The History of The Versatile Johnny Depp
Are you a fan of Johnny Depp? Or enjoy his films? Then you should check out this article which breaks down the life of Johnny Depp and how he became one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood. Depp has many titles and accomplishments under his belt, including being labeled the sexiest man alive twice in his lifetime. Depp is loved for his versatility when it comes to the roles he plays and he used this to become one of the most talented actors in the industry.
Aside from being a party animal, Depp is a versatile actor who can play any role he wants and pulls them off extremely well. His deep relationship with Tim Burton is another reason why this man is loved by everyone worldwide, as they have made several amazing films together. So if you are interested to find out more about this man’s life, you should check out these astonishing facts about the versatile Johnny Depp.
A Star Was Born
Johnny Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963. He was the youngest out of four that belonged to Betty and John Depp. Depp’s father was a civil engineer, which led to the family moving around several times before finally settling in Miramar, Florida. Depp didn't have the best early childhood as his father was not the best to him and the rest of his family.
His parents divorced in 1978 when Johnny was just 15 years old, which crushed him and led to him not being interested in school. His mother married Robert Palmer, who became a great father figure to Depp while he was growing up.
Love For Guitar
Since Johnny Depp wasn't into school and didn’t get along with his father that much, his mother decided to buy him an electric guitar when he was 12 years old. Depp always wanted a guitar and looked up to guitar players such as Eddie Van Halen and Keith Richards. Depp wanted to learn all the tricks to playing the guitar and was thinking about forming a band at a young age.
Depp was thinking about music and how he could get better at playing. When it came to girls, Johnny wasn't interested even though all the girls wanted to be with him; it wasn't until later that Johnny started experimenting.
Johnny Depp was so serious about making music that he decided to drop out of high school and start a band named The Kids, which was a punk rock band that was getting popular locally in his hometown of Miramar. The Kids opened up for bands such as the Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Pretenders, and Talking Heads.
They started gathering a big following and decided to move the band to Hollywood, California. Depp’s band stayed together for a couple of months before they ended up splitting up and going their separate ways. Depp wasn't excited about the split, but it did open the opportunity to act.
Nicholas Urged Depp To Start Acting
Once Johnny Depp’s band split up he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. His wife at the time, Lori Allison, was good friends with Nicholas Cage and the two started talking about what Johnny wanted to do with his future. Since Nicholas Cage was already in the Hollywood industry, he saw the talent within Depp and convinced him to audition for a couple of gigs that he knew about.
It was a good thing that Cage urged Depp to start acting as he didn't think that he would be able to become an actor and didn't think he had it in himself. Cage was the perfect person to talk to as his father was a big name in the film industry.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
With the help of Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp scored his first role in the film A Nightmare On Elm Street as one of the jocks in the movie that Freddie Kreuger kills. Wes Craven said that the only reason that he went with Depp at first was that his daughter thought he was cute and said he would be perfect for the role, and boy was she right.
Depp’s scene in the movie was pretty memorable as he was a good-looking kid that gets swallowed by his own bed, which was something that never happened on screen. This was huge for being the first acting role that he got as he had no prior acting experience.
Johnny Depp's third major role that he scored was Oliver Stone's film Platoon which was released in 1986. Depp was supposed to play a bigger role in the film as Stone saw the potential in his acting and even wrote a whole script that involved his character. Unfortunately, Stone was forced to go with Charlie Sheen who was extremely popular at the time and was the person that the studios wanted to promote.
So Depp was cast as a side character in the film and didn't have that much screen time. Platoon might have been a completely different movie if Depp and Sheen's characters were switched up.
21 Jump Street
Johnny Depp started slowly getting his name out in the public and he scored big when he was offered a role on the hit television show series 21 Jump Street which first launched in 1987 and became a hit among the teens at the time.
Depp portrayed an undercover police officer that is working on a job in a high school that is infested with drugs and violence. Depp became super popular among young people as he was a good-looking teenager that knew how to act well. Depp always looks back to the time that he worked on 21 Jump Street and remembers that it was the start of his superstar career.
Depp Wanted Something More
Even though Johnny Depp was one of the leading television actors during the late 80s, he felt that the role he was playing was someone that he would never be and wanted something more from his acting career. He also felt that if he kept working on 21 Jump Street, he would be typecasted and would not fulfill his dreams. He started thinking about moving on but was still locked in a contract that he was not looking to break.
He even sat down with one of the creators, Stephen J. Cannell, who said that Depp was thinking about leaving but would never dishonor his contract if he was serious about it.
