Depp at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival
John Christopher Depp II
June 9, 1963
Owensboro, Kentucky, U.S.
|Children||2; including Lily-Rose|
John Christopher Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, producer, and musician. He has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards, winning one for Best Actor for his performance of the title role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Actor, among other accolades. Depp made his film debut in the 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street, before rising to prominence as a teen idol on the television series 21 Jump Street (1987–1990). He had a supporting role in Oliver Stone's 1986 war film Platoon and played the title character in the 1990 romantic fantasy Edward Scissorhands.
Depp has gained critical praise for his portrayals of inept screenwriter-director Ed Wood in the film of the same name (1994), undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco (1997), author J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland (2004) and Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass (2015). He has starred in a number of commercially successful films, including Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Public Enemies (2009), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Tourist (2010), Rango (2011), Into the Woods (2014), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and its 2018 sequel. Depp also plays Jack Sparrow in the swashbuckler film series Pirates of the Caribbean (2003–present).
Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest film stars. He is the tenth highest-grossing actor worldwide, as films featuring Depp have grossed over US$3.7 billion at the United States box office and over US$10 billion worldwide. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness World Records as the world's highest-paid actor, with earnings of US$75 million. Depp has collaborated on eight films with director, producer, and friend Tim Burton. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015. In addition to acting, Depp has also worked as a musician. He has performed in numerous musical groups, including forming the rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires along with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.
Early life and ancestry
Depp was born on June 9, 1963, in Owensboro, Kentucky, the youngest of four children of waitress Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells) and civil engineer John Christopher Depp. Depp moved frequently during his childhood. He and his siblings lived in more than 20 different places, eventually settling in Miramar, Florida in 1970. Depp's parents divorced in 1978 when he was 15. His mother married Robert Palmer, whom Depp has called "an inspiration". At the 2016 Grammys, Depp played a song in tribute to Palmer, stating, "So the words of the song was this toast by my stepfather, who made his exit about 15 years ago. He was this really cool guy. He was a bit of a rounder. He spent about half his life in prison, in Statesville, Illinois. And he had this toast. 'Here's to you, as good as you are. Here's to me, as bad as I am. You're still as good as you are, as bad as I am.'" With the gift of a guitar from his mother when he was 12, Depp began playing in various bands. A year after his parents' divorce, he dropped out of Miramar High School to become a rock musician; he attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success, from 1980 to 1984. The Kids set out together for Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method, but the group split up before signing a record deal. Depp subsequently collaborated with the band Rock City Angels and co-wrote their song "Mary", which appeared on their debut Geffen Records album Young Man's Blues. On December 20, 1983, Depp married Lori Anne Allison, the sister of his band's bassist and singer. During their marriage, she worked as a makeup artist while he worked a variety of odd jobs, including as a telemarketer for a pen company. His wife introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage, who advised him to pursue an acting career. Depp and Allison divorced in 1985.
Depp is primarily of English descent, with some French, German, and Irish ancestry. He is descended from a French Huguenot immigrant (Pierre Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700) and from colonial freedom fighter Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630–1665), daughter of an English planter and his African slave. In interviews in 2002 and 2011, Depp claimed to have Native American ancestry, stating, "I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek Indian." Depp's claims came under scrutiny when Indian Country Today stated that Depp had never inquired about his heritage nor was he recognized as a member of the Cherokee Nation. This led to criticism from the Native American community, as Depp has no documented Native ancestry, and Native community leaders refer to him as "a non-Indian". Depp's choice to portray Tonto, a Native American character, in The Lone Ranger was criticized, along with his choice to name his rock band "Tonto's Giant Nuts". During the promotion for The Lone Ranger, on May 22, 2012, Depp was adopted as an honorary son by LaDonna Harris, a member of the Comanche Nation, making him an honorary member of her family but not a member of any tribe. Critical response to his claims from the Native community increased after this, including satirical portrayals of Depp by Native comedians. An ad featuring Depp and Native American imagery, by Dior for the fragrance "Sauvage", was pulled on August 30, 2019 after charges of cultural appropriation and racism.
