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Why Red Harvest From The Magnificent Seven Looks So Familiar

The 2016 film The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 Western of the same name (which is itself a re-molding of legendary director Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, commonly considered a quintessential samurai film). Director Antoine Fuqua didn't want a one-to-one rehash, however, and so the titular seven is composed of a different cast of characters entirely, though they all share some traits with the characters from the original. There's Denzel Washington as Sam Chisholm, Chris Pratt as Joshua Faraday, Ethan Hawke as Goodnight Robicheaux, Vincent D'Onofrio as Jack Horne, Byung-hun Lee as Billy Rocks, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Vasquez, and — last but not least — Martin Sensmeier as Red Harvest.

Red Harvest closely correlates with Chico (Horst Buchholz) from the original film, both young and quick on the draw. Red Harvest, however, is a Comanche warrior, equipped with a bow and arrows rather than a gun. Make no mistake, though: he's as deadly as the deadliest gunslinger, if not more so. If actor Martin Sensmeier seems familiar beneath all the face paint, here's where you may have seen him before.

Sensmeier's family suffered greatly in Wind River

Following 2015's Sicario and 2016's Hell or High Water, director and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan closed out his neo-Western film trilogy with 2017's Wind River. The film centers around the investigation of the murder of a young Native American woman, Natalie Hanson (Kelsey Asbille Chow), in the titular Wyoming reservation she called home. As Sheridan said in an interview with NPR, "This issue with sexual assault against [Native American] women on the reservation... [has] existed since the inception of a reservation system. [...] And it gets no attention, which is the motivation for writing the film."

Sensmeier plays her brother Chip, Natalie's brother and son of Martin (Gil Birmingham), who's good friends with Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent who discovers Natalie's body. Chip is a drug addict in every sense of the phrase, often hanging out with his friends Frank Walker (Tyler Laracca) and Sam Littlefeather (Gerald Tokala Clifford) because they know where to get the goods. His addiction doesn't do much to put his father at ease after Natalie's death, but Chip is surprisingly integral to recovering from the grief — in a way we won't spoil here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Sensmeier had two roles on Westworld

The Magnificent Seven may have been the first remake Sensmeier starred in, but it wouldn't be the last. Not long after, he landed an uncredited guest role on Westworld, the HBO series adaptation of Michael Crichton's eponymous 1973 film. The part is listed as "Native Warrior," and Sensmeier only plays it for one episode — the very first, actually: "The Original." Two years later, he'd be brought back to set in a recurring role: Wanahton.

A member of the fictional Ghost Nation, Wanahton also happens to be a Host — a highly-advanced android, essentially, all but indistinguishable from a real person. Like all members of the Ghost Nation, Wanahton primarily speaks Lakota and is covered in white body paint from head to toe, though he has markings and headgear that distinguish him. He's a fierce warrior, loyal to his tribe, and, well, Hosts have a tendency to surprise Westworld guests. Wanahton is certainly no exception to that rule, especially considering the way the plot thickens in season two.

Sensmeier worked with Taylor Sheridan again on Yellowstone

Two years after appearing in Wind River, Sensmeier acted in another creation of Taylor Sheridan's: Yellowstone. Another neo-Western of sorts, Yellowstone is nonetheless quite a different beast than Wind River, focusing largely on the ranch-owning Dutton family and the troubles it encounters from within (e.g. family scuffles) and without (e.g. border disputes). None of the problems the family faces are easy issues to tackle, but Sensmeir's character Martin is concerned with a different set of issues.

A recurring season two character, Martin is a physical therapist, helping Monica Long Dutton (Kelsey Asbille Chow, the aforementioned actress who plays Natalie in Wind River) recover from an injury she sustained at work. They're both of Broken Rock — a Native American reservation that features prominently on the show — ancestry, and begin connecting outside of their therapy sessions. Thing is, Monica's married, so there are... complications. Sensmeier does an excellent job of making those complications feel real, injecting a healthy dose of personal drama into a show with a scope the size of the titular national park.

Sensemeir has several upcoming projects lined up, including an adaptation of Tim O'Brien's short story collection The Things They Carried and a leading role in biopic The Chickasaw Rancher. Here's to hoping COVID-19 ends sooner rather than later and allows production to keep moving along.