Since Johnny Depp was stuck in a contract and was unable to leave 21 Jump Street, he started rebelling and making it obvious that he didn't want to be part of the show anymore. This was the start of Depp's long career of rebelling and one of the reasons why he became the most popular young actor at the time. He was known to show up on set in the weirdest costumes including him dressing up as Elton John.
The production team slowly started noticing that Depp was looking to move on and that he didn't want to play the jock in high school.
Love For His Mother
Johnny Depp has given a lot of credit to his mother, Betty Sue Wells, who was a big inspiration in his life and the person that bought him a guitar at a young age. He believes that if it wasn't for his mother being around he would have never followed his dreams. He learned a lot from his mother as he didn't have the best relationship with his father.
His mother was a free spirit that allowed Johnny to do what he loved and he probably would have never become a musician without her help; almost every mother plays a significant role in every actor's life.
Cry-Baby was the first film that Johnny Depp starred in after he left the show 21 Jump Street and it was a surprise to everyone as it was a film that was quite different from the others that he had worked on. Depp played Wade Walker, who was the opposite version of the character he portrayed in 21 Jump Street and was why he wanted to be in the film so badly.
Even though it took everyone by surprise, the film made him even more popular and opened up more opportunities for him. Depp was sick and tired of playing the same good guy role and was looking for different roles that would challenge him.
Aside from becoming the next rising Hollywood star, Johnny Depp started becoming a notorious partier in Hollywood and would hang out with the biggest names in the industry. At this stage in his life, Depp was just looking to have fun and enjoy the Hollywood life, as when he was younger, he was more of an introvert.
This is also when Depp started dating almost every good-looking girl in Hollywood and became one of the most wanted men on the scene. Depp began making friends that were part of the music industry and was thinking about opening up a club in the heart of Los Angeles.
Opened The Viper Room
In 1993, Johnny Depp and Sal Jenco decided to open up a music venue named The Viper Room, which is located on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. The two actors met on the show 21 Jump Street and became good friends since they were both into rock'n'roll. The club became instantly popular among the Hollywood elite, rock stars, and regular individuals.
Almost every big band that you can think of was playing at this small venue in Hollywood and it became one of the most popular clubs during that time. Unfortunately, the death of actor River Phoenix made the place infamous and that is when Depp decided to part ways.
Edward Scissorhands was the first film that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton worked on together. Depp was impressed with the script and was delighted to meet Tim Burton himself, as the two had a lot in common and got along from the start. The film was released in 1990 and was a romantic fantasy with a Burton theme.
It was another milestone in Depp's career as this was another movie that put him in the spotlight. Depp worked with Winona Ryder, who he fell in love with and dated for a couple of years.
Labeled The Sexiest Man Alive
During the 90s, Johnny Depp was labeled the sexiest man alive and this wouldn't be the only time in his life that he would receive that title, overall he was given that title two times. It is hard to deny that Depp is a good-looking guy and every girl during the 90s wanted to date him.
Over the years Depp has been with numerous women, which was something he wasn't fond of when he was younger. This made Depp stand out from the rest with his unique look and the persona that he carried around with him.
Johnny Depp starred in the film Arizona Dream which showed a different side of his acting and proved that he was versatile with his roles. The film was released in 1993 and was a breakthrough role for Depp as the film received praise from many critics. The director, Emir Kusturica, was impressed by Depp's audition and was automatically interested in him being in the film.
He expressed that he was one of the most accessible actors to work with and knew exactly what was needed for each scene. Depp promised himself that he would never play the same role twice in a row, and he has kept that promise throughout his career.
Started Becoming Extremely Famous
Johnny Depp started becoming extremely popular when he was in his early 20s and he probably didn't realize that he would become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Depp was being offered movie roles left and right, but he only went for roles that interested him.
Depp was picky about the films he wanted to star in and really thought about it before pulling the trigger. Depp didn't want to star in any movie that was a big franchise and stayed away from that until later on in his life. He was still enjoying music and would often play at The Viper Room.
Close Relationship With Tim Burton
Ever since Johnny Depp and Tim Burton worked together on their first film, they formed a close relationship and worked on several films after since they were both like-minded. The two would end up making nine movies together and often would help each other in the process.
For some reason, Depp and Burton were the perfect duos to create films that had never been seen before. Burton's strangeness drew Depp in and was a big reason why he wanted to be part of his films. Burton has said nothing but good things about Johnny and thinks he is the most underrated actor.
The next film that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton worked on was Ed Wood, a film about the weird director Ed Wood. The whole film was shot in black and white, which made it stand out from the rest of the films in the 90s. Depp's performance was something that was never seen before and showed another side of what this actor could portray.
