Johnny Depp has a bit of Native American blood in him—Cherokee to be exact. And now he can add Comanche to the mix.
Currently in New Mexico filming Gore Verbinski's big-screen update of The Lone Ranger, the Hollywood star has been formally adopted by the Comanche Nation thanks to his fictional alter ego Tonto. The Lone Ranger's stoic sidekick has always been depicted as a member of the tribe.
You heard that right, kemosabe.
"Johnny is reprising the historic role of Tonto, and it seemed like a natural fit to officially welcome him into our Comanche family," LaDonna Harris, a Comanche and president of Americans for Indian Opporunity, said to the Indian Country website. "I reached out, and Johnny was very receptive to the idea. He seemed proud to receive the invitation, and we were honored that he so enthusiastically agreed."
Depp accepted the honor in a ceremony held on May 16 at Harris' home in Albuquerque. Per tradition, the 48-year-old actor came bearing gifts for those Comanches who attended as a sign of gratitude.
"Welcoming Johnny into the family in the traditional way was so fitting," Harris added. "He's a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career, he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share."
For starters, while doing the publicity rounds last year for The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the Kentucky-born Depp revealed that he had a great-grandmother who was a Cherokee. He also sports a tattoo of a Native American.
There was no immediate comment from Depp on his honor. The Lone Ranger hits theater on May 31, 2013.