Inside the Actor's Studio: Johnny Depp

Inside the Actor's Studio: Johnny Depp
Notoriously private and considered rebellious for his choice of eccentric roles, Johnny Depp sits down with James Lipton for another fascinating Inside the Actor’s Studio coup. Lipton’s introduction for the masters students at Pace University captures the broad scope of Depp’s career. From Nightmare on Elm Street to 21 Jump Street (early on, Depp had a thing for streets, apparently), from Platoon to Edward Scissorhands, from Chocolat to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, from Ed Wood to Donnie Brasco, and from The Brave to Dead Man, Depp has challenged himself at every remarkable turn. When he finally stumbles out in blue jeans and a workman’s jacket, brushing long hair out of his sparsely goateed face, Depp is the stereotypical brooding heartthrob. Finally speaking in a shy, deep, Eddie Vedder mumble to apologise for lighting up a cigarette, he comes across mindlessly low-key, while the vibrant characters he’s played are anything but. As the interview goes on, however, Depp’s charms begin to shine. He recounts his childhood in Kentucky, his Cherokee heritage, his parents’ divorce and stealing a guitar chord book when he was 15 to fulfil his rock star aspirations, which he dropped out of high school to pursue. Relocating to California, Depp’s friend Nicholas Cage convinced him to take up acting, hooking him up with his agent, who promptly had Depp reading for Wes Craven’s first trip down Elm Street. By Depp’s second film, Platoon, he began to take the craft more seriously and accepted a TV role on 21 Jump Street, an experience he views as "educational,” both as an actor and a celebrity trying to stave off the "teen idol” tag thrust upon him. From there, Depp rejected the role of handsome leading man to portray as many outsiders and oddities as he could. The film-by-film accounts are general and mysterious yet still provide great insight about Johnny Depp and his work. Plus: James Lipton Flashback. (Shout)