Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 May 2015

Depp: Tonto a warrior, not sidekick

Johnny Depp wanted to make Tonto more than just a film sidekick
Johnny Depp wanted to make Tonto more than just a film sidekick

Johnny Depp has revealed he wanted to portray Tonto as a warrior in his own right, and not just as the Lone Ranger's right-hand man.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star, who takes on the role in Gore Verbinski's upcoming film The Lone Ranger, alongside Armie Hammer in the title role, said he wanted to reinvent the Native American character.

"Since cinema has been around, Native Americans have been treated very poorly by Hollywood," Johnny told Total Film.

"What I wanted to do was play Tonto not as a sidekick - like 'Go fetch a soda for me, boy!' - but as a warrior with integrity and dignity. It's my small sliver of a contribution to try to right the wrongs of the past."

Johnny revealed the role is quite personal for him. "I'm probably one sixteenth Native American, but of course that's hard to trace," he said.

The Lone Ranger, which also stars Johnny's frequent collaborator Helena Bonham Carter and Ruth Wilson, opens in the UK on August 9.

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