Armie Hammer Sums Up His Experience with THE LONE RANGER

When producer Jerry Bruckheimer set out to cast the part of John Reid in the upcoming epic adventure THE LONE RANGER, he knew that he would recognize the perfect actor to play the part the moment he saw him.  “I saw Armie Hammer in ‘The Social Network’ and I said, ‘He’s just perfect for the Lone Ranger.’  He’s tall, he’s handsome, and there’s a kind of twinkle in his eye.  I thought he’d be the most interesting casting that we could do for this part, and he’s a wonderful actor—that’s where you have to start.”  Fortunately, director Gore Verbinski agreed and Hammer signed on to play the legendary masked lawman.  Continue reading for more of Armie Hammer’s thoughts on portraying THE LONE RANGER, working with Johnny Depp, and more.  For all of our coverage of THE LONE RANGER including clips, images, and trailers, click here.

THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger, photo by Peter Mountain. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

From Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Armie Hammer (“The Social Network,” “J. Edgar”) doesn’t hesitate to reveal why playing John Reid, aka the Lone Ranger, in Disney’s THE LONE RANGER turned out to be so much fun.  “I love playing the Lone Ranger because it’s an amazing project, with an amazing cast and crew and everybody involved is just at the top of their game, and it’s fantastic to get to be a part of something like that.”

THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

But in fact, the adventurous Hammer found a lot more to love about the making of THE LONE RANGER, despite the weather challenges and occasional harsh locations.  “There’s the fact that we traveled all over the American Southwest,” relates Hammer.  “We spent three months on the road in a different city almost every week.  I got to work with Gore Verbinski. I got to work with Johnny Depp and Jerry Bruckheimer.  The list of things that I actually love is too long.”

Hammer admits that he has always been a fan of westerns.  “I think that westerns are one of the pure examples of American storytelling,” he says.  “It’s like there are no westerns anywhere else but America.  They are kind of our own genre.”

Hammer is quick to point out, though, how THE LONE RANGER distinguishes itself in the genre.  “There are so many things about THE LONE RANGER that make it so unique.  The scale of this is incredible.  You’ve got the transcontinental railroad.  You’ve got the concept of the Native Americans’ conflict with the government.  You’ve got the Texas Rangers.  There are so many things in this that are historically correct and accurate.  It’s accurate historically but told in such a fun, fresh way.”

THE LONE RANGER

THE LONE RANGER ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

When Hammer remembers his exposure to the legendary Lone Ranger as a kid, he only recalls watching the TV show occasionally, but when he read the screenplay he was intrigued and did some research.  Hammer says, “After reading the script, I went back and did my due diligence but before that, my only experience with Lone Ranger consisted of watching TV with my dad and all of a sudden he’d be like, ‘Hi-Yo, Silver!’  I do a lot of research before I start any project.  I listened to some old radio serials and watched portions of the Clayton Moore ‘The Lone Ranger’ TV show.”

Once he signed on, Hammer had to attend three weeks of Cowboy Boot Camp with the other actors in the film.  Describing the experience, Hammer says, “We rode horses all day, practiced putting on a saddle, taking it off, working with lassos, learning different ways to throw the rope.  They were really trying to teach us to be cowboys.  It was like an immersion project where we just went into it and just did it.  Basically it was all of the actors running around acting like six-year-old boys and having a great time.”

After Cowboy Boot Camp, Hammer, who had ridden before but was not all that comfortable with horses, found himself at ease in the saddle to the point that he actually learned how to rear his horse, Silver.  “It’s very counter-intuitive to rear on a horse because you’d think you go backwards but in reality you have to throw all your body weight forward because that horse knows where it’s tipping point is,” explains Hammer.

THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

When defining the relationship between his character John Reid and Tonto, Hammer explains, “The relationship develops out of necessity, where you have the Lone Ranger who’s completely incapacitated and nursed back to health by Tonto.  But then it’s like an odd couple team.  It’s like they couldn’t be more polar opposites.  They come from different pages but they’re on the same mission.  Tonto is a loner.  He’s got no village.  He’s got no family.  He’s a complete outcast.  The Lone Ranger just lost his brother and doesn’t know who’s on his side or who’s against him, so it’s complicated.”

THE LONE RANGER

L to R: Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid/The Lone Ranger. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Developing that relationship on screen with Johnny Depp was a lot of fun for Hammer.  “Once we had a rhythm, we started to really have fun with these two characters and how they bounce off each other,” says Hammer.  “I got to know the Tonto character better and I guess Johnny got to know the Lone Ranger character better too because we both knew how to push each other’s buttons.  It’s a good relationship.”

THE LONE RANGER

Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Perhaps the best way to sum up the talented young actor’s experience on THE LONE RANGER goes back to the first day he put on the mask and said, “Damn, this is badass.  This is actually going to be cool.”

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.