Johnny Depp has become synonymous with embracing characters and transforming himself into the role and how we imagine it, and he’s returning to one of his most favoured this week, the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass.
The master of big screen disguise has had an impressive range of roles over the last three decades, here’s the many faces of Johnny Depp.
Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands was the film that started a long line of collaborations between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
Fact: Edward only says 169 words throughout the movie.
Ed Wood in Ed Wood (1994)
Depp gave a captivating performance in the title role, reinventing the oddball real-life eccentric as a witty hero with a heart.
Fact: At the time of accepting the role Depp was depressed about films and filmmaking. By accepting the part it gave him a chance to stretch out and have some fun. He also said that working with Martin Landau rejuvenated his love for acting.
Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow indulged the gothic mannerisms that Depp would go on to cultivate.
Fact: Johnny Depp reportedly has never seen the film because he didn’t like the way he acted in the film.
Bon Bon in Before Night Falls (2000)
Depp had a chance to prove his adaptability in Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls – playing both transvestite Bon Bon and a sadistic prison warden.
Fact: According to cinematographer Guillermo Rosas, almost every scene was photographed with a chocolate coloured filter of the camera.
George Jung in Blow (2001)
Depp was spellblindingly naturalistic as the American cocaine smuggler.
Fact: While preparing for the role Depp met with Jung, talking intensely for several hours, and the actor admits he owes a great debt of gratitude to him for sharing his heart and soul with the actor.
Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003 – present)
With inspirations including classic pirates, Keith Richards and nomads, the star’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow helped the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise become the blockbuster success it remains today. Thankfully Depp will be returning as the character next year in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Fact: Johnny Depp improvised Jack Sparrow’s catchphrase “Savvy?” He also wrote one of the final lines of the first film, “Bring me that horizon.”
Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Depp had the tough task of taking on a beloved character in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and it’s safe to say he made Willy Wonka truly his own.
Fact: Forty squirrels were trained for the scene where they jump on Veruca Salt.
Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
In the twisted take on a musical, Johnny Depp stars as Sweeney Todd, singing beautifully and killing quickly with pale skin, a white streak in his hair, and blood stains.
Fact: This move was shipped to some theatres under the name ‘Skunk’.
Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (2010)
He had another task of recreating an already much-loved character in Alice in Wonderland, but he managed to create an instantly memorable character when he redefined the Mad Hatter.
Fact: The Mad Hatter’s costume changes colour according to his mood. Suits were made in different colours, with layers of other colours and then enhanced with CGI.
Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows (2012)
An adaptation of the 60s gothic soap opera with a seriously devoted cult following. Depp plays Barnabus Collins, a 200-year-old vampire who rises from the grave to restore his wayward family to greatness in the comic take on the old show.
Fact: According to Johnny Depp, the filming of the sex scene resulted in a lot of trashed hotel rooms.
Tonto in The Lone Ranger (2013)
Depp reteamed with Pirates and Rango director Gore Verbinski for The Lone Ranger, and the most memorable thing about the movie will likely remain Depp’s costume. Based on a painting by Kirvy Sattler, Depp’s Tonto has been criticised for being wildly unrealistic, though the actor himself engendered good will with several Native groups by consulting them during filming and using some of the Ranger money to benefit Native causes.
Fact: This move is one of the biggest financial flops of all time. It lost the studio between $94-$119 million.
Mortdecai in Mortdecai (2015)
In one of his most recent films, Depp plays a man named Charles Mortdecai, a charismatic British aristocrat and part-time shady art dealer.
Fact: Jock calls Charlie ‘Sir’ 65 times during the movie.
Whitey Bulger in Black Mass (2015)
James “Whitey” Bulger is one of the most notorious criminals in American history. Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed was based on the Boston crime lord, but Depp was brought on board to play him in a biopic that paints him as an ice-blooded, cold-eyed killer.
Fact: A lot of the murder scenes were shot in the same locations where the real life murders took place.
Donald Trump in Funny or Die (2016)
To top it off, this year Depp spoofed Donald Trump in a satirical film for Funny Or Die – and he really looked the part.