No matter how weird the scene was, Depp took it seriously and made the film enjoyable to watch even though many people didn't like it. This was another milestone in his career and it brought his relationship with Burton even closer.
Donnie Brasco was another film in Depp's career that was quite different from the rest. Depp was able to pull off the role of Donnie Brasco who was an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the New York Maffia during the 70s. The story was based on a true story and follows what happens to this undercover cop.
The film did so well that it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was a hit at the box office. This was another film that made Depp even more popular within the industry and worldwide. During this time, he was nailing almost every role that he was picking up.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas was a movie that made Depp a bit weird after filming since the whole story is about a drug-induced journalist that makes a trip to Las Vegas. The film is based on the novel Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas which was written by Hunter S. Thompson.
Depp was a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson and was a big inspiration in his life, it meant all the world to him when he was able to meet him in person and talk with him about the novel. The story was loosely based on Thompson's crazy drug life and Depp wanted to portray the character as best as he could.
Hunter S. Thompson Was An Inspiration
After the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas was released, Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp became really great friends and were known to party a lot. Depp always looks back on his relationship with Thompson and cherishes his moments with the legendary man.
Depp would be his good friend until he passed and has said that he still looks up to him even though he is no longer here with us. Depp stated that the man was quite attractive and was one of a kind; Depp even recalls Thompson teaching him the best drugs to take and how to handle them.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
In 1999, Johnny Depp received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since he was one of the most popular actors at the time. This was an excellent accomplishment for Depp, as he never thought that his acting career would go anywhere. Even though Depp was one of the most popular actors, he wasn't a fan of receiving awards and didn't look forward to the ceremonies.
This is quite surprising to some as it seems like he enjoys himself at such ceremonies. Depp has always been highly appreciative that Nicholas Cage pushed him to become an actor and would probably live a normal everyday life if he didn't.
Since Johnny Depp started taking on more serious roles, he decided to work on the film Blow, which was about the life of a cocaine smuggler by the name of George Jung. The film was directed by Ted Demme, who wanted Depp to portray Jung, which was the perfect choice.
The film did so well because it was based on the novel Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All, and Depp met with Jung himself so that he could represent him better. This was another great film that showed a different side of Depp's acting and why he became so loved everywhere.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were at it again when they started working on the film Sleepy Hollow, which was based on the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This film had a different tone from the short story as Burton liked to put his own twist on his films, and Depp was the perfect actor to help him achieve this.
The film did so well in theaters that it won an Academy Award for Best Production Design. This was, of course, a type of character that Depp performed very well and was something that he was beginning to enjoy as it was different than what he was used to.
From Hell was a film that Johnny Depp was delighted to work on since it was directed by the Hughes Brothers, who had a different outlook on making films. Depp gravitated toward directors that were willing to make something different from the norm.
The Hughes Brothers were known for making unique films, and when Depp heard that they wanted to make a film about the graphic novel From Hell, he was all in. The story is an interesting take on the murders of Jack the Ripper and was something that Depp wanted to be a part of.
Depp's Most Beloved Role
Captain Jack Sparrow is Johnny Depp's most beloved character that he has portrayed during his acting career and what everyone knows him as. It was surprising that Depp decided to accept the role of Captian Jack as he was someone that stayed far away from big franchise movies, but he decided to take a risk and go with it.
It is a good thing that he did because it elevated him to more than a Hollywood superstar as he became a legend around the world. Disney wasn't happy when Depp decided to create the character of Captain Jack as he saw fit but saw the potential that he was going to give to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
He Became An Even Bigger Star
Once the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was released, Johnny Depp became the most famous actor in the world, and everyone wanted to meet the legend that portrayed Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp was seen everywhere at the time and it was a big highlight in his career as he really enjoyed playing Captain Jack.
Depp loved playing Captain Jack so much that he got a sparrow tattooed on his hand that represents Captain Jack. Things would never be the same for Depp as he became more famous than he ever thought he would.
Johnny Depp's next big film was Secret Window which was overshadowed by his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow but was a film that he enjoyed because he liked the novel Secret Window, which Stephen King wrote.
Since Depp was famous for not playing the same role twice in a row, he decided to work on this film which was a horror thriller and something that he had never done before. The director and writer of the film, David Koepp, knew that Depp would be the perfect choice for the role and wanted his uniqueness in the film. Although the film had mixed reviews, people got to see a different side of Depp, which is exactly what he was going for.
Enjoys Private Life
Although the man is one of the most popular actors in the world, he likes to keep his life private and doesn't reveal too many details about his life to the press. You can't blame him for wanting a little privacy, especially in this age where everyone wants to know what you are doing.
