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The Untold Truth Of Johnny Depp

Over the course of a career that's spanned more than 30 years, Johnny Depp has played more than a few strange characters — partly because of his ongoing collaboration with notably weird director Tim Burton, which has seen him embody everyone from Willy Wonka to Sweeney Todd, and partly because he's always marched to the beat of a different drummer (or maybe it's an instrument we've never even heard of). 

Though he's had a tortured relationship with fame, he's a master of his craft — and an extremely interesting guy to boot. We've heard no shortage of larger-than-life stories about Depp over the years, but they don't tell the whole story. Even after spending all these years in the limelight, there's still plenty that's been left out of the headlines. We delved into those stories to bring you the untold truth of Johnny Depp.

He has an interesting relationship with alcohol

He's a drinker, but not an alcoholic; he admits to self-medicating with alcohol, but he doesn't feel a compulsion to drink. He's been drinking buddies with Marlon Brando, Hunter S. Thompson and more. When he sat for a Rolling Stone article in 2013, Depp said he'd been sober for a year and a half, and although he had the stamina to keep up with his harder-partying friends, ultimately, "you wouldn't treat your car like that."

A Boston Globe article from 2008 quotes Depp as saying that he "poisoned himself" with alcohol because the fame he experienced was too hard to handle. Ex-wife Amber Heard, along with accusing Depp of abuse, also alleged that he was an "alcoholic and drug addict," and reportedly filming of the last "Pirates" installment was delayed at times because of drama with Heard and drinking. Here's hoping the worst of those days are behind him.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

He's had some financial woes

With $50 to $60 million worth of property and a career that's earned approximately $650 million, it's surprising to hear that Depp has dealt with money problems. A 2017 piece from The Hollywood Reporter tells the story from his business manager's perspective, outlining a 2012 discussion in which two advisers had to make Depp understand that his income was supporting the outflow of his discretionary spending (art, jewelry, wine, property) and the $3.6 million per year he paid his personal staff, among other expenses. Depp finally agreed to sell his yacht, but in 2017, he fired both of his advisors. 

A Wall Street Journal article from around the same time tells the story from Depp's perspective. "Why didn't they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?" he retorted, alleging that his former managers caused him to rack up more than $40 million in debt and dispose of valuable assets, and that they talked him into high-interest loans that they didn't make the payments on. The argument prompted lawsuits on both sides, which were both settled by 2019.

He's passionate about free expression in the arts

In 2016, Depp joined other artists in the "Imprisoned for Art" campaign organized by the Voice Project, an advocacy group that raises awareness about imprisoned artists. Peter Gabriel, Nadya Tolokonnikova (of Pussy Riot) and Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave) were some of the other activists that joined Depp in portraying artists that have been imprisoned unfairly, each appearing in mug shots signifying a real person. Depp portrayed Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker serving a 20-year sentence in Russia.

The Voice Project states that Sentsov was imprisoned and possibly tortured for protesting Russia's 2014 takeover of Crimea. Sentsov is from Simferopol, the largest city in Crimea, and the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK tweeted the image of Depp's fake mugshot with the hashtag #FreeSentsov. Sentsov served his sentence in east Siberia, where it's likely he did not receive any messages — a troubling state of affairs that only underscores the importance of the Project. Sentsov was eventually released in 2019 as part of a prisoner swap.

He's not a fan of Donald Trump

Depp isn't a fan of President Trump, and wasn't even before he was nominated. In fact, he donned a wig and a face full of prosthetics to portray him in the Funny or Die movie "The Art of the Deal" (based on the Trump book of the same name). According to an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the filmmakers simply asked Depp to play Trump and he said yes, filming his scenes in four days. The premise is that the movie was made in the '80s, but was locked in a vault for years. 

But portraying Trump wasn't the end of Depp's criticism. At a talk at Arizona State University called "Finding Creativity in the Madness," in between Depp's insights into the creative process for the Origins Project dialogue led by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, he said Trump was a "brat" and a bully. He did an impression for the students — one he indicated he was willing to repeat when he offered to take over Trump impersonation duties for Alec Baldwin on "Saturday Night Live."

He has a soft spot for kids

In an emotional interview on "The Graham Norton Show," Norton asked Depp what it was like to bring the gift of Jack Sparrow to children, since it's well-known that Depp visits children's hospitals and schools as his popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" character. Depp revealed his personal struggles with his own daughter's illness, telling Norton he was the one who really got a gift from those visits — that to be able to "bring a smile or a giggle was everything."

Depp's visit (along with costar Stephen Graham) to the Lady Cliento Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia in July 2015 lasted three hours. He visited the Greenwich School in London after nine-year-old Beatrice sent a letter requesting piracy lessons. It would appear that Depp feels a strong affinity for his Captain Jack persona — and has an enormous soft spot for his young fans.

The last thing he wants to be is himself

Jezebel opined, after posting an interview from "The Today Show" with Depp and "Black Mass" costar Joel Edgerton, that Depp didn't even know his own accent anymore. Depp has always been a little quirky when speaking at interviews. He does tend to go a bit British, then Bostonian, or Mad Hatterish, or whatever. But considering that in that same interview, he actually said "the last thing I want to look like is me," there might be more than dialect confusion at play.

In the ASU Origins Project discussion, Depp talked about a conversation he once had with his mentor, Marlon Brando. When Depp told Brando he was doing two or three films per year, Brando told him that was too many, arguing that "we only have so many faces in our pocket." Although he insisted he felt like he still had no shortage of "faces" left, Depp said he became an actor by mistake, and he still wasn't sure whether it was the right decision.

