PIC: Johnny Depp Transforms Into Tonto on The Lone Ranger Set

Johnny Depp filming "The Lone Ranger" on September 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. RIOS/XPOSUREPHOTOS.COM


Johnny Depp was hard at work on the set of The Lone Ranger — and completely in character.

Depp shot an action scene Thursday in full makeup and wardrobe as his character Tonto, the Lone Ranger's (Armie Hammer) Native American companion. The 49-year-old actor, looking unrecognizable in white and black face paint, and a black crow on his head, scowled at the camera while pulling a chain.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is known for his movie transformations and took his role in The Lone Ranger very seriously.

The actor, 48, told Entertainment Weekly he was actually inspired to update Native American Tonto's look after seeing a painting by the artist Kirby Sattler. 

"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," he told Entertainment Weekly. "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 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," Depp explained. "As you'll see, it's most definitely not that."

The Lone Ranger is set to hit theaters July 3, 2013.

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