Johnny Depp told David Letterman on the Late Show on Thursday that he had a life-threatening close call while doing his own stunt with a horse on the set of The Lone Ranger.
Depp plays Native American warrior Tonto in the new Disney film, directed by Jerry Bruckheimer, and was in the middle of a long day of shooting scenes while riding horses at top speed when “everything went very sideways,” according to the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
Depp was riding a horse with a saddle that was “jury-rigged” to give the effect that he was riding bareback. When the horse jumped over an obstacle, the saddle slipped off and the actor was thrown to the side, hanging on to the horse by its maine.
“All I saw in front of my eyes were these very muscular horse legs and striations of muscles moving, this kind of death machine,” Depp told Letterman. “One word popped into my head: Hooves. Mind the hooves.”
Depp made the decision to drop to the ground and luckily the horse lifted its legs to avoid crushing his head.
The Los Angeles Times reports that this isn’t first time the director had a stunt mishap. Pirates of the Caribbean was shut down halfway through production when a crew member was injured and a stunt man was killed during production. Fortunately, the latest incident didn’t end as badly.
The Lone Ranger recounts the untold tales of the fictional character of John Reid, an ex-Texas ranger, who fights injustice with his Native American friend, Tonto.