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Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp 2020.jpg
Depp in 2020
Born
John Christopher Depp II

(1963-06-09) June 9, 1963 (age 59)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • musician
  • film producer
  • writer
Years active 1984–present
Works
Spouse(s)
  • Lori Allison
    (m. 1983; div. 1985)
  • (m. 2015; div. 2017)
Partner(s) Vanessa Paradis (1998–2012)
Children 2, including Lily-Rose
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Guitar
Labels
Signature
Johnny Depp's signature.svg

John Christopher Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor and musician. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, in addition to nominations for three Academy Awards and two BAFTA awards.

Depp made his feature film debut in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and appeared in Platoon (1986), before rising to prominence as a teen idol on the television series 21 Jump Street (1987–1990). In the 1990s, Depp acted mostly in independent films with auteur directors, often playing eccentric characters. These included Cry-Baby (1990), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Benny and Joon (1993), Dead Man (1995), Donnie Brasco (1997), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). Depp also began his longtime collaboration with director Tim Burton, portraying the leads in the films Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), and Sleepy Hollow (1999).

In the 2000s, Depp became one of the most commercially successful film stars by playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the Walt Disney swashbuckler film series Pirates of the Caribbean (2003–2017). He also received critical praise for Chocolat (2000), Finding Neverland (2004) and Public Enemies (2009), while also continuing his commercially successful collaboration with Tim Burton with the films Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), where he portrayed Willy Wonka, Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

In 2012, Depp was one of the world's biggest film stars, and was listed by the Guinness World Records as the world's highest-paid actor, with earnings of US$75 million in a year. During the 2010s Depp began producing films through his company Infinitum Nihil. He also received critical praise for Black Mass (2015) and formed the rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, before starring as Gellert Grindelwald in the Wizarding World films Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018).

Between 1998 and 2012, Depp was in a relationship with French singer Vanessa Paradis and together they had two children, including actress Lily-Rose Depp. From 2015 to 2017, Depp was married to actress Amber Heard. Their divorce drew much media attention.

Early life

John Christopher Depp II was born on June 9, 1963, in Owensboro, Kentucky, the youngest of four children of waitress Betty Sue Depp (née Wells; later Palmer) and civil engineer John Christopher Depp. Depp's family moved frequently during his childhood, eventually settling in Miramar, Florida, in 1970. His parents divorced in 1978 when he was 15, and his mother later married Robert Palmer, whom Depp has called "an inspiration".

Depp's mother gave him a guitar when he was 12, and he began playing in various bands. He dropped out of Miramar High School at 16 in 1979 to become a rock musician. He attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. In 1980, Depp began playing in a band called The Kids. After modest local success in Florida, the band moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing its name to Six Gun Method. In addition to the band, Depp worked a variety of odd jobs, such as in telemarketing. In December 1983, Depp married makeup artist Lori Anne Allison, the sister of his band's bassist and singer. The Kids split up before signing a record deal in 1984, and Depp began collaborating with the band Rock City Angels. He co-wrote their song "Mary", which appeared on their debut Geffen Records album Young Man's Blues. Depp and Allison divorced in 1985.

Depp is of primarily English descent, with some French, German, and Irish ancestry. His surname comes from a French Huguenot immigrant, Pierre Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700. In interviews in 2002 and 2011, Depp claimed to have Native American ancestry, saying: "I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American. She grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek Indian". Depp's claims came under scrutiny when Indian Country Today wrote that Depp had never inquired about his heritage or been recognized as a member of the Cherokee Nation. This led to criticism from the Native American community, as Depp has no documented Native ancestry, and Native community leaders consider him "a non-Indian" and a pretendian. Depp's choice to portray Tonto, a Native American character, in The Lone Ranger was criticized, along with his choice to name his rock band "Tonto's Giant Nuts". During the promotion for The Lone Ranger, Depp was formally adopted as an honorary son by LaDonna Harris, a member of the Comanche Nation, making him an honorary member of her family but not a member of any tribe. Depp's Comanche name given at the adoption was "Mah Woo May", which means shape shifter. Critical response to his claims from the Native community increased after this, including satirical portrayals of Depp by Native comedians. An ad featuring Depp and Native American imagery, by Dior for the fragrance "Sauvage", was pulled in 2019 after being accused of cultural appropriation and racism.

Career

1984–1989: Early roles and 21 Jump Street

President Ronald Reagan greets Johnny Depp while Nancy Reagan looks on
Depp greeting President Ronald Reagan at a White House in 1988

Depp moved to Los Angeles with his band when he was 20. After the band split up, Depp's then-wife Lori Ann Allison introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage. After they became drinking buddies, Cage advised him to pursue acting. Depp had been interested in acting since reading a biography of James Dean and watching Rebel Without a Cause. Cage helped Depp get an audition with Wes Craven for A Nightmare on Elm Street; Depp, who had no acting experience, said he "ended up acting by accident". Thanks in part to his catching the eye of Craven's daughter, Depp landed the role of the main character's boyfriend.

Though Depp said he "didn't have any desire to be an actor", he continued to be cast in films, making enough to cover some bills that his musical career left unpaid. After a starring role in the 1985 comedy Private Resort, Depp was cast in the lead role of the 1986 skating drama Thrashin' by the film's director, but its producer overrode the decision. Instead, Depp appeared in a minor supporting role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's 1986 Vietnam War drama Platoon. He became a teen idol during the late 1980s, when he starred as an undercover police officer in a high school operation in the Fox television series 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. He accepted this role to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Despite his success, Depp felt that the series "forced [him] into the role of product".

1990–2002: Independent films and first collaborations with Tim Burton

Disillusioned by his experiences as a teen idol in 21 Jump Street, Depp began taking roles he found more interesting, rather than those he thought would succeed at the box office. His first film release in 1990 was John Waters's Cry-Baby, a musical comedy set in the 1950s. Although not a box-office success upon its release, over the years it has gained cult classic status. Also in 1990, Depp played the title character in Tim Burton's romantic fantasy film Edward Scissorhands opposite Dianne Wiest and Winona Ryder. The film was a commercial and critical success with a domestic gross of $53 million. In preparation for the role, Depp watched many Charlie Chaplin films to study how to create sympathy without dialogue. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised Depp's performance, writing that he "artfully expresses the fierce longing in gentle Edward; it's a terrific performance", while Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote that he "brings the eloquence of the silent era to this part of few words, saying it all through bright black eyes and the tremulous care with which he holds his horror-movie hands". Depp earned his first Golden Globe nomination for the film.

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Depp at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival

Depp had no film releases in the next two years, except a brief cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), the sixth installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. He appeared in three films in 1993. In the romantic comedy Benny and Joon, he played an eccentric and illiterate silent film fan who befriends a mentally ill woman and her brother; it became a sleeper hit. Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that Depp "may look nothing like Buster Keaton, but there are times when he genuinely seems to become the Great Stone Face, bringing Keaton's mannerisms sweetly and magically to life". Depp received a second Golden Globe nomination for the performance. His second film of 1993 was Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a drama about a dysfunctional family co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis. It did not perform well commercially, but received positive notices from critics. Although most of the reviews focused on DiCaprio, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote that "Depp manages to command center screen with a greatly affable, appealing characterization". Depp's last 1993 release was Emir Kusturica's surrealist comedy-drama Arizona Dream, which opened to positive reviews and won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

In 1994, Depp reunited with Burton, playing the title role in Ed Wood, a biographical film about one of history's most inept film directors. Depp later said that he was depressed about films and filmmaking at the time, but that "within 10 minutes of hearing about the project, I was committed". He found that the role gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun" and that working with Martin Landau, who played Bela Lugosi, "rejuvenated my love for acting". Although it did not earn back its production costs, Ed Wood received a positive reception from critics, with Maslin writing that Depp had "proved himself as an established, certified great actor" and "captured all the can-do optimism that kept Ed Wood going, thanks to an extremely funny ability to look at the silver lining of any cloud". Depp was nominated for a third time for a Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe for his performance.

Johnny Depp Jim Jarmusch Cannes 1995
Depp with director Jim Jarmusch at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival

The next year, Depp starred in three films. He played opposite Marlon Brando in the box-office hit Don Juan DeMarco, as a man who believes he is Don Juan, the world's greatest lover. He starred in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, a Western shot entirely in black-and-white; it was not a commercial success and had mixed critical reviews. And in the financial and critical failure Nick of Time, Depp played an accountant who is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.

