Despite being one of the most famous actors on the planet with a massive fan base and looked up to by the masses, Johnny Depp views himself as a “social outsider.” The 52-year-old got his start when he landed a role in Nightmare on Elm Street back in the 80’s then shot to superstar status in 1990 after taking on the lead role in Edward Scissorhands. Since that point, Depp has been one of the most recognizable and praised actors in Hollywood.
This all aside, as noted, Depp has always felt an outsider, regardless of popularity and level of success. The A-lister is persistently known for choosing characters to portray that are a bit odd and even “unsavory.” Additionally, it is no surprise that the star has been wrapped up in a life involving drugs and alcohol abuse. Recently, Johnny shared on this subject while being interviewed by the U.K.-based publication, The Mirror.
“I think I will always see myself as an outsider. I also have a need to feel I’ve protected my individuality and identity as an actor. During the years I’ve been playing Captain Jack I’ve been drawn to his irreverence and desire to run against the current. That’s part of my rebellious side.”
Although the role Depp is most well known for by a wide-range of ages is his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Captain Jack Sparrow, the role which has an Oscar buzz swirling around the star involves his portrayal of the heartless killer known as Whitey Bulger. In regards to the nature of the infamous killer, Depp managed to find a softer view as opposed to most who view Bulger as a purely evil human being, noting that he ” approached Bulger as a human being who is multifaceted and had a side to him that was human, loving and all that.”
Depp went on to explain his viewpoint about Bulger, mainly that he believes every human being possesses a dark side. The publication relays the star’s words.
“I found the evil in myself a long time ago. I accept it, we are old friends. With Bulger, whatever they’ve done in their life, good, bad, they’re still human at the end of the day.”
Although the lessons Whitey Bulger teaches his children, for instance, are extreme and shocking to viewers of the film, Depp sees this merely a product of the violence that we are continuously exposed to in the media and the world in general. He also indicates a situation from his own childhood that is entirely identifiable to what Bulger relays to his own children about violence and retaliation.
“I remember when I was a kid, maybe six years old, and there was some little horror at school who was needling me. I think I told my mum and she said to me, ‘Alright, here’s the deal. The next time anybody puts their hands on you, pick up a brick and lay them out.’ And I’ve taken that advice ever since. So it worked for me, and if somebody tried to bully my kid, if they didn’t destroy the little booger, I would.”
The gritty and exceptionally violent film is now being praised as Johnny’s comeback hit after the star has made a string of mediocre-to-terrible films. Aside from the Pirates of the Caribbean, which would be nothing without Captain Jack, As News Shopper UK reminds, Depp has been through years riddled with frustrating flops. Depp’s ability to take on Bulger so well and allowing himself to identify with a seemingly evil being, is surely his ticket to at least gaining a nomination and nod from the academy.
[Feature photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]