1984–1989: Early roles and 21 Jump Street
Depp's first film role was in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), in which he played the boyfriend of heroine Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and one of Freddy Krueger's victims. After a starring role in the comedy Private Resort (1985), Depp was cast in the lead role of the skating drama Thrashin' (1986) by the film's director, but the decision was later overridden by its producer. Instead, Depp appeared in a minor supporting role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War drama Platoon (1986). Depp became a teen idol during the late 1980s, when he starred as an undercover police officer in a high school operation in the Fox television series 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. He accepted this role to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Despite his success, Depp felt that the series "forced [him] into the role of product." He subsequently decided to appear only in films that he felt were right for him.
1990–2002: Independent films and first collaborations with Tim Burton
In 1990, Depp played the title character in Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands, in which he starred opposite Dianne Wiest and Winona Ryder. The film was a commercial and critical success with a domestic gross of $53 million. It began his long association with Burton. Producer Scott Rudin has stated that "basically Johnny Depp is playing Tim Burton in all his movies"; although Burton disapproved of the comment, Depp agrees with it. In his introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, Depp called Burton "a brother, a friend, ... and [a] brave soul". Depp's first film release in 1990 was John Waters' Cry-Baby, a musical comedy set in the 1950s. Although it was not a box office success upon its initial release, over the years it has gained cult classic status.
Depp had no film releases in the following two years, with the exception of a brief cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), the sixth installment in the A Nightmare of Elm Street franchise. He appeared in three films in 1993. In the romantic comedy Benny and Joon, he played an eccentric and illiterate silent film fan who befriends a mentally ill woman and her brother; it became a sleeper hit. He then starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis in Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a drama about a dysfunctional family. In his review of the film, Todd McCarthy of Variety said that "Depp manages to command center screen with a greatly affable, appealing characterization." Depp's final 1993 release was Emir Kusturica's surrealist comedy-drama Arizona Dream, which opened to positive reviews.
In 1994, Depp reunited with director Tim Burton, playing the title role in Ed Wood, a biographical film about one of history's most inept film directors. Depp later stated that he was at the time depressed about films and filmmaking, but that "within 10 minutes of hearing about the project, I was committed." He found that the role gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun" and that working with Martin Landau, who played Bela Lugosi, "rejuvenated my love for acting". Ed Wood received a positive reception, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times writing that Depp had "proved himself as an established, certified great actor" and "captured all the can-do optimism that kept Ed Wood going, thanks to an extremely funny ability to look at the silver lining of any cloud." Depp was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance.
The following year, Depp starred in three films. He played opposite Marlon Brando in the box-office hit Don Juan DeMarco, as a man who believes he is Don Juan, the world's greatest lover. He then starred in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, a Western shot entirely in black-and-white; it was not a commercial success and had mixed critical reviews. Depp's final film of the year was in the financial and critical failure Nick of Time, a thriller in which he played an accountant who is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.
In 1997, Depp starred alongside Al Pacino in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell. He portrayed Joseph D. Pistone, an undercover FBI Agent who assumes the name 'Donnie Brasco' in order to infiltrate the mafia in New York City. To prepare for the role, Depp spent time with the real-life Joe Pistone, on whose memoirs the film was based. Donnie Brasco was a commercial and critical success, and is considered to contain one of Depp's finest performances. In 1997, Depp also debuted as a director and screenwriter with The Brave. He starred in it as a poor Native American man who accepts a proposal from a wealthy man, played by Marlon Brando, to appear in a snuff film in exchange for money for his family.
Depp was a fan and friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, and played his alter ego Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Terry Gilliam's film adaptation of Thompson's pseudobiographical novel of the same name.[a] Depp's next venture with Burton was the period film Sleepy Hollow (1999), in which he played Ichabod Crane opposite Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken. For his performance, Depp took inspiration from Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall and Basil Rathbone. He stated that he "always thought of Ichabod as a very delicate, fragile person who was maybe a little too in touch with his feminine side, like a frightened little girl."
Depp has generally chosen roles which he found interesting, rather than those he thought would succeed at the box office. Critics have often described Depp's characters as "iconic loners". Depp has referred to some of his less-successful films as "studio-defined failures" and "box office poison", and said that he thought the studios neither understood the films nor did a good job of marketing them.
