Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What happened to Johnny Depp? How ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ made him, and ruined him.

Johnny Depp used to be so cool. Back at the dawn of this new century, it was hard to imagine anyone much cooler. He may not have had a big blockbuster to his name, but he was a star nonetheless, gracing offbeat roles that made him edgier and more enigmatic than Leo or Brad. He was the grunge movie star: Soulful eyes under dirty hair, tattoos before they were mainstream, combat boots on the red carpet, and incredibly bad-ass girlfriends (Winona Ryder, Kate Moss). The more he resisted the attempts to make him a heartthrob, the hotter he became.
So how exactly did we end up here?
You’ve probably seen Depp’s face on the movie posters for “Mortdecai.” They’re inescapable. Here once again is the shape-shifting star, this time flamboyantly mustachioed and dandified by a cravat and velvet blazer with pocket square. He looks at once surprised and utterly pleased with himself, though it’s hard to imagine why: The dated-looking farce about a bumbling secret agent has box office prognosticators anticipating a bomb in the making, likely to open to lower receipts this weekend than even Jennifer Lopez’s laughable thriller, “The Boy Next Door.”
“This is comfortably the actor’s worst film since ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and even dedicated fans will find their hearts shrivelling up like week-old party balloons at its all-pervading air of clenched desperation,” says the Telegraph. And Variety warns: “Depp has entered a realm of performance so self-amused, one imagines most co-stars would struggle to forge chemistry with him.”
Trailer: 'Mortdecai'
Play Video2:28
Johnny Depp plays Charlie Mortdecai, a charismatic British art dealer tasked with finding a stolen Goya painting. Directed by David Koepp, the film also stars Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow. It premieres Jan. 23. (Lions Gate Entertainment)
Even the most insouciant bad boys need to grow up eventually. But how did he turn into this 51-year-old ham? Is this what a mid-life crisis looks like?
It’s not just that Depp is playing an outlandish character. He’s essentially made a career out of playing eccentrics. After the ’80s TV series “21 Jump Street” launched him to fame, he quickly broke out of the heartthrob rut, first by sending up his own pretty-boy-rebel image in 1990’s “Cry-Baby,” courtesy of the pope of trash himself, John Waters. And then there was the first of many collaborations with Tim Burton, in “Edward Scissorhands,” a bizarre gothic romantic fantasy. Depp’s face was ghostly white and scarred, his hair was matted and unruly and he was nearly mute, but his character was so sweet and sympathetic, you still hoped against reason that he’d get the girl (played by Ryder).
Depp continued to disappear into characters, and they were rarely glamorous. He was the mentally not-all-there guy who romanced the mentally not-all-there girl in “Benny and Joon” and the cross-dressing director in “Ed Wood”; he collaborated with Jim Jarmusch — patron saint of idiosyncratic indies — playing an accountant in the surreal black-and-white western “Dead Man,” and he took the role of a psychiatric patient convinced he’s the world’s greatest lover in “Don Juan DeMarco.” Critics called his performances “soulful” and “startling.”
Meanwhile, he turned down the mainstream stuff. The A-list offers certainly poured in: “Titanic” and “Legends of the Fall,” “Interview With a Vampire” and “Speed.” And the answer was always no.
Depp’s alternatives weren’t all winners. The ‘90s were a mixed bag, but even misses like the thriller “Nick of Time” took risks. The movie unfolded in real time, a 90-minute race against the clock during which Depp’s character had to save his daughter. And for every horrific misfire (ahem, “The Astronaut’s Wife”), there was a “Donnie Brasco.” In Mike Newell’s 1997 crime drama, Depp played an uncharacteristically average guy, an undercover agent tasked with getting close to a mafia hitman, and Depp held his own opposite Al Pacino.
Around this time, Depp met French singer-model-actress Vanessa Paradis, and everything seemed to be clicking. Of course Depp and Paradis would get together. Neither seemed to ever work hard at their craft or beauty, it was just effortlessly there. And obviously they didn’t get married. Something so traditional? Mon dieu! Instead, the pair had a daughter and a son and split their time between France and the U.S. When they walked the red carpet, the couple was always perfectly unconventional, him, festooned with all those rings and necklaces, and her looking like a flapper or something.
And then he became a superstar.
For all his devoted fans, Depp had never been a true A-lister commanding tens of millions per picture — not with his offbeat choices. But that all changed in 2003 when he signed onto his first big blockbuster. The movie was “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” based on a Disney ride, and Depp played Captain Jack Sparrow. He justified taking the part in various ways, — it was a movie his kids could see, it was a challenge to inject so much weirdness into a lightweight role. He brilliantly channeled Keith Richards for the role — shambling and slurring with a Cockney accent — though the eyeliner, dreadlocks and goatee beads were all Depp’s ideas (much to the chagrin of terrified Disney execs). The movie was a huge hit with moviegoers and also, surprisingly, the Academy. The role got him his first Oscar nomination.
Suddenly, the actor who was once too cool for mainstream had become a Hollywood commodity, who gamely starred in three “Pirates” sequels (with a fourth planned for 2017). But he continued to track down quality work and even landed two more Oscar nominations for playing more strange men. In 2004’s “Finding Neverland,” he was “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie, and in 2007, he sang and danced as the murderous barber “Sweeney Todd.”
But since “Sweeney” — incidentally, around the time he became a sequel guy — Depp has entered a new stage. Now every role is Sparrow-level over-the-top, fancy facades with little below the surface. And he doesn’t so much disappear into a role as completely disguise himself. He was an alarmingly soft-spoken Willy Wonka with a pageboy haircut in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and an orange-curled Mad Hatter in the critically-pummeled “Alice in Wonderland.” Both of those were Burton collabs, as was “Dark Shadows,” in 2012, another dud. (Said our colleague Ann Hornaday: “By ‘Dark Shadows’  final scene, the kabuki-white greasepaint has been troweled on so thickly, [Depp] resembles less a human character than one of Burton’s animated creations. Perhaps that’s the best way to understand an alternately antic and deadly dull enterprise content to remain as steadfastly two-dimensional as the “Scooby-Doo” cartoon it briefly invokes.”
Then there was Depp’s portrayal of Tonto, sporting a stuffed crow on his head, in the massive bomb “The Lone Ranger,” directed by “Pirates” helmer Gore Verbinski. For last year’s box-office stinker, “Transcendence,” Depp was rendered into mere pixels. But his few forays into realism have been similarly unsuccessful. Remember “The Tourist,” his thriller opposite Angelina Jolie? If so, you’re in rare company.
Is Depp’s mere presence in a movie enough to secure big box office returns? The answer certainly seems to be no. “Alice” and “Charlie” did well, as kid’s movies do, and so has the “Pirates” franchise, although domestically, there appears to be waning interest. The second installment made $423 million stateside, while the fourth did $241 million worth of sales. (Internationally, they continue to be a big hit.) But all the other recent movies fizzled.
Depp was at his best when he was doing the more understated work. Sure, Edward Scissorhands looked flamboyant, but for all the scars and hair and bladed digits, he was playing a strangely relatable character, an outsider in a cookie-cutter world: The emotions were real. There’s none of that in what Depp does now, which is, essentially, chew the scenery.
This was his downfall: Hollywood deemed him a moneymaker, and he responded by becoming an ever more manic version of the role that made him big. Problem is, Depp was never really a moneymaker, and he still isn’t. Once upon a time, he might have been able to fall back on his punk-rock cred and his actorly integrity. He could have turned his back on it all, with his arm around his latest, beyond-hip girlfriend.
It’s not Paradis anymore, by the way. They split in 2012 after 14 non-married years together. Now he doesn’t even have a girlfriend. He has a fiancee, the blonde bombshell actress Amber Heard, who is 28. How conventional.

