Considering Disney put a halt on pre-production of The Lone Ranger in 2011 because of its ballooning budget, it makes sense that the production would end up hiring lesser-known actors for the supporting roles. English actress Ruth Wilson plays the Ranger’s love interest — but the wife of his brother (played by Armie Hammer and James Badge Dale, respectively). She is best known for her appearances in BBC television movies and the series Luther.
In fact, prior to The Lone Ranger her only film appearance was in last year’s Anna Karenina. She spoke to The Huffington Post about landing her first blockbuster role and explains why it didn’t actually have an effect on how she got the role in her next Disney film.
The interviewer mentions that Wilson beat out several big-name actresses for the role and asks about Wilson’s audition. She explains, “It was just one of those things — these big blockbusters that you go out for. I had no expectation of getting it. I just put myself on tape and hoped for the best. I got a call saying they were really interested in you and they wanted to fly me out from London. I met Jerry [Bruckheimer, producer] and Gore [Verbinski, director], did some scenes with them, and then, after that, I got the job. Quite amazing. It’s a testament to Gore and [casting director] Denise Chamian, who kind of searched for new talent or for the right person for the job. Gore’s not afraid of doing that; he wants the right people rather than just who’s hot at the time, so he picked me. Which is great. It’s people like that who you sort of owe part of your career to. They pick you out when other people might be more commercial.”
She has a lot of praise for Verbinski as a director, whose style seems counter to the spectacle of his big-budget blockbusters. She says, “He cares every moment [of] it being as personal as possible. He said to many of us to treat this as your most personal film. The spectacle wouldn’t work without the heart being truthful. He got us all together — certainly myself, Badge Dale and Armie Hammer — he sat us down and said you three guys are the heart of the movie and this relationship has to work for the rest to work. We sat down and worked through the history of [the love triangle] — what we wanted to pull out in the scenes, what we had to pull out that wasn’t said. In those moments, he looks for nuance and tenderness and truthfulness.”
One of Wilson’s upcoming film roles in another Disney film, Saving Mr. Banks, which is about the production of the 1964 film adaptation of Mary Poppins. Wilson explains that there isn’t much of a connection between that and The Lone Ranger, saying, “I was in the lift of the Four Seasons and Kelly Marcel, the writer, had seen and loved me in Luther. I didn’t know her, but she introduced herself in the lift. She said, ‘I love your work, I love Luther, I love Idris Elba, la la la.’ Then we ended up having a drink in the bar together, and she said to me, ‘I know I shouldn’t really do this, but I think you’d be great in my movie.’ Of course everyone does that in Los Angeles. But she had this script with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson attached, and she went from there.”