Several people respect that Depp doesn't want to reveal things that other actors usually do, but others don't know their bounds. There have been a couple of incidents where Depp got into an altercation with the paparazzi, but who wouldn't, especially if they invade your privacy.
Johnny Depp wanted to try something new in his acting career and decided to lean toward movies for kids, his first being Finding Neverland. The film was based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan and was directed by Marc Forster, who thought Depp would be perfect for the role of J.M. Barrie.
His Brother Was A Big Influence In His Life
Another huge inspiration in Johnny Depp's life is his older brother Daniel Depp who inspired Johnny to listen to musical legends such as Bob Dylan and got him into movie soundtracks. Depp dropped out of high school when he was a teenager, which Daniel disagreed with but helped Johnny appreciate the works of writers such as Allen Ginsberg.
If it wasn't for Daniel, Johnny might not have appreciated specific topics that would interest him later on in life, and thanks to him dearly for showing him a different side of the world. Daniel is still close with his brother and always believed that he would be something big.
Sweeney Todd was another film that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton worked on together, and it was something different for the brilliant actor, as this time he would be singing in the film. Depp wasn't excited about the singing part of the role but wanted to make another film with Burton that was just different in every way.
The film was based on the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which Burton enjoyed immensely and thought that a film adaptation was needed. There was only one actor that came to mind when Burton was plotting the film: Johnny Depp. Even though Depp was hesitant about the singing, he enjoyed every aspect of the movie.
Never Won An Oscar
Although Johnny Depp is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, the superstar has never won an oscar. Depp won awards from the Golden Globes and Screens Actor Guild but, for some reason, has never won an oscar. He has been nominated three times for Best Actor but hasn't been able to win one.
Depp isn't too worried about this as he is not too fond of receiving awards and already has several other awards under his belt. This man's career isn't over yet, so there is still time for him to win an Oscar, but it is nice to see that winning an Oscar isn't the only thing he cares about.
Alice In Wonderland
Tim Burton wanted to make a live-action film based on the legendary Disney film Alice in Wonderland. The film ended up being a hit when it was released in 2010 and became one of Burton's most successful movies.
Of course, Burton had the help of Johnny Depp, who portrayed the Mad Hatter and was unique in every way possible. This was the perfect film for Burton and Depp to work on as both of them were famous for making unusual films. Depp was pretty happy with his role, and it was something that he never thought that he would be a part of.
One of the Funniest Actors To Work With
Apart from being a great actor, Johnny Depp is a great person to work with and always makes every opportunity fun when you are with him. There are not too many great actors with good personalities, but it is safe to say that Johnny Depp is indeed one of them.
Almost every director that has worked with Depp agreed that he is easy to work with and understands what he needs to do to get the job done. He always seems to have a smile on his face while he is working and tries to make everyone have a good time.
Deep Shadows was another Tim Burton film that was based on the soap opera Deep Shadows and starred Johnny Depp. Depp was interested in the movie from the start because he knew of the soap opera and thought that a film adaptation would be interesting to work on.
That wasn't the only reason Depp joined the cast, as his buddy Burton was the film director. Unfortanlety, people didn't like the film as much as they expected to, and it didn't do well at the box office. Depp didn't get discouraged by this and still wanted to work with Burton no matter what, as they were the best of friends.
Depp Owns His Own Production Company
In 2004, Johnny Depp decided to make his own production company called Infinitum Nihil, which he entrusted to be run by his sister Christi Dembrowski. The company has produced such films as The Rum Diary, Hugo, The Lone Ranger, and many more that are recognizable.
This was the perfect way for the actor to focus on films that he wanted to produce and act in. With his own production company, Depp could make big decisions and fund movies he truly believed in. The company focuses on films, but they have produced a couple of books as well.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was one of Johnny Depp's recent films that he starred in, which was set in the Harry Potter universe. This was unusual for Depp as he always stayed away from franchises except for the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Depp's performance was superb and different from any of the roles that he had played before.
Depp was supposed to be in the last film that concluded the trilogy, but things fell through when rumors surfaced about him being abusive towards his wife at the time Amber Heard.
His Love For Guitar Never Died
Even though Johnny Depp became one of the most prominent actors in Hollywood, he still had a deep love for guitar and kept playing throughout his whole career. His original band dispersed when he first arrived in Hollywood, but that didn't stop Depp from playing with some of the best musicians.