2003–2011: Pirates of the Caribbean, commercial and critical success
In 2003, Depp starred in the Walt Disney Pictures adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was a major box office success. He earned widespread acclaim for his comic performance as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Depp has said that Sparrow is "definitely a big part of me", and that he modeled the character after The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and cartoon skunk Pepé Le Pew. Studio executives had at first been ambivalent about Depp's portrayal, but the character became popular with audiences. According to a survey taken by Fandango, Depp was a major draw for audiences.
Depp was again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Scottish author J. M. Barrie in the film Finding Neverland (2004). The following year he starred as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which reunited him with director Tim Burton, with whom he had not collaborated since Sleepy Hollow. The film was a box office success and had a positive critical reception, with Depp being nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Chocolate Factory was followed by another Burton project, stop-motion animation Corpse Bride (2005), in which Depp voiced the character Victor Van Dort.
Depp reprised the role of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates sequels Dead Man's Chest (2006) and At World's End (2007), both of which were major box office successes. He also voiced the character in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow. In 2007, Depp also collaborated with Burton for their sixth film together, this time playing murderous barber Sweeney Todd in the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Burton had first given him an original cast recording of the 1979 stage musical in 2000, and although not a fan of the musical genre, Depp had grown to like the tale's treatment. He cited Peter Lorre's performance in Mad Love (1935), in which Lorre played a "creepy but sympathetic" surgeon, as his main influence for the role. Although he had performed in musical groups, Depp was initially unsure that he would be able to perform the role, which required him to sing. He recorded demos and worked with Bruce Witkin to shape his vocals without a qualified voice coach. In the DVD Reviews section, Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty gave the film an A minus, stating, "Depp's soaring voice makes you wonder what other tricks he's been hiding ... Watching Depp's barber wield his razors ... it's hard not to be reminded of Edward Scissorhands frantically shaping hedges into animal topiaries 18 years ago ... and all of the twisted beauty we would've missed out on had [Burton and Depp] never met." Depp won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for the role, and was nominated for the third time for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
In Terry Gilliam's 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell each played the character initially portrayed by their friend Heath Ledger, who died before the film was completed. All three actors gave their salaries to Ledger's daughter, Matilda. Depp next starred in Michael Mann's 2009 crime film Public Enemies, in which he portrayed real-life gangster John Dillinger. The next Depp-Burton collaboration was Alice in Wonderland (2010), in which he played the Mad Hatter alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman. The following year saw the release of the fourth installment in the Pirates series, On Stranger Tides (2011), which was again a box office success. Depp also voiced the title character, a lizard, in the animated film Rango (2011). Depp returned to Hunter S. Thompson's work with a film adaptation of the novel The Rum Diary, which also became the first project undertaken by his production company, Infinitum Nihil.
2012–present: Career setbacks
Depp next starred in the Burton-directed Dark Shadows (2012) alongside fellow Tim Burton regular Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Eva Green. The film was based on a Gothic soap opera of the same name, which had aired in 1966–1971 and had been one of his favorites as a child. Depp and Graham King produced the film with David Kennedy. The film's poor reception in the United States brought Depp's star appeal into question. In 2012, Depp and his 21 Jump Street co-stars Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson briefly reprised their roles in cameo appearances in the series' 2012 feature film adaptation, which featured a much more comedic tone than the television series.
In 2013, Depp starred as Tonto in The Lone Ranger, opposite Armie Hammer as the title character. Depp's casting as a Native American in that film brought about whitewashing controversy, and the film was a box office bomb that caused Walt Disney Studios to take a US$190 million loss. The next year, Depp appeared in a minor supporting role as The Wolf in film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods. Depp played convicted Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger in director Scott Cooper's Black Mass (2015), which earned him his third nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Depp also filmed a cameo appearance for the film London Fields, which remained unreleased until 2018.