Johnny Depp Drunk Disaster On Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 Set: Amber Heard Marriage Woes Kill The Movie – A Sinking Ship!

Johnny Depp Drunk Disaster On Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 Set: Amber Heard Marriage Woes Kill The Movie - A Sinking Ship!
Johnny Depp’s boozing and fighting with his wife Amber Heard is slowly killing Pirates Of The Caribbean. Johnny Depp has been in Australia for what seems like forever filming the latest installment of the franchise, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Of course his mysterious hand injury after a night of boozing, and his wife Amber Heard’s dog smuggling case have definitely slowed down production – and nearly brought it to a halt.
Pirates Of the Caribbean 5 has been pushed back so many times, we can hardly keep track of the film’s release date anymore. Originally, it was supposed to be released in the Summer of 2015, but seeing as how the Summer of 2015 is here – and they haven’t even finished filming the movie, that is not going to happen. As of right now, the International Movie Database has the premiere date slated for 2017, which seems ions away, but at this rate it will be a miracle if it is even done by then.
The production team in Australia is at their wit’s end – millions of dollars over budget and months behind schedule, they blame it all on Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard. Since Johnny arrived in Australia to begin filming, Amber and his drama has been causing issues on set, at one point Amber was reportedly even banned from visiting her husband at work.
An insider dished to Naughty Gossip, “Johnny has been on set as little as possible, only fulfilling his contract at the minimum level – and his mood has been completely affecting the whole operation of the production. Producers are worried that morale will be affected.” Morale is the least of their problems at this point. Pirates of The Caribbean is a complete money pit, and they are too far in that they can’t pull the plug because millions of dollars will be lost. Meanwhile, disgruntled diehard fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean blame Johnny’s new wife Amber Heard, and have taken to social media to rant that she is killing the movie.
Do you think that Pirates of the Caribbean 5 will ever see the light of day? Is it fair to blame Amber Heard for ruining the movie? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
- See more at: http://www.celebdirtylaundry.com/2015/johnny-depp-drunk-disaster-on-pirates-of-the-caribbean-5-set-amber-heard-marriage-woes-kill-the-movie-a-sinking-ship/#sthash.9TGcWiVp.dpuf

Johnny Depp takes break from Pirates of the Caribbean filming to make surprise appearance at children's hospital

Johnny Depp's swashbuckling alter ego Captain Jack Sparrow made a surprise appearance at a children's hospital in Brisbane, Australia.
Depp, 52 - who is in the country to film the fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - flew by helicopter to the Lady Cliento Children’s Hospital to greet a group of patients.
He was joined by his fellow pirate Scrum, played by Broadwalk Empire actor Stephen Graham.
The pair were bombarded with hugs and went in and out of wards to visit the children as they joked around and dished out gold coins.
The visit was filmed for Juiced - a TV show made by children who film patients and siblings at the hospital. It is broadcast on a weekly basis.
Ready for his close up: Johnny Depp fooling around with the camera
One parent - whose son is a huge fan of Depp - told ABC: "[Depp] came on the condition that he wasn't pushed along and crowded by adults and he could spend as much time as he wanted with the kids.
"He was here for the kids."
Depp has been full of kind deeds during his stay in Australia.
He last week offered to pay the electrical bill of one fan after she handed it to him to sign, reported 9NEWS.
The actor signed the bill and offered to phone the energy company to pay it off, but the fan politely declined.
Depp found himself in hot water after he flew into Australia earlier this month on a private jet with his Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, and reportedly broke the country's strict quarantine laws after failing to declare them.
Officials threatened the dogs with a death sentence if they were not removed within two days.
Filming for Dead Men Tell No Tales has been riddled with problems. Depp was forced to fly back to the US for surgery following an off set accident to his hand, tropical cyclone Nathan disrupted second unit photography and last month filming was moved to Raby Bay because conditions on the Gold Coast became too rough.