When Depp owned the Viper Room, he would often play on stage with bands such as Oasis and even recorded a song with the band as well. Depp always loved music, and it was the reason why he moved to Hollywood in the first place; if that didn't happen, he may have never become an actor. It is lucky for all of us that his love for music guided him toward acting.
Visits Hospitals On His Spare Time
Johnny Depp is one of the most down-to-earth actors on the planet and is known to sometimes dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow and visit the children's hospitals around the country. Depp is in full character when he interacts with these kids that are going through some hard times, and it is one of the best ways to cheer them up.
Depp has done this multiple times and has been one of the biggest donors in helping kids pay for their cancer treatments and other diseases. There are only a few in Hollywood that would do this, and it shows how great of a person Johnny Depp really is.
There hasn't been a painting seen yet, but apparently, Johnny Depp is a big fan of oil painting and has included it with his many hobbies. Depp admitted that he started oil painting after being inspired by Tim Burton's art.
Depp is also a big connoisseur of wine and has spent around $30,000 for a bottle of wine. He admitted that drinking wine was one of his favorite things, and he enjoyed it immensely. Besides playing the guitar, Depp is also good at playing the piano; this man is full of talent.
Johnny Depp Has Two Children
Since Johnny Depp likes to keep his personal life private, not many people know that the actor has two children: Lily-Rose Depp and John Christopher "Jack" Depp III. On the set of The Ninth Gate, Johnny Depp met their mother, Vanessa Paradis, and started a long, loving relationship.
The two never got married but always shared the responsibility of raising their children. Both of his children have an urge to act, which is a good thing since their father is one of the best; hopefully, we will see their names in future Hollywood films.
Depp's Drug Problems In The Past
Johnny Depp was labeled one of the biggest party animals in Hollywood, and with that came a lot of drug abuse. Depp has admitted that he has had a drug problem in the past and has gotten over that hump but is still known to experiment with drugs that are not as hard.
Depp would not be the first actor to suffer from drug abuse, and it is something that these Hollywood stars have to sometimes deal with as the business is full of drugs. The good thing is that Depp doesn't seem to have a drug problem anymore and continues to work hard at keeping it that way.
Most Underrated Actor
Many people in Hollywood have hinted that Depp is one of the most underrated actors in the industry, and several believe that he deserves more than he has gotten in terms of respect. A good number of directors think Johnny should have gotten an Oscar a long time ago since they have worked with him and have seen his talent up close.
Depp isn't the only one that has suffered a similar fate; Leonardo DiCaprio is another that is thought to have deserved more for what he has achieved on screen. Hopefully, Depp will get the respect that many people want him to have one day soon.
Depp Playing With His Band
Even though Johnny Depp is one of the most underrated actors, it seems that it really doesn't bother him as he loves playing with his band, Hollywood Vampires. The band was formed in 2012 and consists of Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, and Joe Perry.
Alice Cooper and Joe Perry are legendary rockers, which Depp never thought would ever be his fellow bandmates, and it was the perfect way to complete his rock n' roll dreams. The band is still together to this day, and we will probably see more of them in the future. It is a good thing that Johnny still has music in his life.
One of Depp's Last Films
One of Johnny Depp's last films was Waiting for the Barbarians, which was released in 2018 and is based on the novel of the same name which was written by J.M. Coetzee. This was a serious film that Depp was excited to be a part of and was a different role than he had ever portrayed.
Even though the film didn't receive the best reviews, the director and co-actor, Robert Pattinson, agreed that it was great working with Depp as he is one of the best in the industry. Unfortunately, Depp would have to take a break from acting as his personal life started to get in the way.
Rocky Divorce That Has Halted His Career
Johnny Depp met Amber Heard on the set of the film The Rum Diary and was instantly captivated by her beauty and charm. The two ended up dating for a couple of years before they got married in 2015, but things didn't go so well for them and Heard filed for divorce in 2016.
She claimed that Depp was physically and verbally abusive throughout the whole relationship, which has put the actor's career on halt as he is still dealing with legal issues. It is unsure what will come of this, but hopefully, the things being said by Heard are false.
Hopefully He Will Return To Acting
Johnny Depp has had a tremendous career in both acting and music; he started from nothing and worked his way up to become one of the most popular actors in the world and an inspiration to people that want to pursue a similar career.
Since Depp is dealing with legal issues, his acting career is kind of up in the air, but the good thing is that things are looking good for him legally, and many are hoping he will return to acting once everything settles. He is still loved worldwide, and many people still believe in him, so only time will tell what the future looks like for Johnny Depp.
I hope you have enjoyed this piece about the legendary and versatile Johnny Depp, who has captured people's hearts worldwide.