2015 was a western renaissance for Kurt Russell (a Russelssance?), who also appeared in this horror western to great acclaim. Also featuring Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins, it concerns a posse formed to save some town folk from troglodyte cannibalistic savages.
No stranger to Tarantino country, Jackson took on one of his most challenging roles to date in Stephen, the loyal house slave of Leonardo DiCaprio's plantation owner Calvin Candie. By the end of the film, Tarantino posits Stephen as the real villain of the picture, a black man who has worked against his own people.
Two years before he made his own play on Sergio Corbucci's cult film Django, Tarantino made a rare acting appearance in Takashi Miike's stylish Japanese riff on the genre. And YES, Quentin Tarantino is technically a star of The Hateful Eight, having narrated two major sections of the film.
Before his small-but-memorable role as Sweet Dave in Hateful Eight, Jones got a late-career boost playing a memorable "coin toss" scene in the Coen Brothers' 2007 Oscar Winner. Based on neo-western author Cormac McCarthy's acclaimed book, the film set Jones off on a solid career as a character actor.
Along with his pa Michael, James Parks is a Tarantino vet, having appeared in almost all his movies from Kill Bill on. In Hateful Eight, he plays Kurt Russell's stagecoach driver/abused assistant O.B. Jackson, though his most famous western role came as Clell Watson on HBO's "Deadwood," the first man sheriff Seth Bullock killed.
It's taken awhile for "Justified" star Goggins to get serious career momentum, but one thing is for sure: He was born to act in westerns. Besides his pivotal character in Hateful Eight, he also appeared in Cowboys & Aliens as well as opposite Scott Eastwood in last year's Diablo. However, his first major foray in the genre was the 2000 Owen Wilson/Jackie Chan comedy Shanghai Noon as a dirtbag outlaw named Wallace.
While it may be a stretch, this adaptation of Jane Smiley's Americanized "King Lear" is something of a neo-western, albeit one where disputes are settled with words rather than bullets. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Caroline (a version of Cordelia, who is disinherited by her farmer father (Jason Robards).
Hot off of Reservoir Dogs, Madsen turned down the John Travolta part in Pulp Fiction in order to co-star as Virgil Earp with Kevin Costner in this ponderous three-hour epic. Earp was a bust, and Madsen later referred to it as "a big waste of time."
One of Russell's signature roles turned out to be playing legendary lawman Wyatt Earp in this box office hit. Despite that iconic handlebar mustache, Russell's ghost direction of the movie (after writer Kevin Jarre was let go) had him giving most of his lines to other actors. Playing Earp as a "presence character" rather than a talky one paid off.
If you know anything about Quentin Tarantino, then you know he loves trash, be it low-budget exploitation or even, yes, cheesy TV movies. There's almost no doubt then that the man has seen this 1982 Aaron Spelling western made for ABC, which features Horsley (stagecoach driver Ed in Hateful Eight) as a captured Confederate doctor working out a truce between honest townsfolk and a brothel run by Joan Collins during the Civil War.
In his over five-decade-long career, Dern has appeared in dozens of western TV shows and movies, including All the Pretty Horses, The War Wagon, Will Penny, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Posse, Wild Bill and Django Unchained. Although this gives him bragging rights over the rest of the cast, it's getting beaten up by John Wayne in The Cowboys that makes him a candidate to be canonized for true western sainthood.
As if appearing opposite The Duke wasn't enough, Dern also starred alongside the modern day western king, Clint Eastwood. In this one Dern plays a a murdering cattle rustler named Miller who leaves Eastwood for dead... a big mistake.