Belfast Telegraph

Johnny Depp: I enjoy a peace pipe

Johnny Depp wouldn't describe himself as that spiritual, but he does enjoy smoking a "peace pipe".

In his new movie The Lone Ranger Johnny portrays Tonto, who is Native American. He started shooting with the aim of debunking myths about the race, as he dislikes them being regarded as "savages".

Johnny spent time with the Comanche tribe, who are based in New Mexico. He was shown a sweatbox ritual, which is a way of cleansing the body and mind and was adopted by a member of the tribe called LaDonna Harris. Both had a profound effect on the star, who believes he has Native American heritage.

"The name they chose for me means shape-shifter, which I suppose is quite apt and I take great pride in the choice. Being adopted, what it means and what it’s meant since that day, has given me so much in my life," he told British newspaper The Sun.

“I’m not a particularly spiritual person myself - the only church I have ever seen that makes sense to me is the sweatbox. I do smoke a peace pipe as often as possible, because I like peace... ”

LaDonna was happy to adopt Johnny because of his desire to portray Native Americans fairly.

It has long been a tradition within the tribe and she now refers to the Hollywood star as her son.

"I am sure lots of people are quite envious. When I told my other children they were quite surprised. But they have embraced Johnny and were happy to welcome him into our family," she said

“He is a charming man and we often speak on the phone.

“It is like any other mother-son relationship. I call him Johnny but he likes to use the Native America term for mom, which is Pia.”

The pair have grown close, with LaDonna accompanying Johnny to a US premiere of The Lone Ranger earlier this month.

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