THE LONE RANGER Star Johnny Depp Explains Why Tonto Has A Dead Bird On His Head

Johnny Depp is no stranger to unusual choices in makeup or costumes. His look for Barnabas Collins in the upcoming film Dark Shadows caused quite a stir, but it is his new look for Tonto that has the internet really buzzing.

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By nailbiter111 - 4/22/2012


Painting by Kirby Sattler: http://kirbysattler.sattlerartprint.com/
Ever since producer Jerry Bruckheimer posted the first images of Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto, the internet has been buzzing. Most of the negative buzz has to do with the unsightly dead bird resting on top of Tonto's head. Also, most people are starting to tire of Johnny Depp's obvious fetish for white makeup. This will be the umpteenth time he has looked like he rubbed his face across a chalkboard. Now, Entertainment Weekly has been able to sit down with the star and ask him about his unusual look for Tonto.

“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. There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, and 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,” he said.”That makeup inspired me.”

“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.”


When Entertainment Weekly contacted the artist, Kirby Sattler, he admitted that he took a bit of liberty with the work. The make-up and the bird in the painting are merely symbolism for his fondness of the Crow Indians.

“The portraits I paint are composites created from a variety of visual references coupled with my imagination. While being broadly based in a historical context, my paintings are not intended to be viewed as historically accurate.




The Lone Ranger will be released in theaters May 31, 2013. The film stars Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto. Also starring in the movie: Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper and Timothy Hutton.

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41 Comments
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deadpool4 - 4/22/2012, 1:01 PM
the movie looks stupid as shit
Jollem - 4/22/2012, 1:13 PM
neat stuff. the dead bird spirit guide sounds like that's going to be some funny parts.
95 - 4/22/2012, 1:15 PM
Everything sounds good, so far.
superotherside - 4/22/2012, 1:19 PM
Okay...?
nowtheresaBATman - 4/22/2012, 1:49 PM
sweet painting- great inspiration.
waterov - 4/22/2012, 1:52 PM
Dead bird on the head.....No messing about! Johnny Depp has got the balance between historically accurate attire and pant wettingly funny comedy just about right. HI HO SILVER!!!!
NOLANITE - 4/22/2012, 1:56 PM
and everyones tired of Jack Sparrow being in every Movie Hollywood comes out with.
soforizo - 4/22/2012, 2:17 PM
I'll hold judgement at least until I see a trailer.
BatSlam - 4/22/2012, 2:24 PM
who has been bitching about johnny depp and white makeup? and i didn't really hear anything about the bird or his makeup. Are you trying to make up rumors because you don't like it?
nailbiter111 - 4/22/2012, 2:26 PM
batslam - you must be joking? right?
BasedThanos - 4/22/2012, 2:43 PM
This movie looks like a big WTF. Same with Dark Shadows.
kevberg - 4/22/2012, 2:50 PM
People thought Depp was a nut with Jack Sparrow, ( myself included) but he did fine, I'll reserve judgement.

He's earned it.
AlexDeLarge87 - 4/22/2012, 3:45 PM
Everyone has their own fetishes but... i hope Tonto doesnt wear that make-up arsenal + the dead bird whole [frick]ing movie.
That just wouldnt be the Tonto i know.

My Tonto would have looked like this!


I try to be not judging the movie yet thou!
Could end up being a entertaining action film. Who knows?
kevberg - 4/22/2012, 3:45 PM
Wow I didn't know the movie was out , when did you see it @$$clown?
kevberg - 4/22/2012, 3:48 PM
@alexdelarge87...not you btw, the idiot above your post.
AlexDeLarge87 - 4/22/2012, 3:49 PM
Temuera Morrison would have been awesome Tonto!
Ranger14 - 4/22/2012, 3:50 PM
"who has been bitching about johnny depp and white makeup? and i didn't really hear anything about the bird or his makeup. Are you trying to make up rumors because you don't like it?"

