours of kick-ass entertainment!"

Frankly, Pratt says, the wardrobe alone was too much fun. "We got to go into a room with a ton of cowboy s**t," he says, "and be like, 'Let me see that hat. No, not that hat! This hat is sweet.' Clothes make a man, and you are standing in front of a mirror making your character with these clothes you are trying on."

Washington laughs at this. "The average person who's paying to see it is just looking for a good time," he says. "When I did Cry Freedom, a doctor friend told me, 'Denzel, I have life and death in my hands every single day. I go to the movies to escape.' We just try to give them enough to get the monkey off their back so they can feel like, 'Hey, I'm Chris Pratt up there!' Or 'I'm Denzel!' It ain't that deep."

Watch the trailer for The Magnificent Seven: