Johnny Depp filmography and biography
Date of birth: 9 June 1963, Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Johnny Depp biography
Born John Christopher Depp in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963,
Johnny Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school at age 15
in the hopes of becoming a rock musician. He fronted a series of garage
bands including The Kids, which once opened for Iggy Pop. Depp
got into acting after a visit to Los Angeles, California, with his
former wife, Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp), who introduced
him to actor Nicolas Cage. He made his film debut in
A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 1987 he shot to stardom
when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy
Hanson in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street.
In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a handful of great collaborations with director Tim Burton (I) came about when Depp played the title role in Edward Scissorhands. Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprised critics and audiences alike. He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity by appearing in many features before re-joining with Burton in the lead role of Ed Wood. In 1997 he played an undercover FBI agent in the fact-based film Donnie Brasco, opposite Al Pacino; in 1998 he appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam; and then, in 1999, he appeared in the sci-fi/horror film The Astronauts Wife. The same year he teamed up again with Burton in Sleepy Hollow, brilliantly portraying Ichabod Crane.
Depp has played many characters in his career, including another fact-based one, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell. He stole the show from screen greats such as Antonio Banderas (I) in the finale to Robert Rodriguez (I)'s "mariachi" trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In that same year he starred in the marvelous family blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, playing a character that only the likes of Depp could pull off: the charming, conniving and roguish Capt. Jack Sparrow. Now Depp is collaborating again with Burton in a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Off-screen, Depp has dated several female celebrities, and has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. He was married to Lori Anne Allison in 1983 but they divorced her in 1985. Depp is living with French singer-actress Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children: Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999 and Jack, born in 2002. Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood, who has recuperated his image greatly since his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the acclaimed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with a supporting cast of Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush.
Though highly successful now, Depp's early life, strangely, was as a rebel, and he took to vandalism and narcotics. He dropped out of school when he was 15, and he fronted a series of music-garage bands, including one named The Kids. However, it was when he married Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp) that he took up the job of being a ballpoint-pen salesman to support himself and his wife. A visit to Los Angeles, California, with his wife, however, happened to be a blessing in disguise, when he met up with actor Nicolas Cage, who advised him to turn to acting, which culminated in Depp's film debut in the low-budget horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, where he played a teenager who falls prey to dream-stalking demon Freddy Krueger. Three years later, Depp achieved fame as police cop Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street (1987-90), and in 1990, he was firmly established as a leading Hollywood actor with the Tim Burton (I) movie Edward Scissorhands, where he played a sad-faced, tragic hero who has scissors for hands.
From then on, Depp was selective of his choice of roles in movies, and he more often than not played dark, sinister characters on-screen. He played an undercover FBI agent in Donnie Brasco, in which he co-starred with Al Pacino; a druggie in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; and in two more Tim Burton (I) ventures, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow, with Christina Ricci and Casper Van Dien. He filmed a fifth Tim Burton (I) film, Corpse Bride, as well as being committed for another Tim Burton (I) production, where he plays Willy Wonka in the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the classic children's novel by Roald Dahl.
During his career, Depp has, unfortunately, gotten himself under bad public scrutiny. He was accused of selling drugs at his own club, The Viper Room, in regard to the legendary celebrity, River Phoenix, who died outside the club due to drug overdose in 1993. The following year, Depp was arrested for smashing and trashing a New York suite. And, in 1999, he was arrested in London for being in a fight with paparazzi outside a restaurant.
Although he gained popularity since the success of Edward Scissorhands, Depp wasn't hugely famous for many years until his portrayal of the suave, charming Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. With the film's enormous success, it has opened several doors for his career and even included an Oscar nomination. He appeared as the central character in the Stephen King (I)-based movie, Secret Window; as the kind-hearted novelist James Barrie in the factually-based Finding Neverland, where he co-starred with Kate Winslet; and most recently as Rochester in the British film, The Libertine.
Johnny Depp trivia
- (1995) Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History" (#1).
- (27 May 1999) Daughter, with Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Melody Depp.
- (January 1999) Arrested for being in a fight with paparazzis in front of a restaurant in London.
- (October 1997) Ranked #67 in Empire (UK) magazine's The Top-100 Movie Stars of All Time list.
- (1996) Chosen by People (USA) Magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
- (1995) Voted Empire's (UK) Sexiest Male Movie Star of All Time.
- Has twice recorded with British band Oasis (I). Most notably, he plays lead slide guitar on the track "Fade In-Out", from the 1997 album Be Here Now. Noel Gallagher (II), Oasis's lead guitarist, was allegedly too drunk to perform it himself, so celebrity pal Depp stepped in and nailed the lead on one take.
- (1994) Arrested for trashing a New York hotel room. Depp claimed that an armadillo was responsible, saying that he had found the animal hidden in a closet and it had gone crazy, wrecking the hotel room before leaping out the window.
- Ex-fiancÃ©es: Sherilyn Fenn, Kate Moss, Jennifer Grey and Winona Ryder.
- When engaged to Winona Ryder, he had "Winona forever" tattooed on his arm. After the broke up, he had the n and a surgically removed to simply say "Wino forever!"
- Was the guitarist in a band called The Kids.
- Currently plays in a band called P.
- Adopted Goldeneye, the one-eyed Andalusian horse who played Gunpowder, Ichabod Crane's steed in Sleepy Hollow, thereby saving him from the glue factory.
- Got his "Betty Sue" tattoo May 31, 1988.
- Named one of E!'s Top 20 Entertainers of 2001.
- Son, Jack, born to him and Vanessa Paradis on April 9, 2002, in Neuilly, France, weighing just over 7 lbs.
- Chosen #2 on E!'s 25 sexiest entertainers list
- With Chuck E. Weiss, Depp reportedly paid US $350,000 for the Central Nightclub in Los Angeles, California, and turned it into the Viper Room at 8852 Sunset Blvd. Other stars in contention to buy the club in 1993 included Arnold Schwarzenegger and, separately, Frank Stallone (I).
- Lists British comedy The Fast Show -- renamed "Brilliant" for US television -- as his favorite TV program of all time. He used to take tapes of the series on tour with him to keep him amused. Made a guest appearance in the last-ever sketch in its last-ever episode.
- Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2001.
- Wrote the foreword to Mark Salisbury's biography of Tim Burton (I), "Burton on Burton." He credits Burton's belief in him for rescuing him from being "a loser, an outcast, just another piece of expendable Hollywood meat."
- Johnny's two children with Vanessa Paradis have the same names of the two main characters in Legend: Lily (b. 1999) and Jack (b.2002).
- His long-time girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, is a popular singer-songwriter in her native France, as well as an aspiring actress.
- Gave Noel Gallagher (II) a white guitar with the letter "P" on it, which he regularly plays during Oasis (I)' gigs. "P" is the name of a band that Depp was in.
- Has a song about him by the late famed schizophrenic Chicago street artist Wesley Willis.
- Parents: John Christopher Depp and Elizabeth "Betty" Sue Wells. His parents divorced when he was 15.
- He wanted some of his teeth to be gold-capped for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl but thought the producers would never agree. He found a dentist and had lots more capped than he wanted. Disney boss Michael Eisner (I) like them but thought there were way too many and told Depp to remove all but a few.
- Resides in France and Los Angeles.
- Siblings: Danny (D.P. Depp), Christi Dembrowski, and Deborah (Debbie).
- Was People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2003.
- The building in which Depp's Viper Room is housed was once owned by infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel.
- Chosen as E!'s 2003 Entertainer of the Year.
- According to the liner notes for the soundtrack CD of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, he wrote his own theme music, the music for Sands (Track 9 on the CD).
- Shot all of his scenes in nine days for Once Upon a Time in Mexico, but after his filming was done he didn't want to leave. So he suggested to Robert Rodriguez (I) that he play a small part, the priest that Antonio Banderas (I) talks to in the church, and use his Marlon Brando impression.
- Reportedly based his portrayal of "Ichabod Crane" in Sleepy Hollow on "Withnail" from Withnail amp; I, as played by Richard E. Grant.
- Has been in seven films in which the title contains the name of the character he plays: Edward Scissorhands, Cry-Baby, Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Donnie Brasco, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- Persuaded actor Rey-Phillip Santos to give acting a try.
- Received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 19 November 1999. Tim Burton (I) and Martin Landau were guest speakers.
- Has a niece, Megan: she works for popular online entertainment magazine TYCP.
- Was ranked #5 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties.
- Based the character of Captain Jack Sparrow on rock legend Keith Richards (II) and the Looney Tunes character, Pepe Le Pew.
- Purchased Bela Lugosi's Los Angeles home.
- Sports his son's name, Jack, tattooed on his arm and a beaded bracelet made by his daughter Lily Rose.
- Is hugely interested in Jack the Ripper.
- Ranked #4 in TV Guide's list of TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols (23 January 2005 issue).
- Has something in common with actor Robert Englund, famed for portraying dream-stalking Freddy Krueger in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. Both of them appeared in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, and both had played characters with blades for hands: Englund as Freddy Krueger, and Depp as the title character in Edward Scissorhands. And, strangely, both of them were born in June, with their birthdays three days apart, and they share the same height, which is 5' 10".
- A movie buff (with a somewhat encyclopedic knowledge of older films), he admits he watches few movies any more, other than the children's films that his "kiddies" prefer. He also enjoys most of them.
- Loves watching animated films with his daughter such as Shrek and Finding Nemo.
- Co-owns a restaurant/club in Paris called Man Ray (named after avant-garde artist Man Ray (I)) with Sean Penn (I) and John Malkovich. The restaurant is located in a renovated theater and serves Tibetan cuisine.
- Premiere Magazine ranked him as #47 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
- When he was cast as "Willy Wonka" in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, many newspapers published headings about "Depp's Willy" and "Deppy's Willy is a Bit Wonkier".
- Apparently conceived his portrayal of Edward D. Wood Jr. as a cross between Ronald Reagan (I) (the wobbly-headed thing), the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and the voice of Casey Kasem.
- Dropped out of high school at 16 to pursue a career as a musician.
- As a teen, he and his punk/new wave band "The Kids" opened for Iggy Pop, Duran Duran, and 'The B-52s, among others.
- As a child, he was allergic to chocolate.
- In 2004, RenÃ©e Zellweger accepted the Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role" on his behalf, because he wasn't present at the awards ceremony
- Learned French to be able to converse with Vanessa Paradis' parents.
- He also played slide for an acoustic recording of Fade Away, recorded in 1995 for the War Child: Help album.
- Had come into professional contact with the great screen villains Vincent Price (I) and Christopher Lee (I). Price co-starred with Depp in Edward Scissorhands, and Lee co-starred with him in Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride. Oddly, all of them were Tim Burton (I) films.
