Movie junket interviews can be so dull that it's refreshing to see stars go off-script. Which is exactly what happens in this short video from Yahoo! UK, featuring "Lone Ranger" actors Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
When asked to address Depp's red carpet comments about U.S. critics pre-judging the film, Hammer comes out with guns blazing. "Oh, I have a delightful opinion about that that she's going to get mad at me for sharing," he says, referring to an off-screen publicist.
He forges ahead anyway: "This is the deal with American critics: They've been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. I think that's when probably most of the critics wrote their initial reviews." Hopefully he means that critics were forming their initial opinions and not actually writing reviews about a movie they wouldn't see for months -- or years -- to come. That's still a dubious accusation, but not quite as outlandish as the idea of a film critic writing something more than week before deadline.
For his part, Depp places the blame on the inflated expectations of critics and industry-watchers, claiming they assumed he and his "Pirates of the Caribbean" cohorts Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski would churn out another blockbuster. "I think the reviews were probably written when they heard Gore and Jerry and I were gonna do 'The Lone Ranger,'" Depp says. "And their expectations of it, that it must be a blockbuster and this and that. I didn't have any expectations of that, and I never do. Why would I?" Why would you, indeed.
While it's absolutely possible that some critics were prepared to write off "The Lone Ranger" as soon as they sat down at a screening, it's silly to place the blame squarely at their feet. As Cinema Blend's Katey Rich points out, there are plenty of movies that make tons of money in the U.S. market despite horrible reviews and word-of-mouth. Similarly, there are other summer movies with smaller budgets and stars that become box office sensations and eventually spawn sequels. Surely audiences have something to do with that.
Are Depp, Hammer, and Bruckheimer being fair, or do you think that critics hamstrung "The Lone Ranger" before it rode into theaters?
[via Yahoo! UK h/t Cinema Blend, TheWrap]