Armie Hammer Online

Monday Morning Man: Armie Hammer!

At just 23, actor Armie Hammer seems destined to be a major star.
His biggest role so far as evangelist Billy Graham in the film Billy – The Early Years which just came out on DVD.
I chatted with Armie about the movie when it was released in theaters last year. He said YouTube was invaluable in helping him prepare to play the self-assured and charismatic preacher before he became a worldwide figure in the religious and political worlds.

“I think that’s the greatest tool for any actor playing a real person,” Armie said. “I was able to find so much stuff and do almost all of my research on the computer….When it’s someone as recognizable and identifiable as Billy Graham, if you mess up, there are 2 billion people who have seen his preach and they will know.”

Billy – The Early Years was shot over five weeks in various locations in Tennessee, including a town so small that its two sheriff’s deputies would often stop by to watch the shoot.

Recalled Hammer: “We’d hear their walkie talkies and the calls would be like, ‘Jim is on his tractor drunk again.’”

The great-grandson of U.S. business tycoon Armand Hammer, the actor seemed almost pre-destined to play Graham. His father had bumped into the preacher one day on the Cayman Islands where the Hammer family lived.

“He was there vacationing and my dad was just walking down the beach one morning and saw him sitting under a tree,” he said. “He just gave my dad so much time, they talked for two hours. He told my dad the story about how he tried to talk to my great-grandfather about God. They were in an elevator in New York and (Graham) said: ‘Do you know where you’re going after you die?’ (My great-grandfather) didn’t say anything and Once the elevator stopped, he just got out.”

The actor said he never considered changing his famous name: “I’m proud of my family name. The only time it only hurt was in junior high school when the nicknames started. I also get a lot of questions about baking soda.”

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