There are a lot of things said about this actor who took the world by storm with his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. But before all this recognition there was a time when he took rods which were either written off by other players or had no monetary gain for the studios which produced them. Before getting into his films Johnny Depp is a man who is known for eccentric choices of films and for challenging the audience with his poignant portraits. His films were termed "box office poison". But he felt studios did not know how to market his films. But this will become more clear when we discuss some of his roles in detail.
inIn a chance meeting with Nicholas Cage through his first wife who told him to start acting Johnny took up the challenge. His first role of a victim in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was his foray into acting. He just had a cameo in which he gets killed getting sucked into the bed by a monster. Then came the role of Private Gator Lerner in the anti Vietnam war film Platoon. This film directed by Oliver Stone cave him enough of leakage to take up more challenging roles. Then came the role which changed his life and also started his greatest associations in cinema with director Tim Burton. The film about a man who was cut off from the outside world and has a pair of scissors for hands made him a favorite among others. This film was Edward Scissorhands. It was one of the most personal works by Tim Burton and it explored the American suburban life in a more exaggerated sense. It took Tim Burton a lot of convincing to get this piece of art on to screen. There were moments in the film which gave Johnny ample scope to improvise. This was something he became to be known for in the future projects which he underook. One of Depp's strongest abilities was to emote with his eyes which was something needed for the role of Edward.
The next big performance by him was What Eating Gilbert's Grape. It was a story of a man who takes care of his mentally challenged brother and his obese mother who has not left the house in 7 years. It takes Johnny through an emotional journey which leaves him exposing a large part of himself on to the screen. His understanding of his form had reached its peak at this time. He decided to an eccentric film called Benny and Joon. In this one he uses his body to make a statement of his character. The film was a bit demanding for Depp because he carried out all the stunts by himself. This introduced to another side of Depp physical comedy.
The next movie where his eyes were king was Ed Wood. A film which had some remarkable close ups of Depp and it also showed the inner workings of the mind of the character. This was another landmark film for Depp and his collaborator Tim Burton. He played a cross dressing Orson Wells wannabe. The films of Ed Wood were really misunderstood and were finally branded kitsch. Depp's portrait was one of the largest factors whichave the film its refinement. Johnny Depp also said that he learned a lot more about acting from Martin Landou who won the supporting role Oscar for Ed Wood.
in Dead Man was the next movie which got Johnny Depp interested. It was directed by the inde superstar Jim Jarmusch whose quirkiness was akin to Johnny Depp's characters. The film shot totally in black and white was modern day western. Johnny depp plays William Blake not the poem but many of the characters in the film think is a reincarnation. He goes around with Mr Nobody on a killing spree. The film was aimed at a larger North American audience. But total control of his emotions as a rogue assassin on the loose is poignant.
His next choice was an undercover cop who infiltrates the mafia with the help of Al Pacino's character who is part of the mob. The film was the first time Johnny Depp acted with a mustache. He also worked on a strong New York accent. He was a totally different person in this film. He fit into this character like a glove playing to every nuances. This film put him in league with some of the greatest at the time. There is always sparkle in his eyes which gives him a sense of place and time. His portrays feel like an out of body experience at times. This was one such portrait.
After that came a series of eccentric rods to which he infused more freshness and knowledge to the character. For Depp it is more of surrendering to the character which has made him what he is. For him character is more important than his self projection. One of those strong repelling roles is in Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. The film stars another actor who has taken the Johnny Depp route Benicio del Toro. Both of them in this heavy acid driven film take it to places where very few actors could go. They almost destroy their senses while making this movie. But in the end it was really enriching process for many aspiring actors.
Then the next series of films which came to be known as Johnny Depp films Sleepy Hollow and From Hell. In Sleepy Hollow he played the role like a little girl leaving a very feminine touch to the whole process. Many Studio bosses wanted this film out. They were denounced by Johnny's portrait but still ended giving the green signal. Another one of these quirky detective stories was From Hell. This one deal with Jack the Ripper who kept killing prostitutes. Johnny played Inspector Frederick Abberline. It was based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore. The film had Johnny act as a man with illusions because of his opium consumption. It also has him ample scope for improvisations.
inIn the beginning of 2000 Depp took three roles two gypsy and a horny cross dresser. The two gypsy roles were polar opposites. The first one was the Man who claimed who was described as oddly hollowed out, detached presences.The other one was a romantic turn with the evergreen Juliet Pinoche it was called Chocolat. Blow was another one of his classics playing a mob boss who had a troubled childhood. He tries to gain acceptance from his father for what he does. But his picturesque which is magical as a man who rise and fall is clearly written over Depps expressions.
The film which took everyone by surprise was his turn as a pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean. This film earned a place in the history books as well. He received a Academy nomination for this portrait. There were also consequent sequels to the franchise which are immensely popular. This made Depp a household name and also cave him more opportunities to experiment. He associated himself with Burton once again with Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate. In this film his portal matched up to what Roald Dahl had in mind when he wrote the book? Its tinge of adult deviance in Johnny Depp's character is what made this movie a great watch.
During this time he also did a role in a small erotic film called Libertine. This film had him playing a repulsive womanizer. The film also showed us that Johnny Depp is still kick ass performer. He does not have to be likable all the time. His addiction towards variations is what makes him a seasoned performer.
The last movie for which he describes a special mention is Finding Neverland. His performance in this film was just magical. It leaves us rooting for this beloved character JM Barrie who gave the world Peter Pan. The film showed the whole writing process and the string of ideas JM Barrie had got from a lady played by the beautiful Kate Winslet and her children.
But this exercise of writing article is not to give him Life Time Achievement award or something like that. It is to showcase his misunderstood body of work for the next generation. He is one of those beautiful tools a free world needs to be aware of to create a hub for new ideas and talents. This year will be his chance to greatness if he pulls the Oscar from under Daniel Day Lewis. He would have done his mark on cinema for the next couple of years.