In 2016, Depp played businessman and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in a Funny or Die satire film entitled Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie. He earned praise for the role, with a headline from The A.V. Club declaring "Who knew Donald Trump was the comeback role Johnny Depp needed?" The same year, Depp reprised the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Depp was secretly cast to play Gellert Grindelwald in a cameo appearance in the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a role he was expected to reprise in all future sequels. Grindelwald is a dark wizard who once shared a close relationship with Albus Dumbledore, a major character in the Harry Potter film series. Depp was also cast as Dr. Jack Griffin / The Invisible Man in Universal Studios' planned shared film universe entitled the Dark Universe, a rebooted version of their classic Universal Monsters franchise. After the first film of the series, The Mummy (2017), received generally negative reviews from critics and performed below the studio's expectations at the box office, producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan left and Universal put the franchise on hold. In 2019, it was reported that Depp was no longer attached to the project.
In November 2016, Depp teamed with David Lynch, J. K. Simmons, Laura Dern, Penelope Ann Miller, Chad Coleman, Richard Chamberlain, Catherine Hardwicke, Theodore Melfi, Sam Raimi, Peter Farrelly, and the non-profit Make a Film Foundation for a volunteer project entitled The Black Ghiandola, a short film written by Anthony Conti. The movie is "a story about a young man risking his life to save a young girl he has grown to love, after his family has been killed in the Apocalyptic world of Zombies." The film was released in April 2017. The same year, Depp reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of the Pirates series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He also co-starred as part of an ensemble cast in the Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express (2017), as Edward Ratchett.
In 2018, Depp voiced the title character Sherlock Gnomes in the animated movie Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet, directed by John Stevenson. He also starred in City of Lies, the film adaptation of the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan. Depp portrayed Russell Poole, an LAPD detective who—with ally "Jack" Jackson (Forest Whitaker), an investigative journalist—attempts to solve the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.. The film was originally set for release in September 2018, but was pulled from release schedule one month before. It was later screened out of competition at the Noir Film Festival in Italy, but has not been released elsewhere. Depp also starred in the comedy-drama Richard Says Goodbye, which premiered at the Zurich Film Festival in October 2018.
His last film release of 2018 was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in which he reprised his role as Grindelwald. Depp's casting received criticism from fans of the series due to the domestic violence allegations against him. Depp was set to return as Grindelwald in the untitled third Fantastic Beasts film, but on November 6, 2020, announced that he had stepped down from the franchise following the outcome of his libel case against News Group Newspapers that found allegations of domestic violence committed by him to be "substantially true".
Film production company
In 2004, Depp formed his production company Infinitum Nihil to develop projects where he will serve as actor or producer. Depp is the founder and CEO, while his sister, Christi Dembrowski, serves as president. The company's first production came in 2011 with The Rum Diary, adapted from the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. The film is written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Also in 2011, Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, was released. Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton, was released in 2012.
Depp played slide guitar on the Oasis song "Fade In-Out" (from Be Here Now, 1997), as well as on "Fade Away (Warchild Version)" (B-side of the "Don't Go Away" single). He also played acoustic guitar in the film Chocolat and on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Mexico. "He's playing guitar around the fire," observed Depp's friend and future Hollywood Vampires bandmate Joe Perry of Chocolat. "And that's really him playing the guitar. He was playing Django Reinhardt stuff that I didn't have a clue about... In some ways, he's a better guitar player than I am."
He is a friend of The Pogues' Shane MacGowan, and performed on MacGowan's first solo album. He was also a member of P, a group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.
He has appeared in music videos for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Into the Great Wide Open", The Lemonheads' "It's a Shame About Ray", Avril Lavigne's "Alice" (as the Mad Hatter) in 2010, and "My Valentine" from Kisses on the Bottom by Paul McCartney released in February 2012, along with Natalie Portman. He played lead guitar and drums on a cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" – a bonus cut on Marilyn Manson's 2012 album Born Villain – and performed several songs with Manson at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in 2012.
Depp traded licks with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry on "The Brooklyn Shuffle", a song from Steve Hunter and The Manhattan Blues Project, which was scheduled for release on April 30, 2013. In 2014, Depp played electric guitar on the "Kansas City" track of Lost on the River, the Bob Dylan lyrics collaboration album by The New Basement Tapes. He filled in for Elvis Costello, who could not attend a recording session because of a previously scheduled concert with The Roots in Las Vegas.