I have an issue with the makeup if they portray him wearing it too much. So far every image we have seen with different looks still has him wearing the makeup, which is a stereotype of Native Americans that is not accurate. They wore makeup if going to war and for ceremonial purposes. It wasn't an every day look. I will admit I am also extremely disappointed they didn't cast an actual Native American like Adam Beach or Eddie Spears for the part as opposed to someone who has a bit of Native American blood i them.
AlexDeLarge87 - 4/22/2012, 3:51 PM
kev@ I thought so
chasesuperremey - 4/22/2012, 3:55 PM
Im Irish natvie american my great grandmother was full blooded Sioux she lived to be 98 she died when i was 14. and I have no problem with the way he looks and I always liked the lone ranger so lets give it a shot is all Im saying.
SCURVYDOG619 - 4/22/2012, 3:59 PM
I was half-expecting Depp to say,"Oh,the bird's not dead. It's resting. Wonderful bird,the Norwegian blue. Such lovely plumage" lol
santoanderson - 4/22/2012, 4:26 PM
Johnny's one hell of an actor, but the dude comes off as just plain kooky during interviews.
nailbiter111 - 4/22/2012, 4:33 PM
kevberg - I don't write boring stories, if you don't like it don't read them, but to go into each story and bitch about it is stupid. This is my schtick either accept it or beat it.
Brady1138 - 4/22/2012, 4:34 PM
This could be pretty good. Like Depp's take on the character.
LAXtremest - 4/22/2012, 4:54 PM
Someone mentioned Depp for Dr. Strange. That sounds pretty awesome. Probably better tha. McDreamy( As my wife refers to him....)
Luther - 4/22/2012, 5:45 PM
I fully support everything here. Depp's historical accuracy for his character, the look, feel, etc. ONLY THING IS, Depp himself, DOES NOT look remotely Native American (enough). It feels like a..sorry to say, white guy dressing up as a Native American.
BatSlam - 4/22/2012, 6:42 PM
he needs a slightly wider nose, and a little more puff to his lips. then just squint his eyes a very little, he would look much more native american with the makeup on.

blackscienceman - 4/22/2012, 6:57 PM
he looks a but too much like captain jack sparrow
breakUbatman - 4/22/2012, 10:04 PM
This guy is strange he's like an actor version of Nicholas Cage
Mondragon - 4/22/2012, 10:55 PM
I love how all the asswipes posting that crow painting as some kind of "research" proof, insisted Tonto's look had to be historically accurate because of it.

"When Entertainment Weekly contacted the artist, Kirby Sattler, he admitted that he took a bit of liberty with the work. The make-up and the bird in the painting are merely symbolism for his fondness of the Crow Indians."
mob7medina - 4/23/2012, 12:16 AM
as long as Tim Burton has nothing to do with this movie i might watch it!!;]
AUSSYACE - 4/23/2012, 12:40 AM
Depp really does need to take on a few more different type roles...

I would love to see him in an all out Action Flick and not looking like a white ghost either...
Amazo - 4/23/2012, 2:09 AM
Have any of you considered that while 'on mission' with the Ranger,Tonto would consider himself 'at war'? Hence the make up in alot of scenes.....
Chillout80s - 4/23/2012, 5:41 AM
This is the lone ranger and tonto that I know..I'm not so sure about this movie..

http://newspaper.li/static/8b91c2b30019ecb3a4f74bfad8646342.jpg
JamesBond007Skyfall - 4/23/2012, 6:21 AM
What the hell is this crap?
drfate - 4/23/2012, 6:25 AM
man, if they'd only known what was about to happen; they should have killed all those white people before they stepped foot on the beach! Tonto should take the Ranger out. I'd like to see THAT version.
comicb00kguy - 4/23/2012, 6:32 AM
Netman: I must take issue with you calling this a "shit movie". Shit is a useful and necessary, if somewhat unpleasant, byprduct of important life-sustaining biological processes. This film is neither useful nor necessary. Personally, I prefer the term "filth" to describe it, since filth is neither useful nor desirable.

Here we have Depp destroying yet another legendary character. When does it end?
ULTIMOSPIDER - 4/23/2012, 6:49 AM
i really don't see why the studio wouldn't of cast a native american to actually play this part. But i think Depp is getting ridiculed for something that is not his fault. Is it his fault the studio/director didn't cast a Native American? nope

As for the bird on his head, well who cares as long as he does a good job, i would like to see the god damn trailer before passing judgement ppl !!! sheesh

The internet is the greatest medium for JUMP THE GUN morons that i have ever seen
beane2099 - 4/23/2012, 11:27 AM
They need to tell Johnny Depp "no" every once in a while. I'm sorry that bird is moronical. So's the face paint. And I'm still not sure why the Lone Ranger is wearing black. But whatever, I'm not even here. That said, Nick of Time was a great movie. Just throwin' that opinion out there to the internet.
plasticman - 4/23/2012, 12:29 PM
I'll pass judgement on the finished product possibly in a different way. But it sure seems as if the Lone Ranger story is being torn apart in an attempt to add another notch under the belt of Mr. Depp.
If they took the werewolves out of the script and made it less about mysticism then I'm content for the timebeing. But mark may words if one of the thugs in this movie has just a few too many hairs on his back I'll jump ship.
I have strong thoughts that this is going to be only like the original in name alone.
Phlegmbot - 4/23/2012, 12:30 PM
@Luther - did you read the article? The artist himself said he's NOT historically accurate (only partially).

@AsgardianGangsta - agreed.
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