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For a few months now, people have been trying to figure out what the deal is with Johnny Depp’s depiction of Tonto in Jerry “Jake Gyllenhaal is my Prince of Persia” Bruckheimer’s remake of “The Lone Ranger.”  There were a lot of questions specifically about the dead crow sitting on his headdress, since it is not a known Native American accouterment.

Today, Depp told Entertainment Weekly that the look is based on a painting by artist Kirby Sattler (painting on the right.)  Sattler states on his website:

“The portraits I paint are composites created from a variety of visual references coupled with my imagination.  While being broadly based in a historical context, my paintings are not intended to be viewed as historically accurate. I used the combination of face paint and  headdress as an artistic expression to symbolize the subject’s essence and his affinity to the Crow.”

What’s laughable (or painful) depending on how you look at it, is that Sattler never intended to have a bird perched on the head of the guy in his painting.  The bird in the painting is supposed to be flying past the subject of the portrait as part of a flock of birds in the background.  

Depp explains how the bird ended up affixed to Tonto’s head in the film:

"I 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."

  1. myrtleperiwinkle reblogged this from racebending and added:
    HAHAH. depp. you fail so bad.
  2. ru-fio reblogged this from hammandbuble
  3. hammandbuble reblogged this from stopwhitewashing
  4. heytherefeministcupcake reblogged this from aneternalscoutandabrownie and added:
    I think I reblogged this once before and expressed my disappointment about not only casting a white actor to play a...
  5. snackwells reblogged this from typeatsundere and added:
    Hey, guys, I want this to be authentic. I want to do so much research that it hurts. I want to bring Tonto to life....
  6. bitterseafigtree reblogged this from boygeorgemichaelbluth and added:
    Johnny…Johnny I like you…don’t do this to me, Johnny.
  7. boygeorgemichaelbluth reblogged this from racebending and added:
    ew johnny.
  8. nerdlover510 reblogged this from racebending
  9. typeatsundere reblogged this from stopwhitewashing and added:
    I’m going to need Johnny Depp to stop and take a long look at his life. He talks about how much research he’s done on...
  10. conmodos reblogged this from stopwhitewashing
  11. badndngirl reblogged this from aneternalscoutandabrownie and added:
    "It’s his spirit guide in a way"?
  12. hardhatpartycat reblogged this from stopwhitewashing
  13. aneternalscoutandabrownie reblogged this from stopwhitewashing and added:
    Johnny Depp, I am so disappointed in you. Also, apart from how offensive all this is, the bird thing looks ridiculous....
  14. vivanlosancestros reblogged this from stopwhitewashing and added:
    ugh fuck this, no longer a Johnny Depp fan
  15. stopwhitewashing reblogged this from racebending and added:
    Kamanitree: Um, are you kidding Mr. Depp? I just thought let’s make a dead bird an inspiration because hey, it sounds so...
  16. darksyx reblogged this from racebending and added:
    Okay, Hollywood.
  17. adultgameprotagonist reblogged this from racebending
  18. gloryandus reblogged this from racebending
  19. beldamsansmerci reblogged this from racebending and added:
    As much as I agree with this post, I think the bird-on-head look was intended. Check out this other...
  20. summakumbaya reblogged this from racebending
  21. racebending posted this