In 1997, Depp and Al Pacino starred in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell. Depp played Joseph D. Pistone, an undercover FBI agent who assumes the name Donnie Brasco to infiltrate the Mafia in New York City. To prepare, Depp spent time with Pistone, on whose memoirs the film was based. Donnie Brasco was a commercial and critical success, and is considered one of Depp's finest performances. Also in 1997, Depp debuted as a director and screenwriter with The Brave. It premiered at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival to generally negative reviews. Variety called it "a turgid and unbelievable neo-western", and Time Out wrote that "besides the implausibilities, the direction has two fatal flaws: it's both tediously slow and hugely narcissistic as the camera focuses repeatedly on Depp's bandana'd head and rippling torso". Due to the reviews, Depp did not release The Brave in the U.S.

Depp was a fan and friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, and played his alter ego Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Terry Gilliam's film adaptation of Thompson's pseudo-biographical novel of the same name. It was a box-office failure and polarized critics. Later that year, Depp made a brief cameo in Mika Kaurismäki's L.A. Without a Map (1998).

Depp appeared in three films in 1999. The first was the sci-fi thriller The Astronaut's Wife, co-starring Charlize Theron, which was not a commercial or critical success. The second, Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate, starred Depp as a seller of old books who becomes entangled in a mystery. It was moderately more successful with audiences but received mixed reviews. The third was Burton's adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where Depp played Ichabod Crane opposite Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken. For his performance, Depp took inspiration from Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall and Basil Rathbone, saying he "always thought of Ichabod as a very delicate, fragile person who was maybe a little too in touch with his feminine side, like a frightened little girl". Sleepy Hollow was a commercial and critical success.

Depp's first film release of the new millennium was British-French drama The Man Who Cried (2000), directed by Sally Potter and starring him as a Roma horseman opposite Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, and John Turturro. It was not a critical success. Depp also had a supporting role in Julian Schnabel's critically acclaimed Before Night Falls (2000). His final film of 2000 was Hallström's critically and commercially successful Chocolat, in which he played a Roma man and the love interest of the main character, Juliette Binoche. Depp's next roles were both based on historical persons. In Blow (2001), he starred as George Jung, who was part of the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s. The film underperformed at the box office and received mixed reviews. In the comic book adaptation From Hell (2001), Depp portrayed inspector Frederick Abberline. The film also received mixed reviews but was a moderate commercial success.

2003–2011: Pirates of the Caribbean, commercial and critical success

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Queensland, Australia
Depp in costume as Captain Jack Sparrow. He is pictured here on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2015.

In 2003, Depp starred in the Walt Disney Pictures adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was a major box office success. He earned widespread acclaim for his comic performance as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and won a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Best Actor as well as an MTV Movie Award. Depp has said that Sparrow is "definitely a big part of me", and that he modeled the character after The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and cartoon skunk Pepé Le Pew. Studio executives had at first been ambivalent about Depp's portrayal, but the character became popular with audiences. In his other film release in 2003, Robert Rodriguez' action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Depp played a corrupt CIA agent. A moderate box-office success, it received average to good reviews, with Depp's performance in particular receiving praise.

Depp next starred as an author with writer's block in the thriller Secret Window (2004), based on a short story by Stephen King. It was a moderate commercial success but received mixed reviews. Released around the same time, the British-Australian independent film The Libertine (2004) saw Depp portray the seventeenth-century poet and rake, the Earl of Rochester. It had only limited release, and received mainly negative reviews. Depp's third film of 2004, Finding Neverland, was more positively received by the critics, and earned him his second Academy Award nomination as well as Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG nominations for his performance as Scottish author J. M. Barrie. Depp also made a brief cameo appearance in the French film Happily Ever After (2004), and founded his own film production company, Infinitum Nihil, under Warner Bros. Pictures.

Depp continued his box-office success with a starring role as Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). It also had a positive critical reception, with Depp being nominated again for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Chocolate Factory was followed by another Burton project, stop-motion animation Corpse Bride (2005), in which Depp voiced the main character, Victor Van Dort. Depp reprised the role of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates sequels Dead Man's Chest (2006) and At World's End (2007), both of which were major box office successes. He also voiced the character in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow. According to a survey taken by Fandango, Depp in the role of Jack Sparrow was the main reason for many cinema-goers to see a Pirates film.