- Great admirer of Marlon Brando. He was also good friends with the legendary actor, who described Depp as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
- Although unable to attend, he was awarded the Gary Cooper (I) Spirit of Montana Award at the 2005 HatcH audiovisual festival in Bozeman, Montana. HatcH honored Depp for his outstanding career and his role as a mentor and inspiration to young and aspiring artists.
- Has portrayed a real-life character in ten films: Edward D. Wood Jr. in Ed Wood, Lt. Victor/Bon Bon in Before Night Falls, Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell, Joseph Pistone/Donnie Brasco in Donnie Brasco, George Jung in Blow, J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, 'John Wilmot, The Second Earl of Rochester' in The Libertine, Jack Kerouac in The Source (1999) (TV), and John Dillinger (I) in Public Enemies.
- Sherilyn Fenn's name is scrawled across his helmet in Platoon.
- He has said in interviews that he is of Cherokee, Irish, and German descent, with some Navajo as well. Asked the origin of his last name by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, Johnny Depp said his name means "idiot" in German.
- Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was suggested in the Worst Actor category for his performance in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however, he failed to receive a nomination.
- His ownership of the Viper room ended in 2004, he signed it over to Amanda Fox, the daughter of his missing partner in the club, Anthony Fox.
- Was voted the Second Greatest Actor (behind Marlon Brando) in British Channel Channel 4's Greatest Actor Poll.
- His performance as Edward Scissorhands in _Edward Scissorhands (1990)_ is ranked #22 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
- His performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is ranked #79 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
- Friend of Christina Ricci.
- Reportedly based his portrayal of "Ichabod Crane" in Sleepy Hollow on "Withnail" from Withnail amp; I, as played by Richard E. Grant.
- Ranked #1 in the "Best Hollywood Signers 2006" list by "Autograph Collector" magazine (May 2006).
- Was close with his grandfather who died when he was 7 years old.
- His performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is ranked #87 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time (2006).
- His performance as Edward Scissorhands in _Edward Scissorhands (1990)_ is ranked #65 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- Ranked #18 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. Had ranked #23 in 2005.
- A rule he has towards fans requesting his autograph and picture is that no photography is allowed of his children.
- Is the only actor to be nominated for the Oscar in the Lead Actor category in a Disney film (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl).
- Frequently cites Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) and Edward Scissorhands as the favorite characters that he has played.
- Oliver Stone (I) seriously considered casting him in Charlie Sheen (I)'s role in Platoon, but the studio thought Depp was "too young." Sheen is actually two years younger than Depp!
- Was Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski's very first choice for the role of "Neo" in The Matrix. Since Depp wasn't considered a box-office friendly name, Warner Bros. decided on casting Keanu Reeves instead.
- Has been described as the "jester of cinema, the Method clown." His incredibly bizarre on-screen persona brings to mind the off-screen behavior of the late Marlon Brando, who was famously eccentric and quirky once he retired from acting.
- Has a niece called Megan
- Once painted on a billboard featuring his 21 Jump Street character because he didn't like his picture or the message the billboard gave. He was stopped by a security guard who actually let him finish what he was doing when he realized it was Johnny's own face.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the sixth film that Depp and Tim Burton (I) worked on together, with the other five being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands.
- He was good friends with Hunter S. Thompson until his death. Depp helped to fulfill Thompson's last wish after the writer died. Thompson wanted his remains to be shot out of a 150 foot long canon.
- Born in Kentucky but moved to Florida at age 7.
- He is the youngest of 4 children.
- Has admitted in interviews that one of his favorite pastimes is watching cartoons (especially Dave The Barbarian of whom he is a big fan) with his children.
- Named after his father John Christopher Depp.
- Was considered for the role of Florentino Ariza in Love in the Time of Cholera, but director Mike Newell (I) refused to work with big name Hollywood stars. Javier Bardem got the role instead.
- Owns a customised 1960's 650cc Triumph Bonneville motorcycle.
- Moved to a villa in France with girlfriend Vanessa Paradis and his daughter Lily Rose Melody Depp in 1999.
- Has 2 silver teeth.
- Originally cast as John Smith in Mr. amp; Mrs. Smith, but turned it down after being overworked with other movies he was shooting.
- Is a great admirer and good friend of Tom Baker (I).
- His children have the same names as "Mad" Jack and Lilly the Mermaid from the movie Magic Island (1995) (V).
- Was engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, whom he met on the set of the 1985 short student film "Dummies" directed by Laurie Frank. Their engagement was broken off after three years and a half.
- Dylan Seal is his second cousin.
- He is a fan of The Rolling Stones and the gypsy musical group Taraf de Haidouks.
- Turned down the role of Jack Traven in action hit Speed (1994/I).
- 2007 - Ranked #21 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
- Was named Empire Magazine's #5 in the list of 100 Sexiest Stars.
- In 2007, it was reported by Forbes Magazine that his earnings for the year 2006 were estimated to be $92 million.
- Was named Top Money Making Star for the second year in a row in the 76th annual Quickley Publishing Co. poll for year 2007.
- He is a godfather of Tim Burton (I) son Billy Ray Burton.
- Donated $2 million to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He gave the gift as thanks for the treatment his daughter Lily-Rose received at the facility in March 2007 after contracting an E. Coli infection that caused kidney failure.
- Was a fan of the British improvisational show Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
- Good friend of Serbian film director Emir Kusturica.
- Guest with Jim Jarmusch of Belgrade Film Festival FEST in 1992. With Jarmusch, Emir Kusturica and Serbian Rock n'Roll band Partybreakers (Partibrejkersi) he held a concert.
- Has a nightclub named after him in Tartu, Estonia. The nightclub is called "Who wouldn't like Johnny Depp?".
- Was originally set to play the lead character Jean-Dominique Bauby in Julian Schnabel movie Le scaphandre et le papillon. However, he dropped from the project due to scheduling conflicts.
- Good friend with actress Helena Bonham Carter, partner of his best friend Tim Burton (I).
- Made a voice message for 17-year-old British girl who has been in a coma for five months. Parents of the girl asked him to tape a voice message because he's the favorite actor of their daughter and they will play that message to her everyday hoping she'll wake up. Depp was touched by the letter and he said that he'll do whatever he can to help. (25 March 2008).
- Co-wrote the song "Mary" by the Hard Rock band Rock City Angels.
- Was originally supposed to play the on screen version of Billy Loomis in the original version of Scream 2 (1997), but was replaced by Luke Wilson (I).
- He and Vanessa Paradis grow grapes and have wine making facilities in their vineyard in Plan-de-la-Tour north of Saint-Tropez.
- Closed down the "Viper Room" for two weeks after River Phoenix died there and he also closed it on every 31 October until 2004 (when he sold his share of the club), which was the date of Phoenix's death.
- Nicolas Cage got him his first acting job.
- Ranked #6 in the 2008 Forbes The Celebrity 100 list.
- Fan of popular British series Midsomer Murders. He also stated that he would like to make a guest appearance in this long-running show.
- Was originally going to play opposite the English comedian Sally Phillips (I), in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote which Terry Gilliam was going to direct. But the movie got scrapped.
- He has expressed interest in getting French, British or Australian citizenship when he retires from an active movie career,.
- Donated his fee earned for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus to the daughter of late Heath Ledger. Jude Law and Colin Farrell (I) did the same thing after Depp gave that idea.
- Divides his time between homes in France and Los Angeles. He also owns homes in Somerset, New York City and The Bahamas.
- Was considered for the role of Cal McCaffery in State of Play after Brad Pitt dropped out. The role went to Russell Crowe instead.
- Was considered for the role of Detective Trupo in American Gangster.
- Is scared of clowns.
- Was considered one of the top three actors of his generation by Dustin Hoffman, his costar in Finding Neverland.
- Based his characterization of Edward D. Wood Jr. on a mixture of "the blind optimism of Ronald Reagan (I), the enthusiasm of "The Tin Man" from The Wizard of Oz and Casey Kasem".
- Turned down the role of Bruce Banner in Hulk.
- Named beaches on his own island in Bahamas after his wife Vanessa Paradis, his children and public figures like Hunter S. Thompson & Marlon Brando. There is also a patch of water named "Heath's Place" after Heath Ledger.
- Was considered for the role of Pumpkin/Ringo in Pulp Fiction, but Tim Roth (I) was cast instead.
- Close friend of Abigail Breslin.
- Is a fan of Doctor Who.
- People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2009.
- Received the prestigious Career Achievement Award at 2009. Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF). Festival Patron Sean Connery presented Depp with his award.
- (January 2010) Attended the KÃ¼stendorf Film and Music Festival in Serbia.
- (2010) Nominated for Grammy award along with Douglas Brinkley in the category of Best Album Notes for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Music from the Film.
- At 2010 People's Choice Awards he won the award for Favorite Movie Actor Of The Decade. Depp was honored by Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street co-star Sacha Baron Cohen.
- Lives in Los Angeles, California, Plan de la Tour, France and Bahamas.
- (1986) Was present during the filming of then-girlfriend Sherilyn Fenn's movie The Wraith and was living in the film crew's hotel with Fenn.
- (June 2009) While dining at Chicago's famous Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse with a group of friends, including Public Enemies co-star Marion Cotillard and director Michael Mann (I), Depp dropped a mammoth tip in the amount of $4,000 on a bill for $4,400, in effect, leaving an incredible 90% gratuity. The party of 15 were celebrating a red carpet screening of Depp's then latest release Public Enemies.
- When Alice in Wonderland became only the sixth film to cross the $1 billion gross mark, Depp became the third actor who acted in two movies that passed $1 billion mark. Previously that record was broken by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest. The other two actors who have accomplished this are Orlando Bloom and Bernard Hill (I).
Johnny Depp quotes
- Anything I've done up till 27 May, 1999 was kind of an illusion, existing without living. My daughter, the birth of my daughter, gave me life.
- [on the money he makes] You use your money to buy privacy because during most of your life you aren't allowed to be normal.
- I don't pretend to be captain weird. I just do what I do.
- [On Vincent Price (I)] One of the most incredible moments I've ever had was sitting in Vincent's trailer . . . I was showing him this first-edition book I have of the complete works of [Edgar Allan Poe (I)], with really amazing illustrations. Vincent was going nuts over the drawings, and he started talking about The Tomb of Ligeia. Then he closed the book and began to recite it to me in this beautiful voice, filling the room with huge sounds. Such passion! I looked in the book later, and it was verbatim. Word perfect. It was a great moment. I'll never forget that.
- The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.
- One of the greatest things I've ever seen happen was the morning I opened the newspaper and it said that some very powerful government officials had decided to change the name of "french fries" to "freedoom fries" and "french toast" to "freedom toast". It was impressive. I wanted to write a letter to them just to thank them, just for proving globally that they were absolute imbeciles.
- America is dumb. It's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive. My daughter is four, my boy is one. I'd like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out.
- Taken in context, what I was saying was that, compared to Europe, America is a very young country and we are still growing as a nation. It is a shame that the metaphor I used was taken so radically out of context and slung about irresponsibly by the news media. There was no anti-American sentiment. In fact, it was just the opposite. I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country and for this I am eternally grateful.
- France and the whole of Europe have a great culture and an amazing history. Most important thing, though, is that people there know how to live! In America they've forgotten all about it. I'm afraid that the American culture is a disaster.
- [on his character in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl] Captain Jack Sparrow is like a cross between [error] and Pepe Le Pew.
- I can remember when I finished Edward Scissorhands, looking in the mirror as the girl was doing my make-up for the last time and thinking -- it was like the 90th or 89th day of shooting -- and I remember looking and going, "Wow, this is it. I'm saying goodbye to this guy, I'm saying goodbye to Edward Scissorhands". You know, it was kind of sad. But in fact, I think they're all still somehow in there.
- With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it's just not acting. It's lying.
- The only gossip I'm interested in is things from the Weekly World News - 'Woman's bra bursts, 11 injured.' That kind of thing.
- I'm an old-fashioned guy . . . I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting on a porch, looking at a lake or something.
- [when asked by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio what attracts him to funny hats] I don't know, maybe I just read too much Dr. Seuss as a kid.
- [asked if he is a romantic] Am I a romantic? I've seen Wuthering Heights ten times. I'm a romantic.
- [about being dragged behind a carriage in the woods on Sleepy Hollow] I wasn't afraid of getting hurt. I was just afraid that the horses may relieve themselves on the journey.
- I'm shy, paranoid, whatever word you want to use. I hate fame. I've done everything I can to avoid it.
- When kids hit one year old, it's like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.
- This is a rumor-filled society and if people want to sit around and talk about whom I've dated, then I'd say they have a lot of spare time and should consider other topics... or masturbation.
- The character I've played, that I've responded to, there has been a lost-soul quality to them.
- Sure, I find it touching, honestly, but awards are not as important to me as when I meet a ten-year-old kid who says, "I love Captain Jack Sparrow" . . . that's real magic for me.
- The term "serious actor" is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? [Like] "Republican party" [or] "airplane food".
- On a film you start to get closer and closer with the people you're working with, and it becomes like this circus act or this travelling family.
- If you turn on the television and see the horrors that are happening to people in the world right now, I think there's no better time to strive to have some kind of hope through imagination. I think it's a time to close your eyes and try to make a change, or at least hope to make a change, or we're going to explode.
- I suppose nowadays it's all a question of surgery, isn't it? Of course the notion is beautiful, the idea of staying a boy and a child forever, and I think you can. I have known plenty of people who, in their later years, had the energy of children and the kind of curiosity and fascination with things like little children. I think we can keep that, and I think it's important to keep that part of staying young. But I also think it's great fun growing old.
- All the little films I've done that were perceived by Hollywood as these obscure, weird things, I always thought could appeal to a larger audience. I mean, box office is such a mystery to me that I can't . . . you know . . . I have enough trouble doing my own gig.
- [asked why he hides his looks behind strange wigs, fake teeth and girly squeals] I think it's an actor's responsibility to change every time. Not only for himself and the people he's working with, but for the audience. If you just go out and deliver the same dish every time . . . it's meat loaf again . . . you'd get bored. I'd get bored.
- We had been shooting [Charlie and the Chocolate Factory] for about a month, and I was beginning to get nervous because there weren't any phone calls. I called my agent and asked, "Has no one called from the studio to complain or say, 'Hey, what's he doing?' or 'Hey, he's freaking us out?' " And when she said, "No", I thought, "Christ, I'm not doing enough! Something's wrong!" Then some of the studio brass came over to the set, and they were sitting in my trailer and I was all decked out as Wonka with the little bangs. And I just had to know. So I said, "Okay, who was the first one, when you started seeing the dailies, that got a little worried?" And there was this beautiful 30-second silence. And [Warner Bros. president] Alan F. Horn finally said, "Yeah, that was me". I felt better instantly.
- [on Gene Wilder's comment on the remake of Willy Wonka amp; the Chocolate Factory] Hearing about that was disappointing, but I can understand where he's coming from, I guess. The one thing I didn't understand was that apparently he was quoted as saying, "Well, they just did this for money". Well, hey, man, where have you been? When didn't they ever do anything for money? Nobody's ever made a film in the history of cinema where they weren't expecting some return on their dough.
- [on his daughter, Lily-Rose] I see this amazing, beautiful, pure angel-thing wake up in the morning, and nothing can touch that. She is the only reason to wake up in the morning, the only reason to take a breath. Everything else is checkers.
- [on director Tim Burton (I)] He can ask me everything. If he wants me to have sex with an aardvark in one of his next movies, then I will do that.
- [on reactions to his directorial debut] You know what was traumatizing, what was very, very strange in terms of this film I directed a few years back called The Brave. Well, I guess I wouldn't say traumatizing, but I would say weird: at the premiere of the film the reception of it was beyond any expectation that I had. I had no idea I'd be looking at [Bernardo Bertolucci] or [Michelangelo Antonioni] sitting there watching my film. And then to receive the applause that my film got, it was so incredible. And then the next day the majority of the American press just turn it into this horrible thing. Once again, everybody is entitled to their opinion, man. Maybe it's a bad film? Maybe it's a good film? To me it's just a film. It's something I needed to make.