In 2015, Depp formed the supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, where he also reunited with Bruce Witkin from his early 1980s band The Kids. They released their self-titled debut studio album on September 11, 2015, which featured eleven classic rock covers, as well as three original songs (all co-written by Depp). The band made their live debut at The Roxy in Los Angeles on September 16, 2015. Later that same month the group played at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil. In February 2016, Hollywood Vampires performed at the Grammy Award ceremony as a tribute to Lemmy, who had died at the end of 2015. Later that summer, the band embarked on their first world tour. In 2018, they embarked on another world tour, during which Depp sang David Bowie's "Heroes" as a tribute to the late singer. Hollywood Vampires have released their second studio album Rise on June 21, 2019. Unlike their debut, Rise consists mostly of original material, including songs written by Depp. The album also features a cover version of David Bowie's "Heroes" sung by Depp.
In 1993, Depp co-founded the nightclub The Viper Room in Los Angeles. He sold his share of the club in 2003. Together with Vanessa Paradis, Depp grew grapes and had wine making facilities in their vineyard in Plan-de-la-Tour north of Saint-Tropez, France. Along with Sean Penn, John Malkovich and Mick Hucknall, Depp also co-owned the restaurant-bar Man Ray, located near the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Depp married makeup artist Lori Anne Allison on December 20, 1983; they divorced in 1985. He was later engaged to actresses Jennifer Grey and Sherilyn Fenn in the late 1980s before proposing in 1990 to his Edward Scissorhands co-star Winona Ryder, for whom he tattooed "WINONA FOREVER" on his right arm. From 1994 until 1998, he was in a relationship with English supermodel Kate Moss. Following his breakup from Moss, Depp began a relationship with French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, whom he met while filming The Ninth Gate in France in 1998. They have two children, daughter Lily-Rose Melody Depp (born 1999) and son John Christopher "Jack" Depp III (born 2002). Depp stated that having children has given him "real foundation, a real strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything. ... You cannot plan the kind of deep love that results in children. Fatherhood was not a conscious decision. It was part of the wonderful ride I was on. It was destiny. All the math finally worked." In 2007, Depp's daughter was hospitalized at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London due to a serious E. coli infection, which resulted in temporary kidney failure. To show his gratitude for her recovery, Depp visited the hospital in November 2007, dressed in his Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, and spent four hours reading stories to the children. He also donated £1 million to the hospital the following year.
Relationship with Amber Heard
Depp and Paradis announced their separation in June 2012, and Depp subsequently began dating actress and model Amber Heard, whom he had met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2009. They were married in a private civil ceremony at their home in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce from Depp on May 23, 2016, and obtained a temporary restraining order against him, stating in her court declaration that he had been "verbally and physically abusive" throughout their relationship. In response, Depp's lawyers alleged that she was "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse." Heard testified about the abuse under oath at a divorce court deposition. Evidence of the alleged abuse from her court filings was also published in the media. A settlement was reached on August 16, 2016, and the divorce was finalized in January 2017. Heard dismissed the restraining order, and the former couple issued a joint statement saying that their "relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm." Depp paid Heard a settlement of US$7 million, which she donated to charity.
In early 2019, Depp sued Heard for US$50 million for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018, which he alleges "depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her," despite it not mentioning Depp or any of the alleged incidences of violence perpetrated by him. As part of the suit, Depp claimed that Heard had in fact physically abused him and that her claims were a hoax; Heard has denied these claims. In August 2020, Heard countersued Depp, alleging that he had coordinated "a harassment campaign via Twitter and [by] orchestrating online petitions in an effort to get her fired from Aquaman and L'Oreal".
Depp also brought a libel lawsuit in England against News Group Newspapers, the company publishing The Sun, which had called him a "wifebeater" in a 2018 article. On November 2, 2020, the High Court of Justice ruled that Depp had lost his claim and that "the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp [12 out 14] have been proved to the civil standard", with no evidence of a hoax against Depp being evident. Depp plans to appeal the decision. As a direct result of the verdict, Depp was asked to step down from from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise by Warner Bros., where he had portrayed the character for the first two installments; a decision he accepted. The actor was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the role.
