Depp to Native Youth: 'You're Still Warriors, Man'


And so the magazine-cover onslaught is underway. Expect to see Johnny Depp's Tonto-fied face (and bird-ified crown) all over your local newsstand—today, it's Rolling Stone. In the extensive cover story, Depp ruminates on his Hollywood success and his future, and addresses the role at hand: Tonto in The Lone Ranger.

ON THE COSTUME: "I wanted him to be no joke. ... First of all, I wouldn't f*** with someone with a dead bird on their head. Second of all, he's got the f***ing paint on his face, which scares me."

ON MOTIVATION: "I wanted to maybe give some hope to kids on the reservations. ... They're living without running water and seeing problems with drugs and booze. But I wanted to be able to show these kids, 'F*** that! You're still warriors, man.' "

The article also contains brief comments from LaDonna Harris, who adopted Depp into the Comanche Nation. The name bestowed on Depp, "Shape Shifter," "seems very descriptive," Harris says. Addressing criticism of the costume, which has been criticized as inauthentic, Harris says only, "The Comanche are very individualistic."

The story is in the July 4 issue, which is currently on sale. A shortened version is available at

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Nakima Geimausaddle's picture
Nakima Geimausaddle
Submitted by Nakima Geimausaddle on
Tonto's name still means IDIOT in Spanish, so tell me, how does that inspire our children?

Pamela J Shagonaby's picture
Pamela J Shagonaby
Submitted by Pamela J Shagonaby on
Please Johnny, you should have passed on this role. You actually dishonor us.

steph's picture
Submitted by steph on
No doubt that Depp has a great talent for acting. He needs to do something with that talent and tell the real story of the longest held political prisoner, Leonard Peltier. Make that statement of "hope" genuine.

Chelsea Tiokasin's picture
Chelsea Tiokasin
Submitted by Chelsea Tiokasin on
Thanks for the patronizing bullshit Depp. I've been surrounded by ogitchidaag my whole life. My father is a navy vet, my brother is in the Green Beret. Second, f*** you AND your stupid costume. It's not a part of the comanche nation, or any indigenous nation for that matter. It's based on a painting done by Kirby Sattler, who even admitted it was purely from his imagination and was in no way affiliated with any actual tribe/nation. Way to whitewash a role that was meant SPECIFICALLY for a Native actor. Just because you've been adopted into the Comanche nation DOES NOT mean you know anything about how our children live, or what it's like to live that kind of life. Oh you didn't want him to be joke? The moment you were cast, he was. The moment you decided he should base his image on an entirely fictional painting, "tonto" became a laughing stock. We are SO thankful to you for continually perpetuating racist hollywood stereotypes. Thanks so much Johnny!