Arts & Entertainment

NYT: 'Lone Ranger' isn't Johnny Depp's first role as an Indian

Johnny Depp was playing Indian long before his role as Tonto in The Lone Ranger:
Based on the novel by Gregory McDonald, “The Brave” follows this wastrel-with-a-heart-of-gold (played by Mr. Depp with a David Foster Wallace bandanna) in the last week of his life as he makes peace with his family and spends the $50,000 he has accepted to be tortured and murdered by a spiritual sadist (Marlon Brando).

The movie isn’t terrible, exactly — it’s not good — but it does raise the question: Why? Why spend the celebrity capital (not to mention the financial kind) he had so carefully, if eccentrically, amassed to make it? To get anything done in Hollywood, even if you are Johnny Depp, takes years of often heartbreaking obsession, not to mention millions of dollars. So for him to step behind the camera to make “The Brave,” bringing a historically underrepresented perspective to the screen, suggests he thought it was worth the trouble.

And that decision makes the choice of this honorary member of the Comanche nation to play the previously unflattering character of Tonto in “The Lone Ranger” all the more surprising.

Get the Story:
Equal Status, Kemo Sabe (The New York Times 6/30)

Related Stories:
WSJ: Other White actors with Indian roles on the big screen (6/28)
Opinion: Native media ignored at 'Lone Ranger' press junket (06/24)
The Onion: Indian Country in love with Tonto in 'Lone Ranger' (6/20)
Interview with Sonny Skyhawk on Indian roles in Hollywood (06/12)
Opinion: Blatant racism in Tonto's portrayal in 'The Lone Ranger' (06/03)

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