It’s not far-fetched to say Johnny Depp is one of the most beloved Hollywood stars ever.
It’s not far-fetched to say Johnny Depp is one of the most beloved Hollywood stars ever.
At least, he was.
The 56-year-old three-time Oscar nominee had it all. Rugged good looks, obscene talent, handsome wealth and, despite extreme fame, bared a seemingly non-fussy, down to earth soul.
Often hiding his recognisable face behind facial hair, glasses and hats, Depp cuts a casual figure even on red carpets at high rolling events.
This is hardly him avoiding the public eye though. His fan encounters are up there with some of the best.
When he was in Australia in 2015 shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Depp gave Queenslanders his absolute all during extremely rare meet and greets that he absolutely was not obliged to do.
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On his way to film sets, media crews and scores of fans would stake out to catch a glimpse of their idol. They got a lot more than they bargained for, with Depp regularly appearing in character, hugging and kissing his adoring worshippers.
He even kissed Sunrise reporter Michelle Tapper during her live cross and pulled her along to join him on his journey to set.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” Tapper told Depp, who replied: “So have I”, much to the delight of hosts David Koch and Samantha Armytage, who were in hysterics.
Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp lands a kiss right on the cheek of Sunrise reporter Michelle Tapper. Courtesy: Sunrise/C...
He made a surprise and secret visit — again in character — to the Lady Cilento Hospital in South Brisbane where he took adorable photos with fans.
Some lamented his brazen meetings with fans during his time in Australia as a publicity stunt, but Depp has proved for years he’s a man of the (ordinary) people.
While filming Public Enemies in Chicago in 2009, he formed a bond with a waiter at the restaurant, Gibson’s Steakhouse. When he returned to the city for the film premiere, Depp left his friend a $4000 tip on top of the $4400 bill.
Last year, he was leaving his hotel in Rome and was ushered past a fan by his security team, but Depp ran back to give her a kiss on the hand and take pictures, which left her in tears.
In January this year, it was also revealed he helped a couple celebrate their wedding anniversary on board a train from Paris to London.
Depp joined British couple David King and his wife Roxanne and toasted them with champagne. He also reportedly told them he’d just been to Paris to visit a children’s hospital.
Depp has an adorable quirky side too, and has even compared himself to his famous character Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
He is known to use fake names when checking into hotels. Some of his favourites include “Mr. Drip Noodle,” “Mr. Stench,” and “Mr. Oddpong.” He’s even been credited in at least one role as “Oprah Noodlemantra.”
Another big part of his appeal has been his roles. Depp shot to fame in the 1980s playing officer Tom Hanson in beloved series 21 Jump Street.
While he loved the experience and appreciated the doors it opened, Depp admitted it “forced (him) into the role of a product”, and since leaving the show always opted for independent made films rather than just going for sure-fire blockbuster hits.
In 1990 he played the heart wrenching and vulnerable Edward Scissorhands in the Tim Burton classic. It was a giant critical and commercial success and bolstered his profile as one of Hollywood’s leading actors.
In the years after, he starred in a string of popular films including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco and Sleepy Hollow, before assuming the iconic role of Jack Sparrow in the 2003 Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. This was, and has been, a huge box office success, and earned Depp a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
He was nominated for the same award the following year for the 2004 movieFinding Neverland, starring alongside Kate Winslet.
He would again be nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for his stellar performance inSweeney Todd, which marked his sixth time teaming up with Burton and showed off his hidden singing talent.
While he’s continued to play Jack Sparrow and appeared in many blockbusters since, including his surprise casting in the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, Depp’s popularity has dwindled.
Disney’s The Lone Ranger (2013) was a bomb and caused the production company to report a $US190 million loss. Reprising his role as the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2016 was also a disaster for Depp, with the movie a massive fail both critically and commercially.
Depp stated in a BBC radio interview in 2013 he hoped to be involved with “quieter things”, implying that he wanted to retire from acting.
