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.
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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