The big gag at the center of the new comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West is that the fact that the cowboy era of the United States was an incredibly dangerous period to be alive. Laxer laws and regulations and shoddy medical treatments meant that those living in the Old West were actually lucky to survive each day to go to bed each night. As treacherous as that time was, however, it was apparently just as perilous to try and recreate it while filming the Seth MacFarlane comedy down in New Mexico… albeit for very different reasons.
Paired with MacFarlane while talking with us at a Million Ways To Die In The West press conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, actress Charlize Theron revealed that she never really has any inclination to film in New Mexico again due to weather conditions that made her fear for her life during the comedy’s shoot. First couching the comments by remarking how gorgeous the area is ("I understand why you’d want to paint it."), the Academy Award-winning actress explained that some of what she experienced during production felt like it was taken straight out of the Old Testament. Said Theron,
"The weather was unbelievable, I felt like it was like biblical times and we were all going to die a horrible death by weather. There was a night where we shot, and Seth left before me. I got a text from him that literally just said, ‘The road is washing away. Get out of your trailer right now and start driving,’ and I was like, ‘I’m going to die on this movie.’
Seth MacFarlane was quick to not only corroborate this story, but also added that at times rain was just the least of their weather problems on the Million Ways To Die In The West. Being in the middle of the desert left them vulnerable to all kinds of extreme weather conditions, and from the director’s comments, the production experienced every single one of them.
There were these flash floods that would come out of nowhere. I was driving back and I was Wayne Knight in Jurassic Park, and it would literally come out of nowhere and it was every weather extreme you could imagine and often times right on top of each other. It was blistering heat, it was arctic winds, it was torrential rain, it was lightning storms happening all around you… Every weather. [There was] hail at one point. It was a perfectly nice day and suddenly there’s these giant hail stones coming from the sky, and it was, it slowed us down enormously. We joke about it, but it was a big problem. So, if we were to do this again, it would be nice to find a more temperate climate."
I guess it’s a shame that A Million Ways To Die In Hawaii isn’t nearly as catchy.