Alcohol and drug use
Depp has struggled with alcoholism and addiction for much of his life. He has stated that he began using drugs by taking his mother's "nerve pills" at the age of 11, was smoking at age 12 and by the age of 14 had used "every kind of drugs there were". In a 1997 interview, Depp acknowledged past abuse of alcohol during the filming of What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993). In a 2008 interview, Depp stated that he had "poisoned" himself with alcohol "for years". In 2013, Depp declared that he had stopped drinking alcohol, adding that he "pretty much got everything [he] could get out of it"; Depp also said, "I investigated wine and spirits thoroughly, and they certainly investigated me as well, and we found out that we got along beautifully, but maybe too well." Regarding his breakup with longtime partner Vanessa Paradis, Depp said that he "definitely wasn't going to rely on the drink to ease things or cushion the blow or cushion the situation...[because] that could have been fatal."
In 2016, then-wife Amber Heard claimed that Depp "plunged into the depths of paranoia and violence after bingeing on drugs and alcohol," although a joint statement issued by Heard and Depp in connection with their divorce denied that either party intended "physical or emotional harm" to the other. In 2018, reporter Stephen Rodrick of Rolling Stone wrote that Depp had used hashish in his presence and described Depp as "alternately hilarious, sly and incoherent"; Rodrick also quoted Depp as stating that a claim that he had spent US$30,000 per month on wine was "insulting" because he had spent "far more" than that amount. During his 2020 libel trial, Depp admitted to having been addicted to Roxicodone and alcohol in the 2010s.
Depp was arrested in Vancouver in 1989 for assaulting a security guard after the police were called to end a loud party at his hotel room. He was also arrested in New York City in 1994 after causing significant damage to his room at The Mark Hotel, where he was staying with Kate Moss, his then-girlfriend. The charges were dropped against him after he agreed to pay US$9,767 in damages. Depp was arrested again in 1999 for brawling with paparazzi outside a restaurant while dining in London with Paradis.
In 2012, disabled UC Irvine medical professor Robin Eckert sued Depp and three security firms, claiming to have been attacked by his bodyguards at a concert in Los Angeles in 2011. During the incident, she was allegedly hand-cuffed and dragged 40 feet across the floor, resulting in injuries including a dislocated elbow. She argued in court that, as the security guards' direct manager, Depp failed to intervene, even though he did not actively take part in the battery. Before the case went to trial, Depp settled with Eckert for an undisclosed sum, according to TMZ.
In April 2015, Depp and his wife Amber Heard breached Australia's strict biosecurity laws when they failed to declare their two Yorkshire Terriers to the Australian Customs Service when they flew by private jet into Queensland, where he was working on the fifth Pirates installment. Australian quarantine regulations, which are aimed at keeping rabies out of the country, require dogs from outside the country be quarantined a minimum of ten days. Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document. Shortly afterward, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said, "If we start letting movie stars even though they've been the 'sexiest man alive' twice to come into our nation, then why don't we just break the laws for everybody? It's time that Pistol and Boo [the dogs] buggered off back to the United States." In September 2015, when promoting his film Black Mass at a press conference for its world premiere in Venice, Depp joked that he "killed his dogs and ate them ... under direct orders from some kind of sweaty big-gutted man from Australia."
In April 2016, Heard appeared in a magistrates' court in Southport, Queensland pleading guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she was sleep deprived and made a mistake. The two biosecurity charges were dropped, and she was placed on a one-month good behaviour bond, paying an A$1,000 fine for producing a false document. Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the biosecurity laws. The Guardian called the case the "highest profile criminal quarantine case" in Australian history.
In March 2016, Depp cut ties with his management company, The Management Group (TMG), and sued them in January 2017 for allegedly improperly managing his money and leaving him over $40 million in debt. TMG stated that Depp was responsible for his own fiscal mismanagement, alleging that he had spent over $2 million monthly, and countersued him for unpaid fees. In a related suit, Depp also sued his lawyers, Bloom Hergott, in January 2017. Both lawsuits were settled, the former in 2018 and the latter in 2019.
