In the third installment of the series, Steve Stevens, who was the Casting Director for the pilot “How the West Was Won”, discusses his role in the creation of the series: from getting the script to acting as the go-between with the actor/manager/agent and the production company.
Steve Stevens was previously known for his role on the TV show “Zorro”. As a team roper, he felt he would be an ideal casting director for “How the West Was Won” and got Jim Byrnes to hire him for the pilot of the new series.
After Stevens had narrowed the candidates down to four or five actors for each role, he got a call from John Mantley, who informed him that Jim Byrnes was no longer the “main honcho”! Stevens returned to his office, desperately wanting to find a role for Larry Mahan who had starred in “Six Pack Annie”. However, to his surprise, another actor caught his attention, leading him to exclaim “this is my Luke!” and expecting Mantley to agree that this somewhat unknown actor was the perfect fit for the role.
“How the West Was Won” aficionados know that the role of Luke went to none other than Western Legends’ honored guest in 2015, Bruce Boxleitner. How did that happen? How did Steve Stevens prevail with his choice for the role of Luke?
You won’t want to miss the next episode, where Stevens goes into detail about the production problems that ensued, and how Boxleitner came to have the role that catapulted him into fame in the world of Westerns!
“This is my Luke!”
A WORD ON WESTERNS is a series of tributes about western films featuring interviews with actors and filmmakers sharing personal memories. Hosted and produced by Rob Word, portions are edited into short episodes airing on YouTube. WESTERN LEGENDS ROUNDUP is bringing them to you right here on one site for you to share, return to, and enjoy often.