Sometimes all it takes is one lucky season, a small number of months within a year, for one actor’s star to shoot up in popularity. There’s always a couple of select actors who get the chance to grab the spotlight, thanks to the conveniently close releases of their latest projects, and James Badge Dale is one of those lucky people. The actor has been making his rounds in a number of Hollywood fare, from “The Departed” to “The Grey,” but this is his summer.
He pops up as the seemingly indestructible number one henchman in “Iron Man 3,” then appears a month later in “World War Z.” Now he’s shown in the wild west, riding alongside his fictional brother John Reid (Armie Hammer) in Gore Verbinski’s new movie “The Lone Ranger.” We got the cool chance to speak with the actor about his surge in popularity, why he thinks “The Lone Ranger” is a movie that audiences will latch onto and a bit more information on what his latest project “Parkland” is all about.
How do you think “The Lone Ranger” will fare with audiences now? Why do you think a western like this, released in the modern day, could attract movie-goers?
James Badge Dale: I think what we wanted to do with this one was make it different. How do you take the genre and turn it on its head a bit. How do you take this and make it new, make it different and bring it into our world today, which is getting farther and farther away from the western way of life, what that was.
In a lot of ways this is kind of a coming-to-age film. You have John Reid, the Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer is a very different person in the beginning of the film as he is in the end. As an audience member I love watching those transformations. I don’t think there’s nothing that Armie doesn’t do well. He’s very smart, capable human being who’s 6’7″.
Ever since your role in “Iron Man 3,” have you been getting recognized more now?
James Badge Dale: I’ve never had this before in my career because I’ve done mostly adult fare, but for the first time people are coming up to me and saying ‘Hey, I just want to let you know that my kids loved Iron Man 3′ and that’s cool. That’s really cool to do things now that people and my family can go see.
You’ve got a couple of new projects coming up, including “Parkland.” Could you give us a little more information on what we should expect out of this new movie?
James Badge Dale: There are things in this film that people are going to see. It’s about the human stories that are involved with it that I never knew about and that I think we’re uncovering some new stories. It’s important, I think for us today. I think what happened with the JFK assassination is still very poignant and there’s still a lot to be learned from it, and I’m not talking about conspiracy theories… Not only did I love the script but Jacki Weaver was working on it. The role I wanted to do was playing her son. They said that Jacki Weaver was playing the mother and I was like come on, I’ve got to do this man! She’s an incredible actress and you want to work with good people.
“The Lone Ranger” is out in theaters now.