In 2018, two of Depp's former bodyguards sued him for unpaid fees and unsafe working conditions. The suit was settled in 2019. Also in 2018, Depp was sued for allegedly punching a crew member twice in the ribs during a foul-mouthed tirade on the set of City of Lies. Court documents stated that the actor "reeked of alcohol" and took drugs on set.
Political and religious views
Depp stated to the German magazine Stern in 2003 that "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth—that can bite and hurt you, aggressive." Although he later asserted that the magazine misquoted him and his words were taken out of context, Stern stood by its story, as did CNN.com in its coverage of the interview. CNN added his remark that he would like his children "to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out." The July 17, 2006, edition of Newsweek reprinted the "dumb puppy" quotation, verbatim, in the context of a Letter to the Magazine. Depp has also disagreed with subsequent media reports that perceived him as a "European wannabe", saying that he liked the anonymity of living in France while in a relationship with Paradis and his simpler life there. Depp became a U.S. resident again in 2011, because France wanted him to become a permanent resident, which he said would require him to pay income tax in both countries.
On the October 16, 2011, episode of Larry King Live, when asked if he had faith, Depp replied: "Yes. I have faith in my kids. And I have—I have faith, you know, that as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward, things will be all right, I suppose, you know. Faith in terms of religion, I don't—religion is not my specialty, you know."
At the Glastonbury Festival 2017, Depp ranted against U.S. President Donald Trump. Depp controversially asked: "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?", before adding: "I want to clarify: I'm not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it's been a while and maybe it's time." He then said that he was "not insinuating anything". The comment seemed to reference John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Shawn Holtzclaw of the Secret Service told CNN that they were "aware" of Depp's comment, but said: "For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities". The next day, Depp apologized for making these remarks, saying: "It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone."
Awards and nominations
by Shane MacGowan & The Popes
|"That Woman's Got Me Drinking"|
|Guitar, bass, & background vocals|
|1997||Be Here Now
"Fade Away (Warchild Version)" (B-side)
by Iggy Pop
|"Hollywood Affair" (B-side)|
by Vanessa Paradis
|"St. Germain" – writing credit,|
"Bliss" – writing credit,
"Firmaman" – guitar
"They're Red Hot",
|2003||Once Upon a Time in Mexico||"Sands' Theme" – composer/producer|
|2007||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street||Various|
by Glenn Tilbrook & The Fluffers
|"Too Close to the Sun"|
|2010||"I Put a Spell on You" (single)
by Shane MacGowan & Friends
|2011||The Rum Diary – Soundtrack
|"Kemp in the Village" – producer/composer/guitar|
"Mermaid Song" – piano
|From Gainsbourg to Lulu
by Lulu Gainsbourg
|"Ballade de Melody Nelson" – guitars, bass, drums, & duet with Vanessa Paradis|
|The Pleasures of Self Destruction
|"The Jesus Stag Night Club"|
|2012||Aerosmith: Music from Another Dimension!
by Marilyn Manson
|"You're So Vain"|
by Jup & Rob Jackson
|West of Memphis: Voices of Justice – Soundtrack
|"Little Lion Man"|
"Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16"
|2013||Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys
|"The Mermaid" by Patti Smith – guitar|
|The Manhattan Blues Project
by Steve Hunter
|"The Brooklyn Shuffle"|
by Vanessa Paradis
|The Lone Ranger: Wanted (Music Inspired by the Film)
|"Poor Paddy on the Railway" – guitar|
"Sweet Betsy from Pike" – arrangement
|2014||Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes
by The New Basement Tapes
|Into the Woods – Motion Picture Soundtrack||"Hello, Little Girl"|
by Hollywood Vampires
|Guitar, backing vocals, keyboard & sound design|
|Afraid of Ghosts
by Butch Walker
|"21+" - Guitar|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Johnny Depp.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Johnny Depp|
- Johnny Depp on IMDb
- Johnny Depp at Rotten Tomatoes
- Johnny Depp on Instagram
- Johnny Depp at People.com
- Johnny Depp on Charlie Rose
- Johnny Depp collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- "Johnny Depp collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- Works by or about Johnny Depp in libraries (WorldCat catalog)