He was adopted by the Comanche Nation Indian tribe in May of 2012 because of his upcoming role in The Lone Ranger.

And on Friday night, Johnny Depp surprised members of the tribe at an advanced screening of the film in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Just a day before its world debut at Disney's California Adventure, the 50-year-old met the people who have welcomed him into their culture.

The A-list actor was formally adopted by the New Mexico-based group of Indians because the character he plays in the movie, Tonto, is of that tribe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, LaDonna Harris, a Comanche and president of Americans For Indian Opportunity, heard about his role and invited him to join the tribe last year.

In honour of their great connection, LaDonna and Johnny walked the red carpet together on Friday night.

'He's a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career,' she said, 'he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share.'

Before the advanced screening, Johnny told the crowd: 'I'm so proud to be here and so proud to be a part of this.

'If I can help in any way to pass the message along to the children, to understand that where they came from, they are warriors and nothing less.'

The excited crowd was not only thrilled by the prolific actor's surprise appearance, but also by the tribal dancers and princesses that decorated the ceremony.

The Disney Western film will be released in the U.S. on Wednesday, July 3.

Responses to "Johnny Depp surprises the Comanche Tribe at an advanced screening of The Lone Ranger (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was under the impression that Depp presented Native Ancestry which allowed his welcome to the tribe. To hear that he was invited due to his playing a role in a movie? This really is disheartening. Not that he is a bad person, but what other things for the Nation has he done or will he do to honor the people who took him in. The indigenous peoples in North America (US and Canada) have a hard enough time trying to ensure their ways are not lost and their lands kept for the future of their children. I know the non-indigenous peoples are accepted into tribes for many reasons (passion of the land, to helping preserve and continue a heritage of tradition, honor and respect), but for a movie roll? Again, disheartening is that was the real reason.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Depp and Disney are a joke for trying to make themselves look like they are some how having a positive role on the American Indian, and any Native that believes either one without offense should be questioning how Indian is your heart truly. Depp is just another non-Indian trying to fit in with something he is no part of. This film should be boycotted and spoken against by any true Native American who is tired of media and Hollywood for characterizing the living Natives who are still here on our soil. I was a big fan of Depp until this disgrace he has performed on film, and worse he is trying to save the Indian to make himself look better. Hollywood, the American Indian does much better without your portrayal of us as a people/culture.

  3. Unknown says:

    i found the display of his commitment and passion for his role in the upcoming movie" Tonto" was very humbling of himself! IN saying this, i am only hoping that he extends that loyalty to all tribes across North America also... we also have daily struggles with the governments of Canada. but at times have created in-fightng among st our very own people. Hopefully, this spotlight on this territory sheds some positive light into all Anishinabe people.

  4. How about the trust in these leaders that they made a decision and should be respected. There may be more to this than is given...Depp does not have the reputation of taking anything lightly nor does he seem to be the type to dishonor a people and their traditions.

  5. Unknown says:

    Well anonymous 1 & 2 were not 'Brave enought to leave their real name, pot shots from behind a big rock of crap is easy enough, stand up and say what you think, that would be a good way to disagree, and leaders over the world in their position are left to ride out the consequences of their decisions, daily.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In no slight to the Comanche nation, they are lost to themselves, so why not invite another person in arbitrarily. The Comanche did not wear feather headdresses or do anything like sun dances until the very last years of their freedom. By that time, the Native Americans had been so dwindled and belittled that they started to blend tribal bounderies and share customs. Comanche typically only wore buffalo headdress until their last few years.

  7. Unknown says:

    He is part native, that is not the point of this movie. He does a good job as an actor, gets into every role. The fact he is doing a little something to help shed light on Indian Country!!This is a good thing. Depp will always be good I my book. Plus he is a descendent from my husband tribe might be related hehe

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, I would argue that not all publicity for Natives is necessarily good PR. Furthermore, Tonto's representation of a Comanche is inaccurate on many levels. A Comanche has no business in a children's (Disney) movie. Its a gross distortion of what they truly were for the sake of entertainment. It is a false representation, and promoting that propaganda does not help the Comanche nation regain its identity or awareness. Having said all that, I natives and JDepp, I'm sure, is just trying to do the same.

