Belfast Telegraph

Tribe makes Depp honorary member

Johnny Depp has been made a member of a native American tribe ahead of a starring role in a big screen version of The Lone Ranger.

The Dark Shadows actor has been adopted by the Comanche Nation tribe, which is based in New Mexico, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Depp will play Tonto, the masked Texas lawman's loyal Indian sidekick, in a big screen refresh of the seminal Western series.

He has already claimed a sliver of native American heritage (Cherokee or Creek), and now has a much bigger stake in the transformation.

Depp has now been formally adopted by the Comanche Indian tribe to which his Tonto belongs.

LaDonna Harris, a Comanche and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, heard about his film role and invited him to join the tribe.

"I reached out, and Johnny was very receptive to the idea," she told the website Indian Country. "He seemed proud to receive the invitation, and we were honoured that he so enthusiastically agreed."

The ceremony is reported to have taken place at Ms Harris's home, and the Hollywood star gave gifts to the attendees, as per tradition.

Ms 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 world view that indigenous peoples share."

The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is set for release in 2013.

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