When pictures first emerged of Johnny Depp on the set of The Lone Ranger as the titular heroe’s longtime sidekick, Tonto, the general internet reaction was, “why the hell is Marilyn Manson in a western…and more importantly, why is a bird sitting on his head?“ Well, the eccentric actor has now spoken out, explaining the meaning of his mysterious Tonto getup.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Depp revealed that his Tonto look was derived from a painting by the artist Kirby Sattler:
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.
So strong was Sattler’s inspiration on the look and general aesthetic for Tonto that The Lone Ranger production actually licensed the Sattler painting I Am a Crow in order to use its “look” on the film. Moreover, Depp took a page from Sattler’s use of fact and fantasy when crafting his look:
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 — especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger’s assistant. As you’ll see, it’s most definitely not that.
When comparing the Sattler’s painting with Depp’s look, the two images are nearly identical, minus the fact that Depp’s interpretation has a bit more Jack Sparrow and the aforementioned Marilyn Manson vibe to it that the quiet dignity of Sattler’s original. Still, it seems to indicate that this Lone Ranger film is going to be far odder and more surreal than any Ranger story we’ve seen before—which isn’t a bad thing at all.
What do you think of Depp’s Tonto look?
Source: Cinema Blend