Interview: William Fichtner Talks THE LONE RANGER
William Fichtner or Bill as he likes to be called normally plays tough guys and lately villains. He's been in great movies like The Dark Knight and Black Hawk Down. I was able to talk to Bill for a few minutes about playing the villain in The Lone Ranger, the sinister heart eating Butch Cavendish.
Is this the first time you played a canibal and did you enjoy that aspect?
(Chuckle) I don't even know how to answer that. This is the first I've been in a western, and the first time I've played someone like Butch Cavendish, which I found absolutely thrilling.
Did you get to fulfill any cowboy dreams?
Getting to jump out of a moving train on a full blown galloping horse.
Our stunt coordinator Tommy Harper and our director Gore Verbinski said, if we can get this shot we are going to hold on to it and not cut away. They described as, Butch Cavendish is just going to talk and then jump out of the train no cut.
Gore Verbinski is a known perfectionist. How many takes did it take to get that shot just right?
We started talking about this months before we shot it and worked on it pretty hard, it wasn't a last minute idea. So they started with how well can you ride a horse at full gallop and whats the distance from the train. We started practicing on a platform with the house standing still, then moving at 3mph, the following week at 5mph, 8mph, 11mph until the the day came and it only took 1 or 2 takes. So the perfection is getting it right before hand.
You sling a gun pretty well in the movie, did that take a lot of practice?
We had a gentleman from New Mexico named Keith and he was part of our cowboy camp, and he could sling a gun like (makes whoo-hoo sound). Having read the script I knew there were a couple spots that I could pull a move. So we worked to prefect these moves, so every week for about 5-10 minutes I would practice with a heavy Long-nosed Colt 45, which you can't practice more than that without wearing our finger out. I would keep practicing these few select moves hoping for the time to use them.
I was pretty proud on this one take where I flip that gun out, and if flew out of there like butter and it was like (makes whoo-hoo sound), and in the mining town I a draw a gun twice in one scene.
You've got his prominent scar on your mouth done with an appliance in your mouth. Did that hinder your performance?
They do change my vocal pattern a little bit and I knew the ADR would come some day so I made sure to get them back from Joe for the ADR process. I think it really defines how the guy talks, I enjoyed it and would practice with them, those things they give more layers to who the guy is.
I enjoyed The Lone Ranger a lot more than my more critical colleagues, and have a review going out soon that will talk about what I think worked.