TODAY

TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Armie Hammer: Johnny Depp raised my game

The star of “The Lone Ranger” reveals that he had to audition for the role four or five times before winning the blockbuster role, and says that acting opposite Johnny Depp was like “playing tennis with someone who’s better than you.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> that's got to be a first, right?

>> never seen a camera wear a mask.

>> armie played both of the winklevos twins. now he's starring in one of the biggest on-screen adventures starring alongside johnny depp reprising the role of "the lone ranger ."

>> you want me to wear a mask?

>> the men you seek think you are dead. better to stay that way.

>> all right. but if we ride together to bring these men to justice in a court of law. is that understood?

>> okay. so that's a nice tender moment between you and tonto. first of all, great to see you.

>> hi, armie.

>> great to see you both.

>> see you in your favorite major -- you've been in lots of great movies lately, but you are the lone ranger , baby. this changes everything.

>> yeah, well, fortunately i'm wearing a mask for most of the movie. may not change to much.

>> as is our entire crew.

>> everybody. we're all in that. so you have to -- it took four or five auditions for you to land this role.

>> yeah.

>> that must have been a little unnerving.

>> you'd think every audition you'd get called back you'd feel better. then you thing competition is getting that much more steep. it's a nerve-racking process.

>> when you got the call, what did that feel like?

>> i was partially convinced i called the wrong person.

>> it was like 1,000 ideas i tried to get outas once.

>> especially the last ten minutes of this thing, it's pretty intense. you and johnny depp did almost all of your own stunts. that's not exactly what you're known for. i think when you read this script, i know you wanted to do it. you wanted to work with johnny depp and that director, but what in the world did you say, oh, my gosh, that's going to be -- how long is that, like almost a year?

>> like nine or ten months. when it says in the script tonto drags john reed behind a horse i thought, oh, they'll figure out a way to do that. of course you show up on set and they say, we're going to drag you behind a horse.

>> what was it like working with johnny depp . he's a terrific actor. did it help you up your game or --

>> totally. it's like you sort of rise to the level. especially when you have rabinsky directing and bruckheimer. it raises your game a little bit. hopefully.

>> your prepared to how this could end up changing your life quite a bit? johnny depp can't really walk around and be johnny depp , privacy and all that.

>> put on the mask then nobody --

>> this was the first time i was exposed to anything like this. seeing how johnny has to live his life. like a fugitive on the lam. doesn't look fun.

>> this mask really did change how you felt about yourself, didn't it? you were talking about how when you put this on on set, suddenly everyone's demeanor --

>> when i walked out of the trail ter was like, hey, armie go stand over there. but the older guys on set, they just got giddy.

>> tell us about your life away from the camera. you and your beautiful wife elizabeth --

>> is she here?

>> she is here. have just opened a bakery in san antonio .

>> elizabeth, you want to come over and tempt hoda?

>> how adorable is she.

>> she's pretty darn adorable.

>> we just had our two-year anniversary.

>> and you came bearing gifts. what's that?

>> oh, no big deal . since we came from new mexico, i might as well get you a couple of flasks. if you are going to drink wine, you might as well drink like a cowboy.

>> so thoughtful.

>> of course, anything for you guys.

>> we're so happy for you. "the lone ranger " is so much fun. watched it last night with a whole gamut of little people in my house and they went crazy for it. i hope you have a big hit .

>> it opens in theaters, by the way, next wednesday.