  9. Anonymous says:

    EDIT LAST LINE: "Having said all that, I *support* natives and..."

  10. Joyce ONeill says:

    The Comanches have made their decision, for whatever reasons. Let's wait and see what Depp does or doesn't do. I happen to think he has integrity but he also has a life and job he must balance, as we all do.
    It bothers me when I see all the judgements going around. People are quick to judge without knowing the background or even the people involved. How does this serve you?
    In the scheme of things, it IS only a movie. Like headlines, it will be gone tomorrow. It would seem that if we concentrate on own good deeds and publicity that would be a better service to our people than arguing over a Disney movie and Johnny Depp.
    Look to the long story...what do you want for our people and how are you going to get it? What will be passed on to future generations? We have so many worthy causes to promote, why get into petty fights over something like this?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nothing is simply just anything, except nothing. (Figure it out, I didn't.) I think your feint to ignorance is part of the problem. Passing down a distorted view of history that others might internalize, especially for the sake of entertainment/profit, seems akin to extortion. This is further exacerbated by the fact that its already been done specifically to the Comanche's for the sake of profit. Furthermore, you're argument holds no merit because you defeat your own principles. (IE: You're arguing we shouldn't be arguing.) If someone wants to make a stand on JD, or Disney's most recent movie, or whatever, let them state their case. Yours, sir, holds no water.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I support this Im a Native american I don't anything wrong Its all been positive for the commache people

    If you are anything other then a native american commiting bad On here your Opion Matters to you but not to US!!!

    The goverment takes away more of Rigths from US INDAINS everyday we need poeple like this who will bring attention to our people

    I Know everything may not be historical acurate but its only A MOVIE !!!!!
    I do not like when white people tell me facts about my acesters that are not true I know the storys my family past DOWN !!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why is this even an issue? If the Comanche Tribe is the one that invited him, then obviously they don't have a problem with it. Why do YOU care?

  14. Unknown says:

    I'm leech lake Ojibwe,Minnesota. Johnny depp has so much
    respect for natives , I'm glad he's defending. Our people. I pray he makes more movies like this. Help represent. Native americans World wide, and let the world know about our beautiful native people. Mary Jo Frazer.

  15. Unknown says:

    I'm leech lake Ojibwe,Minnesota. Johnny depp has so much
    respect for natives , I'm glad he's defending. Our people. I pray he makes more movies like this. Help represent. Native americans World wide, and let the world know about our beautiful native people. Mary Jo Frazer.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, for my part (there are different people posting as anonymous), I answer why I care and why it is an issue. People have a stake in what other people are doing because we're all interconnected in this world... surely a Native American can understand that sentiment. Furthermore, though I bare no direct responsibility, as a human being I have the urge to promote awareness for the sake of humanity, especially toward a people who were grossly manipulated and mistreated for the sake of power and profits. And since some want to draw a distinction of race here, I could point out that while I'm not a Comanche native, much of their history and customs were lost during their suppression, but can be rediscovered through American history, typically via English literates at the time... So there is that.

  17. Mary Rose says:

    Aboriginal ways and beliefs about connection to all that is, was lost to everyone because of physical, cultural and spiritual slaughter by greed and the quest for power (by all skin colours). Now the truth and beauty of our ancestors is rising once again because we see its wisdom for ALL. This movie and Johnny Depp's association with this tribe is furthering the exponential growth in consciousness by all humanity. The elders see this vision and welcome it.

  18. Unknown says:

    Thank you Mr. Depp!

  19. Unknown says:

    also iam happy to see mr, depp, portray a first nation person,an being cree from the pas manitoba canada, swampy cree dialect region iam happy to see this, even if its accurate or not, for him, to bring some awareness an care, an be with the peoples to be with them an portaray one even if he may or may not have a bit of first nation blood in him,just nice to see, all the first nation indian people behind him, an the peoples to do thier dances, an show the world that someone like this with his star power wanted to be a part of a peoples he felt needs some sort of attention,good to see this, as last time, ant major star power, did last time, was dances with wolves kevin coster,now johnny depp

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