In 2007, Depp collaborated with Burton for their sixth film together, this time playing murderous barber Sweeney Todd in the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Depp cited Peter Lorre's performance in Mad Love (1935), in which Lorre played a "creepy but sympathetic" surgeon, as his main influence for the role. Sweeney Todd was the first film in which Depp had been required to sing. Instead of hiring a qualified vocal coach, he prepared for the role by recording demos with his old bandmate Bruce Witkin. The film was a commercial and critical success. Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty stated that "Depp's soaring voice makes you wonder what other tricks he's been hiding ... Watching Depp's barber wield his razors ... it's hard not to be reminded of Edward Scissorhands frantically shaping hedges into animal topiaries 18 years ago ... and all of the twisted beauty we would've missed out on had [Burton and Depp] never met". Depp won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Actor for the role, and was nominated for the third time for an Academy Award.

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Depp at the Paris premiere of Public Enemies in 2009

In 2009, Depp portrayed real-life gangster John Dillinger in Michael Mann's 1930s crime film Public Enemies. It was commercially successful and gained moderately positive reviews. Roger Ebert stated in his review that "This Johnny Depp performance is something else. For once an actor playing a gangster does not seem to base his performance on movies he has seen. He starts cold. He plays Dillinger as a fact". Depp's second film of 2009, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, reunited him with director Terry Gilliam. Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell each played the character initially portrayed by their friend Heath Ledger, who had died before the film was completed. All three actors gave their salaries to Ledger's daughter, Matilda.

Depp began the 2010s with another collaboration with Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland (2010), in which he played the Mad Hatter opposite Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman. Despite mixed reviews, it earned US$1.025 billion in the box office, thus becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 2010 and one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Depp's second film release of 2010 was the romantic thriller The Tourist, in which he starred opposite Angelina Jolie. It was commercially successful, although panned by critics. Regardless, he received Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe nominations for both films.

Depp's first 2011 film release was the animated film Rango, in which he voiced the title character, a lizard. It was a major critical and commercial success. His second film of the year, the fourth installment in the Pirates series, On Stranger Tides, was again a box office hit, becoming the third-highest-grossing film of 2011. Later in 2011, Depp released the first two projects co-produced by his company, Infinitum Nihil. The first was a film adaptation of the novel The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson and starred Depp. It failed to bring back its production costs and received mixed reviews. The company's second undertaking, Martin Scorsese's Hugo (2011), garnered major critical acclaim and several awards nominations, but similarly did not perform well in the box office. In 2011, Depp also made a brief cameo in the Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill.

2012–2020: Career setbacks

By 2012, Depp was one of the world's biggest film stars, and was listed by the Guinness World Records as the world's highest-paid actor, with earnings of US$75 million. That year, he and his 21 Jump Street co-stars Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson reprised their roles in cameo appearances in the series' feature film adaptation. Depp also starred in and co-produced his eighth film with Tim Burton, Dark Shadows (2012), alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Eva Green. The film was based on a 1960s Gothic television soap opera of the same name, which had been one of his favorites as a child. The film's poor reception in the United States brought Depp's star appeal into question.

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Depp at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013

After Infinitum Nihil's agreement with WB expired in 2011, Depp signed a multi-year first-look deal with Walt Disney Studios. The first film made in the collaboration was The Lone Ranger (2013), in which Depp starred as Tonto. Depp's casting as a Native American brought accusations of whitewashing, and the film was not well received by the public or the critics, causing Disney to take a US$190 million loss. Following a brief cameo in the independent film Lucky Them (2013), Depp starred as an AI-studying scientist in the sci-fi thriller Transcendence (2014), which was yet another commercial failure, and earned mainly negative reviews. His other roles in 2014 were a minor supporting part as The Wolf in the musical adaptation Into the Woods, and a more substantial appearance as eccentric French-Canadian ex-detective in Kevin Smith's horror-comedy Tusk, in which he was credited by the character's name, Guy LaPointe.

In 2015, Depp appeared in two films produced by Infinitum Nihil. The first was comedy-thriller Mortdecai, in which he acted opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. The film was a critical and commercial failure and brought both stars Golden Raspberry nominations. The second film, Black Mass (2015), in which he played Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger, was better received. Critics from The Hollywood Reporter and Variety called it one of Depp's best performances to date, and the role earned Depp his third nomination for the Best Actor SAG award. However, the film failed to bring back its production costs. Depp also made a cameo appearance in the critically panned London Fields, starring his then-wife Amber Heard, which was to be released in 2015, but its general release was delayed by litigation until 2018. In addition to his work in films in 2015, French luxury fashion house Dior signed Depp as the face of their men's fragrance, Sauvage, and he was inducted as a Disney Legend.

