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Interview: “The Lone Ranger” Star Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny DeppThe new Tonto talks family, his career and controversy.

Known around the world for films such as “The Pirates of The Caribbean” trilogy, his billion-dollar-making movies with Tim Burton such as “Alice In Wonderland”, and for being one of the most famous stars on the planet, Johnny Depp comes to town to promote his new film, “The Lone Ranger”.

A reboot of the much loved Western character, the film stars Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) in the title role, with Depp as his reluctant partner, Native American Tonto. “I wanted Tonto to be believable, because he’s a warrior, so I did some training to get fit” he explains. “I wanted to do it (the training) because I knew what it was like making a film with Gore (Verbinski, director) and Jerry (Bruckheimer, producer). Also, ‘cause I’m old!” he chuckles.

Lone RangerThe film has attracted some criticism for the way Native Americans are portrayed, but Depp, who revealed during the production of the film that he has Native American heritage, brushes off the controversy as unfounded. “It was important how the character was portrayed in the film” he says. “I wanted (Native Americans) to be portrayed honestly” he says. “It is a great culture, a great people with unbelievable humour.” He also greatly appreciates the ‘culture’ of fans who flocked to Leicester Square for the film’s premiere last month. “I love coming here” he says, “everywhere we’ve been the fans are always seem pleased to see us, and I’m pleased to see them!”

He’s been a teen idol, a blockbuster franchise star, and a serious dramatic lead… but Depp insists he has a curious relationship with his profession. “I don’t think I have developed a taste for acting yet” he reveals, before adding cheekily “but I’ve had worse jobs!” He did, however, reveal his acting hero growing up, a man whom Depp himself has been compared to in his younger days. “Marlon Brando” he says, without hesitation.

Johnny Depp in makeup for Lone RangerFinally, of all the achievements in his fifty years, which is the most important to the actor?  “My kids.” he replies with a fond smile. “My daughter Lily-Rose who’s 14; my boy Jack who’s 11. There’s nothing I’ve done in terms of anything else in existence that comes close. So my kids are most important,”

“The Lone Ranger” is released 9th August and is reviewed in this issue

James Luxford
About James Luxford (39 Articles)
Film journalist - all views my own