Johnny Depp Surprises Fans at Disney’s D23 Expo

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star selected as member of Disney Legends
Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance at Disney’s D23 Expo on Friday, becoming a member of the 2015 class of Disney Legends.
The Disney Legends are members of an exclusive group selected by the company for their contributions to the Walt Disney Brand. Depp joined fellow inductees George Lucas, Danny Elfman and Susan Lucci among others in accepting the honor.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” Depp joked when he took the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
Depp exploded onto the Disney landscape in 2003 with his starring role in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” He has gone on to play the part in three subsequent films and will reprise it for the 2017 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
Lucas sold the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise to Disney in 2012 for a reported $4 billion. Elfman scored a number of hit Disney films, such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “Good Will Hunting.”
Meawhile, Susan Lucci is known for her role on the long-running ABC soap opera “All My Children.” She played Erica Kane on the show for 41 years, earning 21 Daytime Emmy Nominations in the process.
Each new Disney Legend received a sculpture signifying their contributions to the Company and had their handprints cast in bronze which will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza in Burbank.
“Today we add several new Legends to this elite group,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said. “They are an indelible part of our legacy.”

Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow slurs and throws grapes at D23

Jack Sparrow at D23 (Disney).
Jack Sparrow at D23 (Getty).
You don’t mess with the captain. Johnny Depp made a full-force return as Captain Jack Sparrow at the D23 Expo Saturday, wowing the crowd with his slurring and grape-throwing skills.
USA TODAY’s Bryan Alexander said Depp came out onstage dressed in his full Jack Sparrow costume, Sparrow- slurring and swaggering as the captain is wont to do. Jack Sparrow Depp was eating grapes from his hands as he surveyed the crowd, confusedly asking Disney’s Sean Baileywhat was going on.
Depp: “Where are we?”
Bailey: “Disneyland!”
Depp: “Never heard of it. Anaheim?”
Depp then asked if anyone was allergic to grapes before going off on a rant about them and throwing them into the audience:
“I hate grapes. I despise the rotten little things.”
Depp as Sparrow then threatened to sing before he was forced to exit the stage — but not before Depp got a word in about how his “Disney Legend” award was actually more of a “Disney Lesion” award. And with that, the captain left the ship.
Depp was onstage to promote the upcoming Pirates of the CaribbeanDead Men Tell No Tales, to be released in theaters July 7, 2017. Orlando Bloom was also confirmed to return for the film.
Jack Sparrow at D23 (Getty).
Jack Sparrow at D23 (Getty).

The 10 Greatest Johnny Depp Movies of All Time

Johnny Depp has long since been a staple on the big screen, proving his versatility and fearlessness by taking on some of the most eccentric characters in film history. Though the actor has suffered some notable flops in his career, such as the spy spoof Mortdecai, here’s a look back at 10 of the most memorable roles from his career, considering both audience reactions and critical acclaim.

10. Cry-Baby

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Source: Universal Pictures
Source: Universal Pictures
The 1990 John Waters-directed musical romantic comedy stars Depp as a 1950s teen rebel, “Cry-Baby” Wade Walker, the leader of a group of delinquents known as “drapes.” When Cry-Baby falls in love with a “square” from outside of the group, it throws the town’s subcultures into turmoil. While the film wasn’t a huge box office success at the time of its debut, it has since become a cult classic and helped Depp prove himself as a film heartthrob. The film overall earned generally favorable reviews and Depp’s individual performance also spurred a positive reaction, with critics labeling him “a rockin’ revelation.”

9. Rango

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Source: Paramount Pictures
Source: Paramount Pictures
In this 2011 animated film, Depp lends his voice to the titular character, a chameleon house pet in the midst of an identity crisis who sets out on a road trip and ends up becoming a sheriff in the isolated, lawless Wild West town of Dirt. It earned widely positive reviews, with Depp earning critical praise for a vocal performance that’s as lively and colorful as the actor himself. The film eventually won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

8. Blow

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Source: Miramax
Source: Miramax
Adapted from Bruce Portner’s 1993 book of the same name, the movie follows the story of American cocaine smuggler George Jung in the 1970s. Though the film performed decently at the box office, it earned mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found problems with Jung as a subject. Still, Depp’s individual performance was much more well-received, with reviewers calling his depiction of the character “engaging” and “spellbindingly naturalistic.” His portrayal remains an audience favorite, with moviegoers giving the movie an 87% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.

