Heading Back To The Old West With The Lone Ranger's Armie Hammer

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-07-05 15:24:32discussion comments

In addition to Verbinski, youíve had the chance to work with some really great directors these past couple of years. David Fincher, Clint Eastwood, Tarsem SinghÖ did you ever notice any kind of through-lines in between the way that they work? Do you see connections between them?

Yeah, but what Iím paying attention to, more than anything else, are the differences. What does this guy do differently and how does that make his movies end up differently? So, he does it like this. How does that affect what happens on the screen? Itís like film school, itís essentially like Iím just in the most fun film school in the world.

What did Gore Verbinski introduce new that you hadnít seen on previous sets?

Gore does all of his own storyboarding and he draws it out super, super simply, like literally just stick figures, to the point where no one knows at all what is going on on the story boards. It just looks like a bunch of scribble.

As long as he gets it.

Itís like a Rorschach test. I mean, I think, ďWhatís going on there, with the chicken?Ē and then youíll do this shot and youíll do this scene and heíll take a still out of it and put it right over the story board and itís like, youíll lift and go, ďOh...thatís the guy. Thatís the... Well, thatís perfect,Ē and it always worked out perfectly. So, thatís, you know, I donít know if Iíll have the ability to do that, but he made it look easy.

A couple weeks ago there was a featurette that came online about you on the spirit platform and it, you looked fairly terrifiedÖwhich is completely understandable.

I was fairly terrified.

At the same time, though, this is a very action heavy role for you, and we see you pull off a lot stunts in this movie. What would you say was the most challenging day on set?

There were a couple night shoots, that we would just shoot all night, but in a river, like freezing our asses off, all night, nowhere to get warm, because itís like you get out and you just get colder. Thereís no sun and youíre just cold.

In the middle of the desert.

In the middle of nowhere, Utah. That was hard. Being dragged behind the horse probably, bring dragged behind the horse was probably like the moment where I came the closest to being like, ďIím out. Someone else do this. Iím done.Ē

Were you fighting to do your own stunts? Is most of it is you versus using a stunt double?

I think everybody was fighting for me to do it. I was. I know Gore was. I think itís a big part of this movie. I think, you know, to have a big action sequence happen and not have a hand or the back of my head in the frame, you know, ďOh, this is really going on. This is happening.Ē It makes the audience feel like theyíre in it and that theyíre part of it more.

Just to kind of touch on the western genre in a more general sense - over the last century the popularity of the western has come in waves, but has long been a part of filmmaking history. What do you connect to in the western genre and what makes it such an important film tradition?

I mean, as an American, Westerns are a very specifically American form of storytelling, much like Bourbon has to be made in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Champagne has to be made in France. Whiskey you can make anywhere. Scotch you can, well Scotland, mostly, but I mean youíve got Japanese scotch and stuff like that, and itís ok, but Westerns have to take place in America. I mean, obviously youíve got Spaghetti Westerns and Sergio Leone, I mean arguably one of the best Western directors wasnít even American, but every one of his Western movies took place in America, because this was the last place where there was that most unclaimed open frontier, where you could just go and do whatever the piss you wanted to do, and itís like, that thing of seeing the good guy wake up and do the right thing, because itís the right thing to do, and heís got to feed his family. Heís got to fix that fence. Heís just got to do it. He doesnít have a choice. Thatís good, thatís like good American stock.

As youíve learned, an extremely hard lifestyle.

The most difficult, I mean, I donít know how they all made it. Weíre lucky weíre all here.

Itís true. They could have all just died out there in the desert.

Iím surprised they didnít.

Were you kind of a western kid? Were you kind of the kid who played with Western...?

Yeah, I did Indian Guides as a kid, which is kind of like Boy Scouts but with a more Native American slant to it, always outdoors, always playing outside.
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