The Paw Print
Adams State College was packed to capacity this Sunday as more than 300 hopeful men gathered at the ASC Theatre building to participate in an open casting call in hopes of being selected to be extras in the film adaptation of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger.
Casting calls like the ones held over this weekend are used to fill large quotas of extras that the movie wants to achieve. When movies have scenes with large groups of people, like a crowd at a basketball game or, in this case, several people in an old western town, it is easier for directors to gather many people through these casting calls instead of having to go through the process of hiring several actors, whose requested pay could be higher than what a director wants. It is a fun experience for those chosen, and casting calls can also open the doors for more acting opportunities.
“I’m really hoping I get chosen,” said Jose Vazquez, a San Luis Valley native waiting in line for the casting call. “It would be great to be in The Lone Ranger, and who knows? Maybe I could meet Johnny Depp.”
The Sande Alessi Casting Company from Sherman Oakes, CA came out to hold the casting calls in Utah and Colorado. Sande Alessi herself said that though they held casting calls in all areas of both states, they were mainly looking for extras from the San Luis Valley.
“Don’t quit your day jobs yet,” Alessi told the crowd at the theatre on Sunday. “We will notify you in about three to four months if you are selected”.
Specifically, Alessi was in search for oriental men, both exceedingly tall (preferably seven feet or over), and very short men 4’11” or shorter. Though there was a request for women weighing 400 pounds or more, none showed up. The casting call at Adams State was for men only, but everyone else was encouraged to show up at the open casting calls in Durango this past Friday. While there were specific restrictions for the call at Adams, the call in Durango requested “men and women over the age of 18, all shapes and sizes with any level of experience”.
“This is like a dream for me…just even this right here is a dream for me at the moment,” said Durango resident Boone Grisby, who attended the casting call.
Part of the movie is also being shot in Mineral County, Colorado, which is just west of the San Luis Valley. Filming for the movie has begun in New Mexico, and some parts will be filmed in Arizona, Utah, and Creede, CO, which is North of Mineral County.
“If I get picked,” said Mariposa Quintana, one of the hundreds that attended the Durango casting call, “watching The Lone Ranger would be so much more exciting. I could point to a scene and go, “Look! There I am! I helped make that happen”.
The Lone Ranger began as a radio series in 1933, and by 1949, it had become a popular television show that lasted for eight years.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto have also been portrayed in comic books, movies, and other lesser known cartoons and television shows.