John Christopher Depp, Jr. was born in Kentucky in June of 1963. He started his creative journey with dreams of being in a rock band and he was… for a few years. Then he crossed paths with Nicolas Cage and a Hollywood star was born. Fast-forward 30 years and he has grown to become one of the most intense, creative and committed actors of our time. As well as being ridiculously handsome and painfully cool, he has proven his talent and artistic stretch with roles that required extreme commitment, courage and acting clout. Today we pay homage to this gorgeous weirdo with a rundown of five of his most pivotal roles.
Cry Baby, 1990
Although not successful after its initial release, Cry Baby proved that Johnny Depp was going to be really bloody good at creating a cult classic. It also allowed him to tackle a more off-beat role so he could shake the ‘teen idol’ label that he was slapped with after working on 21 Jump Street. This change of image would lead to arguably his most important role…
Edward Scissorhands, 1990
Probably his first notable role as it saw him pair up with director Tim Burton for the first time. The pair would go on to work together several times and form a close professional and personal bond in the process. This film was also the first time we saw Johnny Depp use his quirky magic to create a unique character both visually and emotionally. It raked in $54 million at the box office and became a cult classic in the years to come. It established Depp as a real A-list actor and saw him find his niche in darker roles.
Ed Wood, 1994
Continuing his professional journey with Tim Burton, Ed Wood saw Johnny take on the role of the cult filmmaker with weird and wonderful results which would become typical of the Depp/Burton relationship. The film received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for Johnny.
Donnie Brasco, 1997
When you’re cast in a gangster movie with Al Pacino, I’d say that’s pretty pivotal. And to gain critical acclaim among such a solid cast is testament to the raw talent that Depp continued to hone as his career progressed. His portrayal of an FBI agent infiltrating the mob was solid and believable and made it clear that he is most certainly not a ‘fugazi’…
Pirates of the Caribbean, 2003 and still going
Johnny Depp and Disney would never have been the most obvious of partnerships… especially when the film-to-be was based on a theme-park ride and Johnny was most definitely not the big-budget movie kind of actor. But once again he worked his magic on a character that could’ve so easily gone down the most obvious of pirate paths. Johnny created a Jack Sparrow who is rather off-kilter but still has a distinct suavity. Although the filmmakers questioned Depp’s choices at first, Jack Sparrow in all his over-the-top glory became a huge hit with audience members and helped spawn a slew of sequels. Is this crazy pirate drunk? Is he on drugs? Is he gay? Who bloody cares, he’s a riot to watch and that, my friends, is the Johnny Depp effect.