Friday, December 5, 2008

About Johnny Depp

Taken from : Strips4YOU

John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, known for his portrayals of offbeat and eccentric characters such as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He has collaborated with director and close friend Tim Burton in six films: Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Depp has also garnered acclaim for his portrayals of real life figures such as Edward Wood, Jr., in Ed Wood. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $2.2 billion at the United States box office and over $4.7 billion worldwide. Depp has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Early life
Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, the son of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, Sr., a civil engineer. He has one brother, Danny, and two sisters, Christie (now his personal manager) and Debbie. Depp has German, Gypsy (mostly from a great-grandmother),Cherokee and Irish ancestry. The book Johnny Depp: A Kind of Illusion (ISBN 1-905287-04-6) states that the Depp family originated with a French Huguenot, Pierre Deppe or Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700. Depp has said he doesn't know the origin of his surname, but jokes that the name translates to "idiot" in German (it is actually a minor insult meaning fool). The family moved frequently during Depp's childhood, and he and his siblings lived in more than 20 different locations, settling in Miramar, Florida, in 1970. In 1978, Depp's parents divorced. He engaged in self-harm as a child, due to the stress of dealing with family problems and his own insecurity. He has seven or eight scars from practicing self-harm. In a 1993 interview, he explained his self-injury by saying, "My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist".

Depp's mother bought her son a guitar when he was 12, and Depp began playing in various garage bands. His first band was in honor of his girlfriend Meredith. A year after his parents' divorce, Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. As he once explained on Inside the Actors Studio, he attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success. The Kids set out together for Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method. The group split before signing a record deal. Depp subsequently collaborated with the band Rock City Angels and co-wrote their song "Mary", which appeared on Rock City Angels' debut for Geffen Records titled Young Man's Blues.

On December 24, 1983, Depp married Lori Anne Allison, a makeup artist and sister of his band's bass player and singer. During Depp's marriage, his wife worked as a makeup artist while he worked a variety of odd jobs, including a telemarketer for ink pens. Later, his wife introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage, who advised Depp to pursue an acting career. In 1985, Depp and Allison divorced. After his marriage ended, Depp dated and was engaged to Sherilyn Fenn (whom he met on the set of the 1985 short film Dummies).

1990s and 2000s
In 1994, Depp was arrested and questioned by police for allegedly causing serious damage to a New York City hotel suite. He was arrested again in 1999 for brawling with paparazzi outside a restaurant while dining in London with his girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis. Since 1998, Depp has had a relationship with Vanessa Paradis, a French actress and singer whom he met while filming The Ninth Gate. The couple have two children. Daughter Lily-Rose Melody Depp was born May 27, 1999. Son John "Jack" Christopher Depp III was born April 9, 2002. In 2007, his daughter recovered from a serious illness, an E. coli infection that began to cause her kidneys to shut down and resulted in an extended hospital stay. However, earlier sources reported that she had blood poisoning due to stepping on a rusty tack.

Although Depp has not remarried, he has stated that having children has given him "real foundation, a real strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything." "You can't 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; kismet. All the math finally worked." The family divides its time between their home in Meudon, located in the suburbs of Paris, Los Angeles, and their villa in Plan-de-la-Tour, a small town an hour and a half from Saint-Tropez, in the south of France. Depp also acquired a vineyard estate in the Plan-de-la-Tour area in 2007.

Depp has 13 tattoos, many of them signifying important persons or events in his life, including an American Indian in profile and a ribbon reading "Wino Forever" (originally "Winona Forever", altered after his breakup with Winona Ryder) on his right biceps, "Lily-Rose" (his daughter's name) over his heart, "Betty Sue" (his mother's name) on his left biceps, and a sparrow flying over water with the word "Jack" (his son's name; the sparrow is flying towards him rather than away from him as it is in Pirates of the Caribbean) on his right forearm.

In 2003, Depp was quoted as criticizing the United States in Germany's Stern magazine, commenting that "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth — that can bite and hurt you, aggressive." Although he later asserted that the magazine misquoted him and the quotation was taken out of context, Stern stood by its story, as did in its coverage of the interview. CNN added his remark that he would like his children "to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out." The July 17, 2006 edition of Newsweek reprinted the "dumb puppy" quotation, verbatim, within the context of a Letter to the Magazine. Depp has also disagreed with subsequent media reports that he says paint him as a "European wannabe" who enjoys the "simpler" life and anonymity that living in France provides.

One of Depp's closest friends is director Tim Burton, with whom he has worked six times. He has referred to working with Burton as "coming home", and he wrote the introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, in which he called Burton "...a brother, a friend,...and [a] brave soul".

Depp starred in a lead role on the FOX TV television series, 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. Depp accepted this role because he wasn't getting much work in the business and wanted to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Later in the season, Depp's long time friend Sal Jenco joined the cast as a semi-co-star as the janitor named Blowfish. The series' success turned Depp into a popular teen idol during the late 1980s. He found the teen-idol status an irritant, noting that he felt "forced into the role of product" and that it was "a very uncomfortable situation and I didn't get a handle on it and it wasn't on my terms at all." Depp promised himself that after his contract on the series expired, he would only appear in films that he felt were right for him.

