For producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the much sought-after role of John Reid aka the Lone Ranger was custom built for a young, impossibly talented and equally good-looking actor named Armie Hammer.
Having already made a notable mark in Hollywood with his performance as the Winklevoss twins in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” and starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” Bruckheimer and Verbinski snagged him for “The Lone Ranger” at just the right moment.
Also starring Johnny Depp as Tonto, Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ epic, action adventure “The Lone Ranger” recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as he and Tonto must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
Describing Armie Hammer, director Verbinski says, “When you meet Armie, you soon realize that he doesn’t have a cynical or jaded bone in his body. Armie has a great optimism in the way he looks at the world. We really needed someone you could believe would have old-fashioned ideas.”
Johnny Depp, talking about his experience working with Hammer, says, “First and foremost, Armie is a great guy. He’s very smart, very quick and clever with a great wit and he’s super talented. He committed to playing the Lone Ranger as an earnest, naïve, ‘white man’—and that’s exactly right.
“Armie is a young actor coming up the ranks and he looks like a classic movie star and what’s more, he has the chops to back it up,” continues Depp. “So he fully committed to this role—he played it perfectly, he got the humor, and he didn’t want to play it as the ‘cool guy’ as it were. I found him a dream to work with and I feel like I’ve made a really good friend in Armie.”
The cast of “The Lone Ranger” discovered that if you want to be a cowboy or gunslinger, you’ve got to go back to school and be properly taught. “Cowboy Boot Camp” began three weeks before Gore Verbinski called “Action” for the first time and was attended by the vast majority of the primary cast. Their teachers included stunt men, horse wranglers, prop master, and armorers, and nobody was cut an easy break—not even the guy playing the film’s eponymous character.
“Cowboy Boot Camp is basically all the actors running around like six-year-old boys,” says Armie Hammer. “Riding horses for two hours a day, throwing lassos for an hour, shooting guns, riding in a wagon, putting on a saddle and taking it off. It was like an immersion project. After just a few days of boot camp, I did more riding than I cumulatively had in my entire life.”
The normally fearless Hammer, however, was actually a little nervous. “I’d been on horses before, but I thought, “This animal thinks for itself, and that makes me a little nervous. What is it going to do if it sees a bunny?” But they don’t give you a choice; they just stick you on a horse and say, ‘Go ride.’ It was nonstop fun for three weeks.”
Opening across the Philippines on July 17, “The Lone Ranger” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.