Say, who is that masked Lone Ranger actor, anyway?
You might think you don’t know Armie Hammer, but the man who plays The Lone Ranger has already impressed in The Social Network and J Edgar
Multiple addresses and schools, he suspects, came in handy for his future career. “You learn the art of cultural absorption when you have to move around a lot as a kid. You learn to walk into a classroom and work out the social structure. Who is in charge here? Where do I fit in? Am I allowed to chime in or am I better off just observing? You learn to pick up your cues and to pay attention to social interactions. You have to assimilate. So when you arrive each time you have a chance to try something new, do something different. Last school I was kind of quiet, this place I’m going to be a little more assertive. And later on, you carry that into your performances.”
Rather prophetically, young Armie always loved watching westerns with dad and can, indeed, remember his father calling him Kemo Sabe in tribute to the Lone Ranger’s Tonto. Still, the Hammer clan were not best pleased when Armand Jr announced that he was running away to join the acting circus.
“There was a little bit of pressure,” grins Hammer. “When I decided to drop out of high school and decided to pursue acting there was the conversation that went, ‘Sit down. Do you understand you’d be the only Hammer man not to go to college and not to get a business degree?’ But I did realise. I do. It just didn’t interest me. I wanted to turn my back on all of it and take a gamble. And fortunately it paid off.”
His parents ‘all but disowned’ him for a time. When did they come around?
“Once they realised I wasn’t dropping out of school so I could be a burnout who watched movies all day,” laughs the actor. “I did it because I was passionate about it. And once they saw that, saw that I was really taking it seriously as a career and that I wanted to make movies for the rest of my life, they decided there was no use fighting. I wasn’t going to give up.”