Actor Johnny Depp was nearly trampled to death by a horse during the filming of The Lone Ranger.
During an action sequence alongside co-star Armie Hammer, Depp — who plays Tonto in the new movie — was thrown from a galloping horse named Scout and almost crushed under its hooves as he was dragged by the animal.
The A-lister very fortunately only suffered minor bruises in the stunt gone wrong. According to ABC News, “Depp gallops, then slowly starts sliding to the side, eventually falling off the horse and onto the ground. The actor narrowly escapes being crushed by the horse, but he is clipped in the chest by the animal’s rear hooves.”
Director Gore Verbinski had this to say about his star almost being trampled: “That was one of the scariest moments ever. Simple things in Westerns are incredibly dangerous. I have such respect for the actors and stuntmen and directors. It’s really hard to make these movies because they are very dangerous,” he told the New York Post.
Depp agreed that he was lucky to escape the scary incident without serious injury: “It all just sort of happened, and I saw everything very clearly, which was the horse’s very muscular front legs moving at a very dangerous speed. And I was still holding on to the mane like an idiot, trying to get back up. And at a certain point you have to make a decision: ‘Do I go down and hit the deck on my own? Or do I wait for the hoof to split my face in two?’
Added Depp: “So I decided to go down on my own and then, incredibly, the horse lifted its front legs, and he missed me, and he could have crushed me in seconds. I was very lucky.” Depp noted that he was thankful that his tailbone didn’t take the brunt of the incident.
The actor and everyone else involved in the production may be suffering bruises to their egos and wallets, however. Officially opening tomorrow, the would-be summer blockbuster — made for an estimated $200 million — has been “crushed” by most of the critics who have seen it in advance screenings.
Will you be going to see The Lone Ranger in your local theater?