- I started out as a guitarist in the early '80s. I hooked up with a guy who idolized James Dean (I) and he gave me a copy of the Dean biography, "The Mutant King", which I thought was really interesting. While reading the book I watched Rebel Without a Cause, and I thought, "Wow, this guy really has something", and I was hooked. I wasn't really into acting at the time - but James Dean was the catalyst.
- I don't have a mental picture of the houses we lived in because there were so many.
- [on being an uncle] My sister Christi had a baby when I was 17, and I had just heard about crib death. The horrible thing was that it wasn't understood. For some unknown reason the baby would stop breathing. So I would sneak into where the baby was sleeping and put my hand in her crib, hold her little finger, and I'd sleep on the floor like that. It was stupid, I'm sure. But I thought the warmth of my hand might help, that maybe if she felt my pulse it would remind her to breathe.
- Marlon Brando is maybe the greatest actor of the last two centuries. But his mind is much more important than the acting thing. The way that he looks at things, doesn't judge things, the way that he assesses things. He's as important as, uh... who's important today? Jesus, not many people... Stephen Hawking!
- There's nothing - you know - nothing else like music. Nothing that touches us on that, uh, that deep level. Music can open up so many emotions that we didn't know we had. It's the magical thing about musicals, you know, on the stage or on film or whatever. Love songs. They work so well because music touches us, emotionally, where words alone can't.
- As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition, too.
- [asked by Rolling Stone if there was a "gay undercurrent" in his character Capt. Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean' films] Well, there was a great book I read . . . What was it called? "Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition". A very interesting book. I wasn't exactly going for that with the character. And Keith is not flamboyant in his actions. Keith is pretty stealth. But with Jack, it was more that I liked the idea of being ambiguous, of taking this character and making everything a little bit . . . questionable. Because women were thought to be bad luck on ships. And these pirates would go out for years at a time. So, you know, there is a possibility that one thing might lead to another.
- [Marlon Brando] wanted me to escape movies for a while - "Take a year off. Go on. Study Shakespeare". So it's one of the things that keep ricocheting around in my head. He told me that by the time he had got to the point where he felt he could do "Hamlet", it was too late. So he said, "Do it now, do it while you can". And I would like to do it - although it's one of the more frightening ideas I've had. I think as an actor it is good to feel the fear of failing miserably. I think you should take that risk. Fear is a necessary ingredient in everything I do. But if I do "Hamlet" it will probably be in a small theater on a small stage and it will have to be very, very soon because I'm getting a little long in the tooth for it.
- Having kids was a huge change for me. Becoming a father. But I think more than changing, I feel like I've been revealed to myself, I kind of found out who I was. When you meet your child for the first time and you're looking at this angel, you start realizing what an idiot you've been for so many years and how much time you've wasted. As far as being feet-on-the-ground, once again my kids and ['girlfriend Vanessa Paradis] have given me a proper foundation. A sense of home that I never had in my life, a real sense of a place to be.
- I loved playing Edward Scissorhands because there's nothing cynical, jaded or impure about him. It's almost a letdown to look in the mirror and realize I'm not Edward.
- What I said was, the United States of America is a young country compared to Europe, compared to, you know, other countries. We're young. We're 200 and something years old.
- [on director Tim Burton (I)] What more can I say about him? He is a brother, a friend, my godson's father. He is a unique and brave soul, someone that I would go to the ends of the earth for, and I know, full and well, he would do the same for me.
- (on preparing to sing as Sweeney Todd] It's a bit like jumping into cold water. There's no preparing, you just do it.
- [about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl] It was mentioned that they were considering a movie based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I said I was in. There was no screenplay, no director, nothing. For some unknown reason, I just said I was in.
- [about girlfriend Vanessa Paradis] I pretty much fell in love with Vanessa the moment I set eyes on her. As a person, I was pretty much a lost cause at that time in my life. She turned all that around for me with her incredible tenderness and understanding.
- I love our house in the country. I can walk to the nearby village and have a coffee and no one pays any notice. I'm just another dad with my daughter on my knee. The time I've spent in France with [girlfriend Vanessa Paradis] has solidified my belief that I can keep a major distance from Hollywood and still keep in the game. Acting is my living, but I don't want to live it. Living in France is the first time I can honestly say I feel at home.
- There's a drive in me that won't allow me to do certain things that are easy. I can weigh all the options, but there's always one thing that goes: "Johnny, this is the one." And it's always the most difficult - it's always the one that will cause the most trouble.
- All the amazing people that I've worked with - Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman - have told me consistently: don't compromise. Do your work, and if what you're giving is not what they want, you have to be prepared to walk away.
- [about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl] I only wanted to be in a movie that my kids could see.
- I had never experienced that before. And it's been fun to visit Hollywood and talk to studios as a bankable actor for a change.
- I've been around long enough to know that one week, you're on the exclusive list of guys who can open a movie, and then the next week, you're off the list. It's been a fun ride, and I'm enjoying it for all it's worth.
- [about Edward D. Wood Jr.] Like him I also grew up feeling like an obtuse piece of machinery. It was the same feeling I had about Edward Scissorhands."
- (about his mother, Betty Sue) Years and years I watched her wait tables. I'd count her change at the end of the night. She cursed like a sailor, played cards and smoked cigarettes.
- I was a weird kid. I wanted to be Bruce Lee (I). I wanted to be on a SWAT team. When I was five, I think I wanted to be Daniel Boone.
