Friday, June 9, 2023

Italian Cowboy Star Hates Shoot-Em-Ups [archived newspaper article]



Elmira, New York

By Mario De Aratanha

February 3, 1968


RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil (AP) – “The Italian western will now change into gag like films, mocking the stereotyped American western characters,” says Brazilian-Italian screen cowboy Anthony Steffen

     But he assures the faithful western fans that, “Violence will go on with lots of death and much blood.”

    Steffen born Antonio de Teffe, son of the late Brazilian diplomat and racing car driver Manoel de Teffe, is in Rio for the winter holidays.

     Resting on the Copacabana Beach, Steffen explains that he needs to relax from the kissing (killing) and shooting of his four films per year, particularly since he hates shooting.

     “Even when it’s me shooting I always want to run away from the studio,” he said. “I can’t stand it; the bang-bang explodes inside me.”

     But his hate for gunfire doesn’t prevent him from making more shoot-em-up films. He’s just finished playing Durango in the film “A Train for Durango,” scheduled for release in Italy and the United States this spring. Prior to “Durango” he played “Ringo” “Djanko” (Django) and other Western-type heroes in 13 films.

     The man who makes $100 per shot says he prefers Italy to Hollywood.

     “The financial conditions in Italy are much better,” he explains. “But a career in Italy is a battlefield, we have to fight against everyone,” he continues. “I’m in the frontline but the war goes on.”  

     Accustomed to killing ‘bandidos’ and saving pretty girls on the screen, Steffen has also been a hero in real life.

     Some years ago, in Rio, the cable car to the famed Sugar Loaf Mountain got stuck, after a steel cable snapped. Passengers, mostly American tourists, remained suspended for almost 12 hours, while Steffen helped firemen evacuate them.

     “A big hero,” newspapers here called him, predicting his future screen career.

1 comment:

  1. Anthony Steffen WAS indeed a hero. He was in the Italian Army during World War II in his teens and rescued several people who were stranded atop Sugar Loaf Mountain. He liked Westerns, but not the violence portrayed in them. This stems from the fact that he had actually seen conflict. He even wrote several stories for some of the Western films in which he appeared. But if you were to ask Anthony Steffen in 1968 or 1970 if he really enjoyed all of that, he would say, "No, not really. But it still pays the bills." Well said, Tony. Well said.