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Lone Ranger extras get callbacks

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Mark A. Deuel, recently secured a part as an extra in the upcoming film “The Lone Ranger.” Deuel is excited about the role as a railway worker because his great-grandfather worked as a fireman and engineer for the Colorado & Southern Railway in the first half of the 20th century. “My grandpa was excited to hear that,” Deuel said.

By Herald staff writer

A Durango man and stay-at-home father of three is one of many aspiring extras getting callbacks this week to be in “The Lone Ranger” movie filming this summer in the Four Corners.

“They have me in line for the position of a railway worker,” Mark A. Deuel said Thursday.

The role is near and dear to Deuel’s heart.

“I’m pretty excited about the position because my great-grandfather was a pretty famous railway engineer here in Colorado,” Deuel said. “This is now a tribute to him.”

Kristen Berona, a casting agent for Sande Alessi Casting, said the agency started making calls this week and had a couple hundred people on the list.

Berona said that calls to extras will continue for the next few months and throughout filming.

“There are times when we call the night before to see if someone is available the next day,” Berona said. “That happens more than I like.”

Berona said the casting company is still getting names of extras from the film’s director, Gore Verbinski.

“The director has selected a ton of people, and we began calling on Wednesday evening,” Berona said. “Currently, we are calling by roles, not by location at this time.”

Deuel, who will report to Moab in July for filming, hadn’t expected the callback.

“I was pretty surprised. The audition was a lot less personal than I expected,” Deuel said. “We just walked through and turned in the cards, and they attached our picture.”

The open casting call specifically sought people with oddities such as wandering eyes or physical deformations.

Deuel, 37, is blind in his right eye and it is white in color. Among the goals he has for his breakout performance is rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s finest.

“I’m hoping to meet Johnny Depp,” he said.

Depp will have a starring role in the film, and so will actor Armie Hammer.

Though his pay rate falls under the confidentiality agreement he signed, Deuel said he is satisfied with the compensation.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “This is quite the experience.”

Sande Alessi Casting from Los Angeles held the open casting call March 23 at the Fort Lewis College Theatre. More than 400 people showed up, making it larger than casting calls held in Creede, Alamosa, Colorado Springs or Moab.

“The casting call in Durango was amazing. We’re so thankful for the turnout and the locals being so welcoming to us,” Berona said.

Deuel said preparation for his role as a railway worker will be easy.

“They told me to grow my beard out full and to be prepared to cut my hair,” he said.


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