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Depp at the premiere of Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2016

Depp's first film release in 2016 was Yoga Hosers, a sequel to Tusk (2014), in which Depp appeared with his daughter, Lily-Rose Depp. Next, he played businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump in a Funny or Die satire entitled Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie, released during the run-up to the US presidential election. He earned praise for the role, with a headline from The A.V. Club declaring, "Who knew Donald Trump was the comeback role Johnny Depp needed?" It was also announced that Depp had been cast in a new franchise role as Dr. Jack Griffin/The Invisible Man in Universal Studios's planned shared film universe entitled the Dark Universe, a rebooted version of their classic Universal Monsters franchise. Depp reprised the role of the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. In contrast to the first film's success, the sequel lost Disney approximately US$70 million. It also gained Depp two Golden Raspberry nominations. Depp had also been secretly cast to play dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in a cameo appearance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), the first installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. His name was not mentioned in the promotional materials and his cameo was only revealed at the end of the film.

In 2017, Depp appeared alongside other actors and filmmakers in The Black Ghiandola, a short film made by a terminally ill teenager through the non-profit Make a Film Foundation. He also reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of the Pirates series, Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). In the US, it did not perform as well as previous installments, and Depp was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards for worst actor and for worst screen combo. However, the film had a good box office return internationally, especially in China, Japan and Russia. Depp's last film release in 2017 was the Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, in which he was part of an ensemble cast led by director-star Kenneth Branagh.

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Depp in costume as Gellert Grindelwald at the San Diego Comic Con in 2018

In 2018, Depp voiced the title character Sherlock Gnomes in the animated movie Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes. Although moderately commercially successful, it was critically panned and earned Depp two Golden Raspberry nominations, one for his acting and another for his "fast-fading film career". Depp then starred in two independent films, both produced by him and his company, Infinitum Nihil. The first was City of Lies, in which he starred as Russell Poole, an LAPD detective. It was set for release in September 2018, but was pulled from the release schedule after a crew member sued Depp for assault. The second film was the comedy-drama Richard Says Goodbye, in which Depp played a professor with terminal cancer. It premiered at the Zurich Film Festival in October 2018. Depp's last film release of 2018 was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which he reprised his role as Grindelwald. Depp's casting received criticism from fans of the series due to the domestic violence allegations against him.

Depp also experienced other career setbacks around this time, as Disney confirmed that they would not be casting him in new Pirates installments and he was reported to no longer be attached to Universal's Dark Universe franchise. Depp's next films were the independent dramas Waiting for the Barbarians (2019), based on a novel by J.M. Coetzee, and Minamata (2020), in which he portrayed photographer W. Eugene Smith and which premiered at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. In November 2020, Depp resigned from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise at the request of its production company, Warner Bros., after he lost his UK libel case against The Sun'. He was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. Soon after, The Hollywood Reporter called Depp "persona non-grata" in the film industry.

2021–present: Multiple European film awards and upcoming projects

In March 2021, City of Lies, which was originally scheduled for 2018, was released in theaters and streaming services. The same month, an online petition to bring Depp back to the Pirates franchise, begun four months earlier, reached its goal of 500,000 signatures. His Pirates co-star Kevin McNally also expressed support for Depp returning to the role. In July 2021, Andrew Levitas, the director of Minamata (2020), accused MGM of trying to bury the film due to Depp's involvement, with Depp claiming he is being boycotted by the Hollywood industry and calling his changed reputation an "absurdity of media mathematics". Minamata was released in the UK and Ireland in August 2021, and in North America in December 2021. The film received positive reviews, with multiple publications praising Depp's performance as his best in years. Depp also continues as the face of Dior's men's fragrance, Sauvage.

Depp received multiple honorary awards at numerous European film festivals, including at the Camerimage festival in Poland, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, and the San Sebastián International Film Festival in Spain, where Depp was awarded the Donostia Award.