- My cousins had a gospel group and they came down and played gospel songs, and that was the first time I ever saw an electric guitar. I got obsessed with the electric guitar, so my Mom bought me one from them for $25. I was about twelve years old. Then I locked myself in a room for a year and taught myself how to play, learned off records, and then I started playing in little garage bands. The first group I was ever in was called Flame. Then I was in The Kids. They were the ones who moved to Hollywood.
- [about living in the small town of Miramar as a kid] Miramar was like Endora, the town in Whats Eating Gilbert Grape. It had two identical grocery stores opposite each other and nothing much ever happened there.
- At first we'd wear T-shirts that said "Flame" on them. At 13 I was wearing plain T-shirts. Then I used to steal my mom's clothing. She had all these crushed velvet shirts with French-cut sleeves. And, like, seersucker bell bottoms. I dreamed of having platforms, but couldn't find any.
- I'd been in high school three years, and I may have just walked in yesterday. I had, like, eight credits. I was in my third year of high school and I didn't want to be there. I was bored out of my mind and I hated it.
- I hung around with bad crowds. We used to break and enter places. We'd break into the school and destroy a room or something. I used to steal things from stores.
- [about one of his old teachers asking for an autograph] I mean, what was I supposed to say? He'd failed me. I remember one time this teacher yelled at me so heavily in front of the entire class. He didn't have any time for me then, and now, all of a sudden, he wants my autograph? They all thought I was going to end up a drug addict, in jail.
- I started smoking at 12, lost my virginity at 13 and did every kind of drug there was by 14. Pretty much any drug you can name, I've done it. I wouldn't say I was bad or malicious, I was just curious. I certainly had my little experiences with drugs. Eventually, you see where that's headed and you get out.
- I played rock'n'roll clubs in Florida. I was underage, but they would let me come in the back door to play, and then I'd have to leave after the first set. That's how I made a living, at about $25 a night. At times we could make $2,100 - we used to make that for the entire group and the road crew, which is a lot.
- My father left and my mother was deeply hurt and sick physically and emotionally. That's a very traumatic thing for a family to go through, so we all pulled together and did the best we could.
- These are the most important people in my life. You know, I would die for these people. If someone were to harm my family or a friend or somebody I love - I would eat them. I might end up in jail for 500 years - but I would eat them.
- I remember carving my initials on my arm and I've scarred myself from time to time since then. In a way your body is a journal and the scars are sort of entries in it.
- I can remember my parents fighting and us kids wondering who was going to go with whom if they got divorced.
- [about his first marriage] I guess I have very traditional kinds of sensibilities about that kind of stuff - you know, a man and a woman sharing their life together and having a baby, whatever - and I think for a while I was trying to right the wrongs of my parents because they split up when I was a kid, so I thought I could do it differently - make things work. I had the right intentions, but the wrong timing - and the wrong person. But I don't regret it; I had fun and I learned a lot.
- You know, I was married, when I was 20. It was a strong bond with someone, but I can't necessarily say I was in love. That's something that comes around once, man, maybe twice if you're lucky. And I don't know that I experienced that, let's say, before I turned 30.
- [about a scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street] I love this stuff. The kid falls asleep and it's all over, he's sucked right into the bed and spit out as blood. His bloody body rises straight out and then topples over, too. I heard somebody talk about having a dummy shot out of the bed, but I said, "Hey, I want to do this! It'll be fun! Lemme do it!"
- [about A Nightmare on Elm Street] I was just not what [director Wes Craven] had written for the story. He had written the part of a big, blond, beach jock, football player guy. And I was sort of emaciated, with old hairspray and spiky hair, earrings, a little catacomb dweller. Then five hours later that agent called me and said, "You're an actor".
- [about his career as a salesman] The last couple of times I did it, I just said, "Listen, you don't want this stuff, man".
- [about his job of selling pens over the phone] I was working a day job selling ink pens over the phone and getting maybe $100 a week, but I thought, "What have I got to lose?"
- [about The Kids in Hollywood] It was horrible. There were so many bands it was impossible to make any money. So we all got side jobs. We used to sell ads over the telephone. Telemarketing. We got $100 a week. We had to rip people off. We'd tell them they'd been chosen by so-and-so in their area to receive a grandfather clock. They would order $500 worth of these fucking things and we would send them a cheap grandfather clock. It was horrible.
- I like to think that I'm very considerate of other people's feelings, and I was trained as a small child to always try my best at everything. I think I'm a mixture of romantic and realist. I'm a realist about some stuff, but I also wholeheartedly believe that in a society where people get divorced every five minutes you can still stay married for 50 or 75 years. It's been done and it's beautiful. When I see a couple celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary, I just think that it's totally incredible.
- (About his early relationship) I don't regret any of them. I had a good time. Most of what's been written about me has been completely false. People have created an image that has absolutely nothing to do with me, and they have the power to sell it, to shove it down the throats of people. I'm an old-fashioned guy who wants marriage and kids.
- (About Platoon) I went to read for Oliver Stone, and Oliver scared the shit out of me! I read for him and he said, "OK, I need you for ten weeks in the jungle." It was a great experience.
- I made some shitty movies when I was first starting out, but I'm not embarrassed by them, especially as I didn't think I was going to be an actor - I was just trying to make some money. I was still a musician. When I first started out I was just given the opportunity, and there was no other way to make that kind of money. Apart from crime. I couldn't believe how much they were paying me.
