‘Lone Ranger’ Stars Endure Cowboy Boot Camp

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on June 10, 2013
From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski comes Disney/Bruckheimer Films' "The Lone Ranger." Tonto (Johnny Depp), a spirit warrior on a personal quest, joins forces in a fight for justice with John Reid (Armie Hammer), a lawman who has become a masked avenger. 'Lone Ranger'

Who will be playing the Lone Ranger and Tonto in the new movie coming out this summer?
—David M. Woodworth, Polk, Pa.

“The Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Depp, 50, as Tonto and Armie Hammer, 26, as the Lone Ranger, will be making its way into theaters July 3.

“I always responded to the relationship between the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and I thought there was a great opportunity to explore that, and with Johnny and Armie try something different,” says director Gore Verbinski. He reassures fans of the original that “it is all there,” meaning the silver bullets, the white horse, the hat, and the mask.

The “something different” in Verbinski’s version of the legend of the masked man and his Native-American partner is that the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer film is being told from Tonto’s perspective.

“Not to take anything away from Jay Silverheels [who played Tonto in the 1950s TV series], but when I was a kid and I watched the show, Tonto was the sidekick, and I always felt a little unnerved about it,” Depp says about his decision to take on the role. “The goal, in my own small way, was to right the wrongs that have been done to [Native Americans]. To show Tonto not only as a proud warrior, but a man a bit outside.”

The premise of the new “Lone Ranger” remains the story of Native-American spirit warrior Tonto and lawman John Reid—the famed masked man—who are brought together by fate and join forces to battle greed and corruption.

This is the first Western for Hammer, who is best known for his dual role as twins in “The Social Network,” but he says, luckily, he already knew how to ride a horse.

“But I had never ridden a horse through a moving train or on top of a bank,” he says. “There was a fun process where they took all the actors to cowboy boot camp and stuck us out on a working horse ranch. They said, ‘We’re going to beat the city out of you’—and they did.”