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Johnny Depp’s Tonto In ‘The Lone Ranger’ Inspired By Kirby Sattler Painting

indian painting

Fans of The Lone Ranger got their first look as Johnny Depp dressed up as Tonto earlier this year, and now the actor has given an explanation about the Native American’s look. Depp said that the modern version of Tonto was inspired by a painting by Kirby Sattler.

Depp said:

“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 told Entertainment Weekly that the lines across Tonto’s face represent different sections of his personality. Depp said:

“There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, an angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side. I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual. That makeup inspired me.”

Depp also said that the crow in Sattler’s painting found its way into his costume. Depp added:

“It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior’s head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top. I thought: Tonto’s got a bird on his head. It’s his spirit guide in a way. It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him. It’s very much alive.”

Here’s a look at Johnny Depp as Tonto in the new “The Lone Ranger.”

johnny depp

The new movie stars Johnny Depp as Tonto, Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger, and will be directed by Gore Verbinski. Depp said that the new movie will change the dynamic of Tonto and the Lone Ranger’s relationship.

Depp said:

“I remember watching (the TV series) as a kid . . . and going: ‘Why is the [expletive] is the Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do? … When the idea came up (Tonto to be the central character for the movie) I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way to try — eliminate isn’t possible — but reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans, not only in ‘The Lone Ranger,’ but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema, and turn it on its head.”

[Image via kirbysattler.com]

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