Johnny Depp recently spoke about his take on the iconic native american Tonto from The Lone Ranger, which is currently in production and set for release May 31, 2013. The actor revealed that he drew his inpiration for the character from a Kirby Sattler painting entitled I Am Crow. Take a look at the original painting, and read what the actor had to say about this work of art.
"I'd actually seen a painting by an artist named Kirby Sattler, and looked at the face of this warrior and thought: That's it. The stripes down the face and across the eyes ... it seemed to me like you could almost see the separate sections of the individual, if you know what I mean. It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior's head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top. I thought: Tonto's got a bird on his head. It's his spirit guide in a way. It's dead to others, but it's not dead to him. It's very much alive."
The actor also talked about why he took the role.
"The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to mess around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least - especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger's assistant. As you'll see, it's most definitely not that."
The Lone Ranger's origin story begins with a group of Texas Rangers chasing down a gang of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. The gang ambushes the Rangers, seemingly killing them all. One survivor is found, however, by an American Indian named Tonto, who nurses him back to health. The Ranger, donning a mask and riding a white stallion named Silver, teams up with Tonto to bring the unscrupulous gang and others of that ilk to justice.