The recent announcement that Johnny Depp will be playing Tonto in a new Lone Ranger movie may have come as a surprise to many of you. It would make far more sense, you thought, if Depp were playing the titular hero himself, since a character of such timeless importance and broad cultural appeal as a blue fringe-wearing domino masked gay cowboy demands an actor of Depp’s stature. Why would anyone with that kind of brooding star power content himself with playing second fiddle? Well, as you’ve probably heard, Depp is part Cherokee. His heritage is very much a part of his life. No gringo could trade on cheekbones like that, you know. And no one can ignore the tell-tale signs of Depp’s Native American roots when he steps out on the red carpet dressed like a Victorian pornographer.
Like the famed Cherokee warriors of old, Johnny Depp has entered into a domestic partnership and mated with a European pop singer. No young brave could return to the village a man unless he carried over his shoulder some French or Lithuanian songstress with a frame so slight her bones are nearly hollow. In the lean years when pop stars were few and far between, some Cherokee were allowed to substitute snub-nosed supermodels or quirky bug-eyed actresses, and Depp has not strayed from exploring those cultural avenues as well.
Depp’s L.A. nightclub, the Viper Room, was named after the deadly Serpentine Viper, which the Cherokee held sacred as the hottest place to bring an impressionable young Disney Channel starlet with a bra full of speed balls. It’s no coincidence that the Viper Room rests on the picturesque Sunset Strip, either, since this is the name of the erotic dance in which Cherokee women engaged to encourage the sun to go down.
But Tanto won’t be the last exploration of his noble pedigree Johnny Depp will attempt on the big screen. It’s been overshadowed by the exciting announcements of Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Convolution’s Apex, Johnny Depp’s Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and TR2N: Research Shows Nostalgia Trumps Discernment, which may or may not star Johnny Depp as the MCP. No, Disney will also dip from the creative fountain of high-profile Hollywood remakes, producing a lavish blockbuster reimagining of Ernest Goes to Camp starring Johnny Depp. Surely he must be playing the title character, you’re thinking. Well, you just don’t understand Johnny Depp. No, he’ll once again step out of the limelight and serve up his particular brand of genetic lineage by donning the moccasins as Chief St. Cloud, the lynchpin role made famous by fellow Native American actor Iron Eyes Cody, who Johnny Depp killed and baked into a pie to absorb his essence as part of a traditional ascension ritual.
“I’m just honored to be a part of this amazing project,” Depp told the press. “I’ve always wanted to work with Richard [Linklater, the director], and I just jumped at the chance to show the world a side of the Cherokee people that’s more charming and handsome than the stereotypes they’ve been spoon fed all these years like so much Eggs Erroneous.”
Depp then smiled, shoved a feather in his Captain Jack Sparrow dreads, and proceeded to do a kind of hunched skip-dance while slapping his open mouth with the palm of his hand and chanting “woo woo woo woo woo woo woo”.
Ernest Goes to Camp 2010 will begin filming late next year. In addition to Depp, the movie stars Zac Efron as Ernest.
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