When Armie Hammer signed on to play The Lone Ranger, he figured he would put on the mask and get to work – and that most of the action would be added during post-production.
The actor was in for a bit of a surprise, as he spent a mere week filming in front of a green screen, and more than three-and-a-half weeks shooting on top of moving trains!
“They were going about 40 miles per hour,” Armie told Access Hollywood at the junket for “The Lone Ranger” in New Mexico, where the movie was filmed. “We built our own railway that we could use. I think it was like 12 miles of railway or something like that.
“It was kind of a big loop that kind of had a little thing to it and figured out the proper angles so that they could maximize the amount of sunlight they would get and shoot for the most amount of time, at the right turns and all that,” he explained. “So we basically would climb up top those trains and just ride in circles for hours until they ran out of film and then we’d go back down, re-load, go back up and just do it again.”
Despite days spent aboard locomotives, Armie said it never became old hat.
“I mean you’re standing on top of a train – the novelty never really wears off!” he said.
Prior to filming, the 26-year-old actor attended “cowboy camp” – something Armie described as a definite job perk.
“[It was] fantastic. It’s basically going to work on a horse ranch for two weeks,” he said. “Lassos, bull whips, hand guns, horses – every 6-year-old’s dream.”
When it came time to perform dangerous stunts for the Disney film, Armie explained the key to maintaining safety is to go for it.
“If you hesitate, that’s when you’re going to get hurt,” he said. “If you get up there and all of a sudden you look down and you get nervous about falling off, all of a sudden you’re not paying attention about where you’re going or what you’re supposed to do and that’s when you get hurt.
“[When you’re done] you get off and you kind of get the shaky leg,” he continued. “You’re like, I can’t believe I did that! Thank God it worked.”
As for whether he’s heard talk of a possible sequel, Armie said they “haven’t yet.”
“I think everybody is still too sore and tired from the first one to even go into it,” he added, with a laugh.
Catch Armie, along with Johnny Depp as Tonto, in “The Lone Ranger” – in theaters on July 3.