In September 2021, Depp described himself as a victim of cancel culture. The same month, he launched IN.2, a London-based sister company to his production company, Infinitum Nihil, and announced that IN.2 and the Spanish production company A Contracorriente Films were starting a new development fund for TV and film projects.

On February 15, 2022, Depp received the Serbian Gold Medal of Merit from President Aleksandar Vučić for "outstanding merits in public and cultural activities, especially in the field of film art and the promotion of the Republic of Serbia in the world". Minamata and animated series Puffins were shot in the country.

As of May 2022, Depp has been cast as King Louis XV in French actor-director Maïwenn's period film Jeanne Du Barry, which is to begin filming in the summer. The previously titled Jeanne du Barry is now titled La Favorite and will tell the story of Madame du Barry, an impoverished seamstress who rises through the ranks of Louis XV’s court to become his official mistress. Netflix will co-finance and stream the French period drama. This will be the first film for Johnny Depp where he acts in French.

In August 2022, Depp is set to direct Modigliani, a film about Amedeo Modigliani, which he will co-produce alongside Al Pacino and Barry Navidi. The film is based on a play by Dennis McIntyre, which was previously adapted for the 2004 film of the same name, from a screenplay by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski. Principal photography will commence in 2023. He made a surprise cameo appearance at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.

Other ventures

In 2004, Depp founded film production company Infinitum Nihil to develop projects where he will serve as actor or producer. He serves as its CEO, while his sister, Christi Dembrowski, serves as president. The company's first two film releases were The Rum Diary (2011) and Hugo (2011).

Depp co-owned the nightclub The Viper Room in Los Angeles from 1993 to 2003, and he was also part owner of the restaurant-bar Man Ray in Paris for a short period of time. Depp and Douglas Brinkley edited folk singer Woody Guthrie's novel House of Earth, which was published in 2013.

Music

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Depp performing with the Hollywood Vampires at Wembley Arena in 2018

Prior to his acting career, Depp was a guitarist, and has later featured on songs by Oasis, Shane MacGowan, Iggy Pop, Vanessa Paradis, Aerosmith, Marilyn Manson, and The New Basement Tapes, among others. He also performed with Manson at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in 2012. Depp played guitar on the soundtrack of his films Chocolat and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and has appeared in music videos for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Lemonheads, Avril Lavigne and Paul McCartney. In the 1990s, he was also a member of P, a musical group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

In 2015, Depp formed the supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry; the band also includes Bruce Witkin, his friend from his 1980s band, The Kids. Hollywood Vampires released their self-titled debut studio album in September 2015. It featured eleven classic rock covers, as well as three original songs (all co-written by Depp). The band made their live debut at The Roxy in Los Angeles in September 2015, and has since done two world tours in 2016 and 2018. Their second studio album, Rise, was released in June 2019 and consists mostly of original material, including songs written by Depp. The album also features a cover version of David Bowie's "Heroes", sung by Depp.

In 2020, Depp released a cover of John Lennon's "Isolation" with guitarist Jeff Beck, and stated that they would be releasing more music together in the future. Beginning in May 2022, Depp joined Beck onstage for a number of concerts in the United Kingdom, where Beck announced they had recorded an album together. Their joint record, titled 18, was released on July 15, 2022. Depp also accompanied Beck on his European tour, which began in June.

Art

In July 2022 artwork made by Johnny Depp sold out in less than a day since it debuted in the U.K-based art retailer Castle Fine Art gallery in London’s Covent Garden. The art house hosted the actor's "Friends & Heroes" collection, which was described as paintings of people "who have inspired him as a person." Among the art pieces, the names include actors Al Pacino and Elizabeth Taylor and musicians Bob Dylan and Keith Richards. Depp made for nearly $4 million dollars and sold 780 prints through the art house's 37 galleries. Ahead of the sale, Depp expressed his desire to display his art publicly and stated, "I've always used art to express my feelings and to reflect on those who matter most to me, like my family, friends and people I admire," he said." My paintings surround my life, but I kept them to myself and limited myself. No one should ever limit themselves." All 780 pieces sold within hours, with framed individual images going for £3,950 and the complete portfolio of four images selling for £14,950. "This world-first release proved to be our fastest-selling collection to date, with all titles selling out in just hours," the gallery announced on Instagram. Speaking on behalf of fine art publishers Washington Green Glyn Washington described Depp as a ‘true creative, with an extraordinary eye for detail and nuance.’

