Fans got their first glimpse of Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp as “The Lone Ranger” and Tonto on Thursday as Disney released the first official photo from Gore Verbinski’s upcoming big screen reboot, and Armie admits he endured intense physical preparation before tackling the classic role.
“I did a lot of cycling before we did the movie to get my legs into shape for the horses and to kind of get my ass into shape for it,” Armie told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush at the junket for his latest big screen release, “Mirror Mirror,” in Los Angeles, of his “Lone Ranger” prep.
“Nothing is more uncomfortable than a bike seat. I would think the saddle would be a step up!” Billy joked.
“I cheated. I put a little like, gel layer on my bike,” admitted Armie, 25. “You could ride forever, man! I put in like 50 miles — it’s great.”
While his hindquarters may have been prepared for “The Lone Ranger,” Armie’s towering height presented a problem.
“I can actually wrap my legs like, all the way around the horse and just hook my feet underneath, so I don’t even need a saddle,” the 6’ 5” actor said with a laugh. “It’s great — saves them a bunch of money on production budget. No, I have a few [horses] that I work with — a of couple steeds, I mean a couple like, impressive horses where I’m like, ‘Whoa, that is a big horse!”
The actor also dished on how the movie will differ from the classic TV series — “Hi-yo, Silver!” will be “less of a ‘Hi-yo’ and more of a ‘Yo,’” according to Armie, and the stunts will be much more impressive.
“There are all kinds of [stunts], like it makes ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ look like, you know, like the ‘Sisters of Hazzard,’” he told Billy. “I mean, we’re talking crazy stuff.”
As for Johnny Depp’s Tonto, Armie said the “Pirates” franchise star is “fantastic to work with,” and will be using an accent in his portrayal of the masked crusader’s sidekick.
“Yeah, yeah, he does,” Armie told Billy when asked if Johnny is adopting a Tonto-esque dialect. “He’s got like, a Tonto thing, you know — it’s like he’s Tonto!”
Armie’s take on The Lone Ranger/John Reid will also illuminate more of a relatable character versus the classic justice-serving cowboy.
“Fortunately, it’s less of that two-dimensional same kind of like, Prince Charming thing, and more of like, the human underneath all that,” Armie said. “But in a way that’s fun to watch.”
“The Lone Ranger” is set to gallop into theaters on May 31, 2013, while Armie’s latest project, “Mirror Mirror” (co-starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts) opens in theaters on March 30.