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At the official world premiere of Disney’s The Lone Ranger, a long, winding red carpet snaked its way through the streets of Disney’s California Adventure Park in Anaheim, making many of the actors wish they had a horse to ride on their way to the big premiere.
Fans (many dressed in Western costumes), who lined the carpet hoping to catch sight of the film’s stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, were treated to stilt walkers, jugglers and appearances by Disney’s classic characters such as Minnie Mouse.
The big production Saturday was fitting for the event, which celebrated Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ big-budget Western — which cost a reported $250 million to make — bringing Tonto (Depp) and the Lone Ranger (Hammer) to the big screen.
Hammer, who plays John Reid aka the Lone Ranger in the film, was quick to praise the Gore Verbinski-helmed project, which went all-out creating lifelike Western towns, five miles of train track and two steam engine trains on set in New Mexico.
“It was really helpful. It was the difference between standing in the middle of the desert looking at some of the most beautiful scenery you can point a camera at and standing in an air conditioned room at some studio going, ‘This is a lot of green fabric,'” he told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet.
“It just made it that much more real, and hopefully, the audience feels it as well,” added Hammer.
Hammer, who starred in The Social Network and J. Edgar, also had kind words for his co-star Depp, who plays the sidekick hero in the film. “He’s such a great guy. Nicest guy in the world. He’s fantastic,” said Hammer.
In addition to creating the massive sets for the film, the production also sent many of the actors, including Hammer, to “cowboy camp” in order to get their horse-riding and lassoing skills up to snuff.
Ruth Wilson, who plays Rebecca Reid in the film, also said the set was an amazing creation. “You didn’t have to act much. You were just put there and transported back in time,” she said.
She also had to attend the cowboy camp. “I learned to lasso. I found new skills I never knew I had,” she said. “It was brilliant fun.”
James Badge Dale, playing Dan Reid, admitted to THR that he had to spend a lot of time — about six weeks — at cowboy camp.
“I had to work really hard because Armie is very good,” said Dale, “and so we had a competitive-brother thing going on, and I’m turning to him like, ‘You don’t make me look bad, man.'”
Hammer, who grew up in Texas, came to the production with more horse-riding skills than most of the cast, but that didn’t exclude him from the camp.
“I did. We all went to cowboy camp,” revealed Hammer, adding with a smile. “But don’t worry — I’m a pro.”
The Lone Ranger opens in theaters July 3.
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