Personal life

Relationships

Depp and makeup artist Lori Anne Allison were married from 1983 until 1985. In the late 1980s, he was engaged to actresses Jennifer Grey and Sherilyn Fenn before proposing in 1990 to his Edward Scissorhands co-star Winona Ryder, for whom he tattooed "Winona Forever" on his right arm which he later changed to "Wino Forever". Between 1994 and 1998, he was in a relationship with English model Kate Moss. Following his breakup from Moss, Depp began a relationship with French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, whom he met while filming The Ninth Gate in France in 1998. They have two children, daughter Lily-Rose Melody Depp (born 1999) and a son, Jack (born 2002). Depp stated that having children has given him a "real foundation, a real strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything ...You cannot plan the kind of deep love that results in children. Fatherhood was not a conscious decision. It was part of the wonderful ride I was on. It was destiny. All the math finally worked". Depp and Paradis announced that they had separated in June 2012.

Amber Heard

Following the end of his relationship with Vanessa Paradis, Depp began dating actress Amber Heard, with whom he had co-starred in The Rum Diary (2011). Depp and Heard were married in a civil ceremony in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce in May 2016. The divorce was finalized in January 2017. Depp paid Heard a divorce settlement of US$7 million, which she pledged to donate to the ACLU and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Filmography and accolades

Discography

Year Song Artist Album Credits
1994 "That Woman's Got Me Drinking" Shane MacGowan and The Popes The Snake Guitar
1995 All tracks P P Guitar, bass
"Fade Away" Oasis The Help Album Guitar
1997 "Fade In-Out" Be Here Now
1999 "Hollywood Affair" Iggy Pop "Corruption" (B-side) Featured performer
2000 "St. Germain" Vanessa Paradis Bliss Co-writer
"Bliss"
"Firmaman" Guitar
"Minor Swing" Rachel Portman Chocolat (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Guitar
"They're Red Hot"
"Caravan"
2003 "Sand's Theme" Various artists Once Upon A Time In Mexico (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Composer
2007 "No Place Like London" Various artists Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: The Motion Picture Soundtrack Performer
"My Friends"
"Pirelli's Miracle Elixir"
"Pretty Women"
"Epiphany"
"A Little Priest"
"Johanna (Reprise)"
"By the Sea"
"Final Scene"
2008 "Too Close to the Sun" Glenn Tilbrook and The Fluffers Pandemonium Ensues Guitar
2010 "I Put a Spell on You" Shane MacGowan and Friends Guitar
"Unloveable" Babybird Ex-Maniac Guitar
2011 "Kemp in the Village" Christopher Young The Rum Diary (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Performer, co-writer
"The Mermaid Song" (instrumental) Piano
"Ballade de Melody Nelson" Lulu Gainsbourg From Gainsbourg to Lulu Co-lead vocals, guitar, bass, drums
"The Jesus Stag Night Club" Babybird The Pleasures of Self Destruction Guitar
2012 "Freedom Fighter" Aerosmith Music from Another Dimension! Background vocals
"You're So Vain" Marilyn Manson Born Villain Guitar, drums, production
"Street Runners" Jup & Rob Jackson Collective Bargaining Featured performer
"Little Lion Man" Various artists West of Memphis: Voices of Justice Performer
"Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16"
2013 "The Mermaid" Various artists Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys Guitar, drums
"The Brooklyn Shuffle" Steve Hunter The Manhattan Blues Project Guitar
"New Year" Vanessa Paradis Love Songs Co-writer
"Poor Paddy on the Railway" Various artists The Lone Ranger: Wanted (Music Inspired by the Film) Guitar
"Sweet Betsy from Pike" Arrangement
2014 "Kansas City" The New Basement Tapes Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Guitar
"Hello, Little Girl" Various artists Into the Woods (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Performer
2015 All tracks Hollywood Vampires Hollywood Vampires Guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, co-writer, sound design
"21+" Butch Walker Afraid of Ghosts Guitar
2019 All tracks Hollywood Vampires Rise Guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, co-writer, sound design
2022 All tracks Jeff Beck & Johnny Depp 18 Vocals, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, backing vocals, co-writer

See also

  • List of people from Kentucky
  • List of actors with Academy Award nominations
  • List of actors with two or more Academy Award nominations in acting categories
  • Jack Sparrow
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