Film roles
Depp's first major role was in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, playing the heroine's boyfriend and one of Freddy's victims. In 1986, he also appeared in a secondary role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Platoon. Depp then left his teen idol image in 1990, playing the quirky title role in the Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands. The film's success began a long association with Burton. Depp, an avid fan and long-time friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, played a version of Thompson (named Raoul Duke) in 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the writer's pseudobiographical novel of the same name. Depp also accompanied Thompson as his road manager on one of the author's last book tours. In 2006, Depp contributed a personal foreword to Gonzo by Hunter S. Thompson, a posthumous visual biography of the writer's legacy published by A close friend of Thompson's, Depp paid for most of Thompson's memorial event, complete with fireworks and the shooting of Thompson's ashes by a cannon, in Aspen, Colorado, where Thompson lived.

Depp's film characters have been described by the press as "iconic loners," and Depp has noted that this period of his career was full of "studio defined failures" and films that were "box office poison," stating that he believes film studios never "understood" the films he appeared in and did not know how to market them properly. Depp has also said that he specifically chose to appear in films that he found personally interesting, rather than those he thought would succeed at the box office.

Depp's status as a major star was solidified with the success of the 2003 Walt Disney Pictures film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, for which his lead performance as the suave pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was highly praised. The performance was initially received negatively by the studio bosses who saw the film, but the character became popular with the movie-going public; in 2006, Depp's co-star from the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, Bill Nighy, described the role as probably being "one of the most popular performances of recent times." According to a survey taken by Fandango, Depp was also considered to be one of the main reasons audiences wanted to see the movie. The film's director, Gore Verbinski, has said that Depp's Jack Sparrow character closely resembles Depp's own personality, although Depp himself said that he modelled the character after Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Depp, who has noted that he was "surprised" and "touched" at the positive reception given to the film, was nominated for an Academy Award for the role. In 2004, he was again nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, this time for playing Scottish author J. M. Barrie in the film Finding Neverland. Depp next starred as Willy Wonka in the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was a major success at the box office.

Depp returned to the character of Jack Sparrow for the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which opened on July 7, 2006 and grossed $135.5 million in the first three days of its U.S. release, breaking a box office record in reaching the highest weekend tally ever. The next sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End, was released May 24, 2007; Depp has mentioned his attachment to his Captain Jack Sparrow character, specifying that Sparrow is "definitely a big part of me", and expressing his desire to portray the character in further sequels. Depp voiced Sparrow in the video game, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow.

Depp and Gore Verbinski are executive producers of the album Rogues Gallery, Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys. Depp played the title role of Sweeney Todd in Tim Burton's film adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The traditional ceremony for the 65th Golden Globe Awards did not take place due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Depp thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and praised Tim Burton for his "unwavering trust and support."

As a child, Depp was obsessed with Dark Shadows a gothic-themed soap opera that aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. As a result, he accepted Warner Brothers proposal to make a film version of the show. In July 2007, a rights deal was struck with the estate of Dan Curtis, the show's producer/director. Depp and Graham King will produce the movie with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Productions inc. until Curtis died in 2006. Depp will also appear in a film version of writer Hunter S. Thompson's book, The Rum Diary, portraying the main character Paul Kemp. Depp's production company has also picked up the rights to the story of poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Johnny also had a brief stint playing football for Currow Gaa Club. Depp signed on to play one incarnation of the Heath Ledger character in the 2009 film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus along with Jude Law and Colin Farrell. All three actors gave their salaries from the film to Ledger's daughter, Matilda. In upcoming films, he will portray the Mad Hatter in Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Tonto in the upcoming The Lone Ranger remake. Disney Studios also announced that a fourth installment of the Pirates series is in development, in which Depp would reprise his Captain Jack Sparrow role.

As a guitar player, Depp has recorded a solo album, played slide guitar on the Oasis song "Fade In-Out" (from Be Here Now, 1997), as well as on "Fade Away (Warchild Version)" (b-side of the "Don't Go Away" single). As well, he played acoustic guitar in the movie Chocolat and on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He is a friend of The Pogues' Shane MacGowan, and performed on MacGowan's first solo album. As well, he was a member of P, a group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. He has appeared in the music videos of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' "Into the Great Wide Open."

Depp and Paradis grow grapes and have wine making facilities in their vineyard in Plan-de-la-Tour north of Saint-Tropez. Known for a fondness of French wines, among Depp's favourites are the Bordeaux wines Château Calon-Ségur, Château Cheval-Blanc and Château Pétrus, and the Burgundy wine Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Interviewed in Madame Figaro, Depp stated, "With those wines, you reach nirvana". Along with Sean Penn, John Malkovich and Mick Hucknall, Depp co-owns the Parisian restaurant-bar Man Ray, located near the Champs-Élysées.

No comments:

Post a Comment