Almost exactly a year before Johnny Depp hits the big screen as the famous Native American sidekick Tonto in the Lone Ranger remake, he has been adopted by the group to which the character belongs: the Comanche Indian tribe.
The formal adoption was conducted last week, according to LaDonna Harris, a fellow Comanche and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity who shepherded the process after hearing of Depp’s role in the upcoming film. “I reached out, and Johnny was very receptive to the idea,” Harris told IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com. “He seemed proud to receive the invitation, and we were honored that he so enthusiastically agreed. Welcoming Johnny into the family in the traditional way was so fitting.”
Harris added: “He’s a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career, he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share.”
Depp originally signed on for the role of Tonto in next May’s The Lone Ranger partly to change the way Native Americans have been depicted in film and “take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans … and turn it on its head.” Depp has also stated in the past that he is likely to have some “Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian” in his family lineage.