How 'The Lone Ranger' Nearly Killed Johnny Depp

The actor recounts a near-miss horseback-riding accident that occurred while shooting his latest film.

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Glad you're OK, Johnny Depp!

During a Thursday night appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, the actor revealed a story about nearly getting "horrifically mangled" on the set of his upcoming movie The Lone Ranger.

"There was one moment in particular where it got unpleasant," he said.

In the Disney action flick, Depp's role as Tonto required him to learn horseback riding, oftentimes at top speeds.

"We'd been running them all day, and they weren't really interested in slowing down, at all," Depp recalled. "My horse that I was on decided to jump a couple of these little obstacles. The horse was unaware that the saddle I was wearing to sit on top of it was sort of jerry-rigged, kind of faked."

Shooting in the desert, the horse's saddle came loose as they hit uneven pavement, despite Depp's best attempts to reign control.

"When we came down, the saddle slipped, and I went to the left and had the reins here, and somehow had the wherewithal to grab his mane — all very calm for some reason. I figured fear would kick in, but it didn't," he said.

The 49-year-old, who performed all of his own stunts for the film,  prevented himself from being thrown by grabbing onto the mane of the horse. However, he had to make a harrowing decision: wait until the horse was wrangled, or to drop.

Depp chose to drop and "hit the deck pretty hard," as landed on his back.

His near-death experience prompted Letterman to question the stuntmen's whereabouts.

"Where are the stunt people, for heaven's sake?" Letterman asked. "You're Tonto, you don't need that!"

"That's the exact same question I asked," answered Depp.

As the program came to an end, Depp strapped on his guitar as he joined his pal and singer-songwriter Bill Carter on stage to perform "Anything Made of Paper," a musical tribute to Damien Echols of West Memphis Three fame. Depp has been a longtime supporter of Echols and his two longtime friends, all whom were wrongly convicted of the murders of three young boys in Arkansas.

The Lone Ranger hits theaters nationwide on July 3.

Click the video, above, to watch Depp's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

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Discuss

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  • Sharon Marshall
    Sharon Marshall

    Alot of the filming on this movie was done at Polsa Rosa Ranch here in Acton, about a mile from my house. Wish I had caught a glimpse of Johnny riding.

  • Beth
    Beth

    How can you say they were "wrongly convicted" when they pleaded guilty??

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