Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Lone Ranger' Reboot Mixes Camp with John Ford-Style-Action, Says Co-Star

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Lone Ranger' Reboot Mixes Camp with John Ford-Style-Action, Says Co-Star

Article excerpt

'The Lone Ranger' revamped for a new audience


TORONTO - "The Lone Ranger" co-star James Badge Dale says he's eager for moviegoers to finally get a look at the long-awaited big-screen reboot, insisting the new take on Tonto "is not what people think."

The square-jawed actor was in Toronto recently to champion star Johnny Depp's revamped portrayal of the controversial aboriginal sidekick, whose pidgin English and submissive image from decades past is now widely derided.

"When they see the film they'll get it and they'll understand and all those questions and all those concerns will be answered," Dale says during a round of interviews at a downtown hotel.

"Johnny went to work with a lot of respect and a lot of humility towards the Native American community to get this story right. And the story is told through (Tonto's) point of view, really."

Skepticism has surrounded the film ever since Depp was cast as Tonto, with some questioning the actor's claim to Cherokee/Creek heritage.

Depp was inducted into the Comanche Nation last year as an official member of the Native American tribe and has said he took pains to make sure his Tonto is a leader, not a follower.

But the fuss continued as images of his character made the rounds online, with commenters arguing over whether or not his elaborate get-up was offensive: Depp with long black hair covering his torso, white-and-black striped facepaint and a crow on his head.

There's clearly a strong sense of humour in the film, says Dale, who suggests that comic relief goes a long way towards keeping the action-packed adventure tale moving.

He adds that the film's kooky and supernatural touches offer a welcome counterpoint to more sobering big ideas in the film, which stars Armie Hammer as the titular hero.

"The campy approach works to bring out these other elements of the story, which are a little more dramatic and a little more poignant.... These themes of progress, capitalism, good, bad, who's really a good guy, who's really a bad guy, the outlaw versus the hero," says Dale, known for co-starring in HBO's "The Pacific" and starring in AMC's short-lived series "Rubicon."

"Sometimes things can be too dark and I'm a fan of bringing them up because if you can laugh a little bit then you can take a moment to sit back and go, 'Wait a minute, I'm going to think about this for a second. …

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