7. Finding Neverland

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Source: Miramax
Source: Miramax
The semi-biographical film chronicles the story of playwright J.M. Barrie and the family who inspired his career-defining tale Peter Pan. Depp’s turn as Barrie, though understated (particularly after his flashy turn in Pirates of the Caribbean), was a fascinating one, with the actor bringing just the right amount of grace and charm to the real-life story. His depiction didn’t go unnoticed by critics. The performance earned Depp Best Actor nominations at the SAG awards, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars.

6. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

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Source: ParamountPictures
Source: Paramount Pictures
Based on the novel by Peter Hedges, this emotional tearjerker stars Depp as the caretaker brother of Arnie (a young Leonardo DiCaprio), who suffers from a developmental disability. The two live in Texas with their overweight mother, who gave up on life long ago after their father walked out on them. The movie’s honest portrayal of a struggling family in a small town earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. Though DiCaprio earned most of the critical attention, Depp also deserves his fair share of praise for his pleasant, understated depiction, which proved the actor’s versatility even early in his career.

5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Source: Universal Pictures
Source: Universal Pictures
Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the 1998 movie follows the drug-fueled adventures of Raoul Duke (played by Depp) and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) on the way to Las Vegas. In terms of box office revenue, the film tanked, grossing a measly $10.6 million domestically. While the movie earned mixed, divisive reactions with critics at the time of its debut, reviewers still credited Depp’s strong performance for lifting a lacking plotline. In the years since its premiere, the movie has garnered a cult following (as evidenced by the 90% fresh audience rating it holds on Rotten Tomatoes).

4. Donnie Brasco

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Source: TriStar Pictures
Source: TriStar Pictures
Depp takes on another real-life story as Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent who infiltrates the Bonanno crime family in New York City during the 1970s under the alias Donnie Brasco. Adapted from Pistone’s novel about his own experiences, the movie earned high praise, scoring an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics singled out Depp’s top-notch performance in particular, praising his nuanced portrayal for adding believability to the film.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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Source: Disney
Source: Disney
When it was first revealed that Disney was pursuing a film based on a theme park ride, no one had high hopes for the project. But the first movie of the franchise, The Curse of the Black Pearl, proved all the skeptics wrong, becoming a huge (if unexpected) success and grossing over $654 million worldwide. Depp’s unforgettable turn as the quirky, charming and hilariously over-the-top Captain Jack Sparrow was undoubtedly a big part of the appeal. The role showcased the actor’s impressive comedic timing, not to mention his ability to turn a standard anti-hero into a lovable character that moviegoers want to see again and again. His performance in the film was highly praised and it won him a SAG award, as well as Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. The character also remains one of his most memorable and widely recognized roles to date.
Depp’s continued to reprise his role in the next three installments, each of which have been less well-received than the first, but have continued to bring in big money at the box office. Another Pirates installment is reportedly hitting theaters in 2017.

2. Edward Scissorhands

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Source: 20th Century Fox
Source: 20th Century Fox
The very first of many collaborations between director Tim Burton and Depp remains a fan favorite and one of their most critically acclaimed works. Depp stars as an artificial man named Edward, who is uncommonly gentle, despite having a creepy appearance and scissors for hands. He is taken in by a suburban family and ends up falling in love with their daughter (played by Winona Ryder). While Depp’s career may now be defined by the countless transformations he’s undergone and costumes he’s donned for various films, Edward Scissorhands is one of most memorable — and for good reason. In addition to receiving an overwhelmingly positive critical response (the film currently holds a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and solidifying the careers of both Depp and Burton, the 1990 film has continued to have an influence on modern movies.

1. Ed Wood

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Source: TouchstonePictures
Source: TouchstonePictures
Directed by Tim Burton, the 1994 biopic stars Depp as cult filmmaker Ed Wood. The movie follows Wood during the period in his life when he made his most well-known movies and had a relationship with actor Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau). While not as popular as some other Burton-Depp collaborations, it proved that Depp could handle an eccentric role, even without all the flashy makeup and costumes. Though the film ended up being a box office disappointment, it garnered universal praise from critics and audiences alike, and earned Depp a Golden Globe nomination.