- [on the difficulties of his singing in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street] The one [song] that was probably the most challenging was "Johanna [Act II]"... And as far as I was concerned, when Stephen Sondheim writes the note and it has to be held for this many beats, you do it. I don't care if you're from Miramar or Kentucky or you're an ass and you don't sing. It doesn't matter. Don't be a pussy, you fucking hold that note. You can't cheat. You can't whisper. You can't do the William Shatner thing. You just gotta belt it out. So I really beat myself up, making sure I could hold those notes. In "Johanna," some are, like, twelve beats. That was a bugger. At one point, I was very close to passing out-- I got dizzy and saw black. But that's what Sondheim wrote, so that's what you do.
- (About teen magazines) They had come to me in the beginning and said, "We want you to do these interviews and stuff for these magazines," and I said, "What magazines?" And they said, "Sixteen! Teen Beat! Teen Dream! Teen Poop! Teen Piss! Teen Shit!"
- (About Peter DeLuise, friend from 21 Jump Street) If Peter wasn't on the show I would have gone insane or jumped into the river. He's my savior.
- (About his character in 21 Jump Street) Hanson is not someone I'd want to have pizza with. I don't believe in having undercover cops in high school - it's spying. The only thing I have in common with Tom Hanson is that we look alike.
- (About 21 Jump Street) I got a call from my agents, who said, "These people want you to come and read for this TV thing." And I said, "No, no, no, no, no". I didn't want to sign some big contract that would bind me for years. So they hired somebody else to do it, and they fired him after about a month, and then they called me again and said, "Would you please come in and do it?" My agent said, "The average span of a TV series is thirteen episodes, if that. One season." So I said OK.
- When I see someone who just follows their dream and succeeds, and just does basically what they want to do and doesn't have to answer to anyone, obviously not harming anyone, that's great.
- Now it's starting to get to profound [things]. She sat me down the other day, sort of like, "Dad, I need to have a talk with you." You know, she's four. I said, "Alright sweetheart, what do you got?" She said, "I just want to ask you three questions." I said, "Ok, what do you got?" She said, "Is God afraid of dogs?" I thought about it. I said, "No honey, I don't think he is. Probably not." She said, "Ok. Has He seen the dinosaurs?" I said, "Yes, I think he has." And then she said, "Does God have a maid?" And I didn't know how to answer it!
- (About 21 Jump Street) I'm afraid I started navel-gazing. I started thinking like, There are 365 days in a year, but for 275 of those days, I'm saying someone else's words. And they're bad words. And I only get to say my own for 90 days.
- Kids write to me and say they are having these problems or they want to commit suicide or something. It's scary. I have to say, Listen, I'm just an actor, not a professional psychologist. If you need help, you should go and get it.
- I've gotten weird letters, suicide letters, girls threatening to jump if I don't get in touch with them. So you think, This is bullshit, but then you think, What if it's not? Who wants to take that chance? I write them back, tell them to hang in there - if things are that bad they have to get better. But I'm not altogether stable myself, so who am I to give advice?
- It's scary. It's terrifying. People come up to you and start crying. Everybody compares everyone to James Dean these days. If you're lucky they mention Brando or DeNiro. They invite you to put on an instant image.
- (About teen magazines) Those are things that are out of my control. It's very nice to be appreciated, but I'm not really comfortable with it. I've never liked being the centre of attention. It comes with the territory.
- (about his high school) I was around 15 when I left. I went back 2 weeks later, thinking "You know what, this is crazy, I should go back." So I went back, and I talked to the dean of the school, and he said, "Johnny... we don't
- you to come back." He said, it was really sweet actually, "You have this music thing, I think you should run with it. That's your passion, you should go with it." So I did.
- [on buying a private island] Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it.
- [on Elizabeth Taylor (I)] The best old-school dame I've ever met. A regular, wonderful person.
- I have a really soft spot for blondes. I find myself attracted to blonde women the most.
- I'm not sure I could give up pork. Steak, OK. Maybe hamburgers. But nothing in the world can make me stop eating swine. I mean, I had a great-grandmother, Mimmy, who ate the greasiest food you ever saw and chewed tobacco till the day she died, and she lived to be 102.
- I pray on airplanes. I get instant religion during takeoff, then when we're safely in the air I sit there thinking about the fact that any little thing that goes wrong could send us crashing to the ground.
- (On growing up) We moved like gypsies. From the time I was five until my teens we lived in 30 or 40 different houses. That probably has a lot to do with my transient life now. But it's how I was raised so I thought there was nothing abnormal about it. Wherever the family is, that's home. We lived in apartments, on a farm, in a motel. Then we rented a house, and one night we moved from there to the house next door. I remember carrying my clothes across the yard and thinking, This is weird, but it's an easy move.
- (1996 - On fame) If there's anything I really want, it's privacy. You do get to where your money can help your family, and that's a great thing. You can buy that wristwatch you want, too. But mostly you now have to pay for simplicity. You use your money to buy privacy because during most of your life you aren't allowed to be normal. You're on display, always looked at, which puts you at a disadvantage for the people looking at you know that it's you. They say, "It's you!" But you don't know them. That's bad for an actor because the most important thing you can do is observe people. And now you can't because you're the one being observed.
- (On first seeing himself on-screen) I got sick. I went to see dailies on Nightmare on Elm Street. I was 21, and didn't know what was going on. It was like looking in a huge mirror. It wasn't how I looked that bothered me, though I did look like a geek in that movie. It was seeing myself up there pretending.