The Lone Ranger Cast Interview
The Lone Ranger Cast Interview
The cast of Disney’s action-packed Western adventure talked to View about the representation of Native Americans in the film, Johnny Depp’s legendary but sometimes controversial take on acting, the exciting but also risky possibility of a sequel, and the awe-inspiring locations of the shoot.
Gore, you have a funny script, a great cast and the film is a real tip of the hat to those incredible landscapes of the old John Ford westerns – is that fair?

Gore Verbinski

Well yeah, I think it’s a language, the western, and a lot of those places haven’t been photographed in so many years it was just nice to run right at it and to go there. The people in Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly and these places were really nice. In Monument Valley you get a blessing from the Navajo Chief, when you ask permission to photograph in this landscape. Once you set up your camera and you’re there, it’s impossible not to celebrate John Ford and all the iconography.
Jerry, as one of the biggest producers in the world how do you feel about the fact that, while audiences in the States have loved the film, the box office figures aren’t quite what was expected?

Jerry Bruckheimer

I think the results are never what we want, we always want more, that’s just the way it is no matter how big or small it is. It’s a worldwide market, so one country doesn’t dictate the outcome of the movie, it’s just a small portion of it.
So you’re looking forward to seeing what the worldwide audience makes of it?

Jerry Bruckheimer

Absolutely, that’s why we’re here. We’re very excited about being in Europe; we just got in from Berlin and Tokyo, and are thrilled to be in London again. We love it here.
Tom Wilkinson, what a great character to get your teeth into – did you embrace that and have fun with it?

Tom Wilkinson

Oh yes, when I was sent the script - if by the end of reading it for the first time you sort of know how to do it then you’re going to do it. That’s what I felt about this, it was something that was all of a piece, it was something I understood and something I was flattered to be asked to be in. At the same time I’m a big fan of westerns, so I thought, ‘Do it!’
Armie, I’ve been saying ‘Hi-ho Silver’ for years, which is wrong...

Armie Hammer

Yup. Glad we could help.
And you might be taking on a godfather role, with your great grandfather’s royal connection [to the Windsors]?

Armie Hammer

Oh yeah, in fact right after this we’re going directly to the hospital. [The press conference took place the day Kate Middleton went into labour].
Armie’s great-grandfather [Armand Hammer] was William’s godfather. Johnny Depp, this was an important role for you...

Johnny Depp

I don’t think there’s any [royal] relationship for me...
We could find one...

Johnny Depp

We’re probably all related anyway.
This was an important role for you because there’s an important message behind all the comedy and fun that goes on, there’s a message that it was important for you to get out there.

Johnny Depp

Yeah, it was very important to me. As Gore and Jerry and I discussed early, early on, when there was just the very seedling of a story, or a screenplay, an idea basically, we all agreed that first and foremost the Native Americans must be represented with the dignity and the integrity that we know them to have. To try and show what crimes were committed against them, especially at that time, as progress was bashing its way westward. It was important to also take the way the Native Americans have been portrayed in cinema for however long cinema’s been around, to take that idea of them, the cliché of them as savages, and flip that on its head.
Ruth Wilson, Rebecca is a great character, did you draw inspiration from anywhere or anyone to play her?

Ruth Wilson

Not really, obviously the stereotypical lady in the west is the damsel in distress, attached to the railway line. I was quite insistent with Gore that I wanted to be a bit tougher, and snap back and scratch back and spit back. So I did. I’ve seen lots of westerns, but I sort of made her my own as well.
Harry Treadaway, you play Frank, who is a bit of a character isn’t he? How do you describe him?

Harry Treadaway

He’s a bit of one. A clown with an ice pick, who likes to wear a bonnet on his head.
Are you taking the William Tell Overture a step further as well?

Harry Treadaway

I believe so, a group called Future Cut have done some remix of the William Tell Overture which I heard on the [red] carpet last night. It sounded pretty good. I liked it.
Johnny, how much do you personalise and shape your character, after you read the script?

Johnny Depp

When I read a screenplay, somewhere within the first 10 pages something hits you, something grabs you and you know that somehow you’re invested. What happens to me is that character, as I read through the script, I start to get images of things. On Edward Scissorhands one of the strongest influences on the character was the dog that I had when I was a kid. It could be anything like that in terms of inspiration. You add as much as you can get away with basically, and I’ve been pretty lucky.
What research did you undertake, Johnny? And who were your idols growing up?

Johnny Depp

Let’s see. What was the first question? The second one is so much easier: Marlon Brando, I think, is probably the greatest influence on, I think, the majority of actors – 98% of actors throughout the world from about 1948 on. It was no mistake, he revolutionised acting. So Marlon Brando. And then the other part of the question - what inspired me was to try to at least attempt to get a couple of shots in on the dragon, attempting to slay the dragon of the cliché of the Native American as a savage, or lesser than the white man, or in this particular case as the sidekick of the Lone Ranger, of the cowboy. And to portray what they call themselves, what they were called before Columbus made his faulty remark that he thought he’d landed in India and named them Indians. They were called the Human Beings, and that’s how they should be represented I think. A great culture, a great people, with unbelievable humour; If you think Tonto was eccentric, spend some time [with them], they’re funny people, man.
Anyone else want to cite their idols?

Gore Verbinski

It’s very hard to say one name. Being here in London I would say Joseph Losey, just for what he did with Pinter, extraordinary in terms of the spaces between the words. Every day it would be a different answer.
Related Links

Most Read Today

image
01 Motutapu Island, Auckland

What looks like a peaceful haven has had more than...

image
02 Auckland's Best Outlet Shops

We check out the five best spots for outlet shoppi...

image
03 Auckland's Best Free Kids Activities

We check out the best five free kids activities in...

image
04 Best Restaurants on Waiheke Island

View Auckland's guide to the best restaurants on W...

image
05 Quit The City: Kingdom Of Zion, Whangarei

In need of an excuse to leave venture beyond the c...

Content updated: 26/02/2020 14:10

Latest Features

View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.
View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.
View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.
View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.

Engage

Connect

Hitwise Award Winner