Good Morning Sir. Thanks for joining us.
Not at all, dear boy. Not at all.
How did you get the role in The Lone Ranger?
Well I was coming off a two month run of Henry V at the Old Vic. An astounding production and Kevin Spacey is such a joy to work with. Superb! Anyway, Johnny came to see me in my dressing room after the final performance and asked if I wanted to play the lead in The Lone Ranger. Well at first I thought it was a silly idea I mean, kids these days haven’t the foggiest who The Lone Ranger is and when Johnny told me he was playing Tonto, I swear I almost choked on my hay bale.
And yet despite your reservations you accepted the part?
Well you see darling as much as I’m a firm believer in artistic integrity, I was four months behind on my rent and I owed a rather large gambling debt to some irate East End gangsters. Poker you see. Omar Sharif introduced me to it when we were working together on Dr Zhivago. A beautiful game indeed but expensive and occasionally perilous. I mean look what happened to my old friend Shergar. One minute he’s eighty grand up on the roulette table at the Ritz Club, the next he owes a hundred thousand pounds to a syndicate of Irish gentlemen and mysteriously goes missing. I have no intention of being ground into hamburger mince so I gratefully accepted Johnny’s offer.
What was Johnny like to work with?
Oh the man’s a joy. His acting methodology is so subtle you’d swear he wasn’t acting at all. A consummate professional and a top chap. We go back years of course to the day’s when he was dating Kate (Moss) and we frequently did vast amounts of narcotics together. I’ve knocked all the drugs on the head these days, Vets orders, and wine and the occasional cigarette are my only vices but Johnny, he’s still something of a wild man.
Are you saying he still dabbles?
Well I don’t want to tell tales outside of school but somebody did bang on my trailer door in the early hours of the morning on several occasions screaming for me to provide them with a dose of Ketamine. I always keep a healthy supply due to the back injury I received whilst filming Far and Away. Anyway I hate to see a fellow creature in pain so I may or may not have left my medicine cabinet unlocked from time to time.
The film hasn’t been very well received by critics and is looking like a box office flop. Does that bother you?
Oh not at all dear boy. Not at all. Of course it’s fabulous if a film does do well but it’s such an uncertain business and once you’ve been in the game as long as I have. You simply do your job to the best of your ability, grab your wages and forget about it. I mean take Heaven’s Gate for example. Easily some of my finest work and we all thought it was going to be a big hit but the audiences rejected it.
What’s next for you?
Well I am contractually obliged to perform in the sequel to the Lone Ranger but it’s doubtful that will happen. I’ve just finished working on Mad Max: Thunder Road with George Miller, Tom Hardy and the delicious Charlize Theron. I’m narrating a documentary on the History of Farmyard Machinery for the BBC and there is another exciting project on the horizon but I can’t really talk about it.
Internet rumours suggest that project is Star Wars VII.
Oh behave. All will be revealed in time now go on, shoo I have a yoga class in 30 minutes.
Thanks for the interview
Go! And may the horse be with you.