Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp says his Native American look for the Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto was inspired by a Kirby Sattler painting.

 Depp stars in the upcoming action Western film The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski, alongside Armie Hammer playing the Lone Ranger,

Lone Ranger is a fictional masked ex-Texas Ranger who with his Native American companion Tonto, fights injustice in the American Old West.

Sattler licensed his work to the producers of the Western, so Depp could study the piece and create the perfect warrior image for the film.

"I'd actually seen a painting by an artist named Kirby Sattler, and looked at the face of this warrior and thought, 'That's it. The stripes down the face and across the eyes...

"It seemed to me like you could almost see the separate sections of the individual, if you know what I mean," Depp said.

Depp said that Sattler's subject isn't actually based on any particular tribe - but he's a blend of history, fantasy and the romantic image of Indian warriors.

"The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to mess around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least."

Responses to "Johnny Depp found Tonto inspiration in painting"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nice...looking forward to watching this movie.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think Johnny Depp will nail the part of Tonto and I am looking forward to owning the movie to watch at home.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love it that they are bringing back the showing of companionship with the combination of law and justice!

  4. Anonymous says:

    They couldn't get a real native american ...... or someone with real ancestral native american back ground?Im pretty sure there's plenty out there in Hollywood! It's like getting Samuel L Jackson to play a part of an illegal immigrant coming from Mexico in a movie. Don't get me wrong Depp is a great actor.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Depp is Cherokee.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy that depp is playing an native american it's an honor and privilege that he's representing native americans i am a native myself and a huge depp fan

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Cherokee is an extremely intelligent tribe.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tonto means stupid in spanish. so either way, its still an insult

  9. Anonymous says:

    what does TONTO mean in Apache ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Actually Johnny Depp only claims that his great grandmother might have been Cherokee or Creek. He does not really claim Native ancestry. After playing this role as Tonto, he was adopted in and made an honorary Comanche in May of 2012.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Johnny Depp is a Cherokee and I found this about the name Tonto

  12. Anonymous says:

    Historically, the FOOL in Shakespeare and in historical fact is always the only one who can speak truth to the monarch. This seems very apt in terms of Tonto's role.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Depp's comment, Playing the part of...."fantasy and romantic image of Indian worriers." is just that, fantasy and romantic image. Sometimes Hollywood romanticizes too much and disregards the real, factual and accurate image and truths. We NEED Hollywood to portray more of the REAL Natives and REAL stories and get the REAL truth out to our youth and adults. Too many have been brainwashed by the romantic images and fantasy and not what's real.

  14. Pop will eat itself. Depp is a pop culture icon. He sells. Not a lot we can do about that, the world ain't perfect, and this particular aspect of film history doesn't rate much merit in the big picture. I greatly suspect that tribes will survive this one, in other words. Also, as a Chickasaw/Scotch-Irish man, and adult, I must say it's pretty disheartening to hear people argue over another person's identity. Downright arrogant, in fact.

  15. Unknown says:

    The Movie Database says "He has said in interviews that he is of Cherokee, Irish, and German descent, with some Navajo as well. Asked the origin of his last name by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, Johnny Depp said his name means "idiot" in German."

  16. Anonymous says:

    It waz Jay Silverheels and not Johnny Depp

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