“I wouldn’t say I’m dropping out any second, but I would say it’s probably not too far away,” he said.
“When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realise that you’ve said written words more than you’ve had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being.”
Depp was also open about his abuse of drugs and alcohol for most of his life. He took up smoking when he was 12 and began drinking not long after.
In a 2008 interview, Depp stated that he had “poisoned” himself with alcohol “for years”.
Even still, he managed to avoid negative headlines about his private life for the most part.
But it seems things really unravelled for the star in 2015 during filming for Pirates 5 in Australia, where he was making the news for arriving late to set, being unprofessional during filming and reportedly arguing with his then-wife, Amber Heard.
The couple famously ran into trouble with Australian authorities after smuggling their terriers Pistol and Boo into the country on their private jet without biosecurity approval.
After making one of the most high profile court appearances in Gold Coast history in April 2016, Depp and Heard were fined and made a sarcastic video stressing the importance of Australia’s biosecurity laws.
This appeared to be the start of Depp’s downward spiral.
The couple broke up a month after the mock video, and now three years later are currently engaged in a messy legal battle, both claiming the other was physically abusive during their short marriage.
A photo emerged earlier this week of Depp on a hospital gurney. He claimed in court Heard threw a glass bottle at him and put out a cigarette on his face during a fight in March 2015.
In the court documents, Depp said that he tried to “avoid” his then-wife by going to the downstairs bar in the house, but she followed him and screamed “abusively” while he “poured himself a vodka and drank it”, when she had the outburst.
Heard denied the allegation, with her lawyer describing it as “absurd, offensive and categorically untrue” in a statement to People magazine.
It’s just the latest shocking chapter in what’s been a lengthy saga between the former spouses.
Heard filed for divorce from Depp in May 2016, after just 15 months of marriage. Less than a week later, she was granted a domestic violence restraining order against her estranged husband after claiming he was “verbally and physically abusive” to her.
In August 2016 they reached a $US7 million ($A10 million) settlement, but earlier this year, Depp filed a $US50 million ($A72 million) defamation suit against his ex-wife after she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post about her experience with abuse.
On top of his ugly divorce, Depp has hit major financial trouble in recent years, largely thanks to frivolous spending.
Over the course of his career, Depp has made $US650 million on films that have netted $3.6 billion. In 2011 he was named the world’s highest paid actor after earning $US75 million between 2009 and 2010.
But last year his net worth was estimated to have gone down by two-thirds to about $US200 million, however that sum has been put into question after a series of legal troubles, court cases, feuds with former managers and lawyers and wild spending.
On top of his several luxury cars and planes, he bought a French village, an $18 million yacht and a string of Caribbean islands. He allegedly spends $2 million a month, including $30,000 a month on wine alone.
On May 1, 2018, it was reported that Depp was being sued by his former bodyguards over unpaid wages and hostile working conditions, which included exposure to loaded weapons and illegal substances.
Six days later reports broke that Depp had allegedly assaulted the location manager on the set of LAByrinth, a film about the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG.
Although director Brad Furman defended the actor, another source claimed he had been drinking alcohol all day on set.
Despite being the target of negative headlines, Depp has some decent productions in the pipeline.
He has just wrapped on the film Minamata, in which he plays war photographer W. Eugene Smith as he travels back to Japan to document the devastation of mercury poisoning in coastal communities. It’s set to be released next year.
He is also expected to reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald, after the 2018 film Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald set the franchise up for yet more movies. The third instalment is expected to drop in 2021 with filming starting next year.
Depp was reportedly paid $US20 million for the first film, according to Business Insider.
Depp starred alongside Jude Law in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.Source:Supplied
Screenwriter J.K. Rowling stood by Depp’s involvement in the film following significant outcry over his casting.
“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies,” Rowling said.
Depp told EW he felt bad Rowling had to jump to his defence and professed his innocence over domestic violence claims.
“I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy,” he said.
“J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”