He got his start because of Nic Cage ... or did he?

The Biography network claims Depp's first wife, makeup artist Lori Allison, introduced Depp to her ex-boyfriend, an actor named Nicolas Cage. Cage saw something in Depp, and opened some crucial early career doors for him. Depp has told the story differently, recalling during an interview on Jonesy's Jukebox (via Yahoo) that someone told him "Why don't you go meet an agent? My agent is with Nic Cage." Cage's agent sent him on an audition, and he nabbed the role.

Another interview from 1988 finds Depp recalling that "a friend" introduced him to Cage, who thought Depp should give acting a try. A photo from 1988, published by GQ, shows that the two definitely knew each other at the time — and reinforces the story about Depp's wife being responsible for the introduction.

He was instrumental in bringing Gilbert Grape to theaters

"What's Eating Gilbert Grape," the 1993 flick that launched young Leonardo DiCaprio's career and paired Depp with Juliette Lewis onscreen, became a cult classic — but it might not have been filmed if not for Depp's girlfriend at the time, Winona Ryder. She read Peter Hedges' novel of the same name, notes Entertainment Weekly, and got Depp to read it too. He felt it was a modern day "Catcher in the Rye" and identified strongly with Gilbert, a young man trapped in a small town and saddled with family responsibilities.

Depp told music video and "My Life as a Dog" director Lasse Hallström about the book, and the two agreed to work on the film before there was even a script in place. Hallström enlisted author Hedges to work on the script, and the rest was history.

He's in an all star band

Depp didn't move to California in 1983 because he wanted to break into acting — he was in a band, the Kids, who were pretty successful in Miramar, Florida, where Depp moved and grew up after being born in Owensboro, Kentucky. Depp actually dropped out of high school because of the band, and after they split up, he turned to acting, but he never forgot his love for music; he was in a glam band called Rock City Angels before he landed his breakthrough role on "21 Jump Street." 

Depp later started the band P with Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes. Although they broke up fairly quickly, he remained musically active; most recently, he's been in a band called the Hollywood Vampires alongside Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and Guns N' Roses vets Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. The members say they've all had brushes with death, and Depp in particular seems to feel lucky to be part of the collaboration. A self-titled album was released in 2015. 

His vision isn't great

Nobody's perfect. As Depp told Rolling Stone, he's battled vision problems throughout his life. "Ev­erything is just very, very blurry," he explained. "I've never had proper vision." Essentially blind in his left eye and near and/or farsighted in his right, he's only able to see "a few inches away from his face." This explains why he's wearing glasses in seemingly every picture taken of him.

Unsurprisingly, Depp admits that he can't see 3D movies. He told Access Hollywood (via NBC News) that he "has a weird eye"; Dr. Margaret S. Livingstone, a neurobilogy professor at Harvard who studies vision, suspects Depp might have stereoblindness — a condition that messes with your eye alignment.

He's a real winer

Depp's financial problems got even weirder. In January 2017, Depp filed suit against The Management Group (and some of people who work there) for mismanagement and allegedly defrauding him while handling his accounting, business, and legal affairs from 1999 to 2016. Among Depp's charges: TMG siphoned $28 million and they didn't pay his taxes on time.

Rather than directly contest the $25 million Depp sought in damages, TMG filed a countersuit which suggested he did a pretty good job of mishandling his money all by himself. That suit alleges the actor failed to repay a $5 million loan from the agency, and spent over $2 million a month on his "ultra-extravagant lifestyle." TMG claims to have advised Depp to reduce his expenses, listed in great detail in the countersuit. Among Depp's expenditures: $30,000 a month to buy rare wines and have them shipped to him from around the world.

The suit was settled in 2018.

He made a very important zombie movie

Johnny Depp doesn't only appear in massive Hollywood blockbuster franchises. He's an actor who's passionate about his craft, and to that end, he'll take on independent film projects that he finds intriguing. In 2016, he acted in The Black Ghiandola, a micro-budgeted movie that filmed in just five days — and probably the most star-studded short film about zombies ever made.

It came together thanks to the Make a Film Foundation, a charity founded in 2007 that helps filmmaking dreams come true for kids and teens with serious or life-threatening medical problems. "The Black Ghiandola" was written by 16-year-old Anthony Conti, stricken with stage IV adrenal cortical cancer. Conti also starred as a young man, who, in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, risks everything to save the life of his only companion. Among Conti's co-stars: Penelope Ann Miller, Laura Dern, Richard Chamberlain, Chad Coleman ... and Johnny Depp.

Disney almost made him walk the plank

Depp hit the A-list for good in the early 2000s thanks to his work as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. And yet before the release of the first film in the series, 2003's "The Curse of the Black Pearl," some Disney executives weren't so sure they had the right man for the part.

At the 2015 AFI Fest (via Vanity Fair), Depp revealed that the choices he made with the character during the filming of "Black Pearl" so enraged and confused Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner that Depp thinks he almost got fired. He claims that Eisner was particularly worried that Depp played Captain Jack as "drunk" or "gay." 

"And so I fully expected to be fired," Depp recalled. "I got a call from the upper echelon at Disney who were courageous enough to ask me, 'What the f*** are you doing?'" Depp assuaged their fears, although he also heard that there was talk of subtitling his scenes because he was so difficult to understand.

He got lost in the Dark Universe

As if toplining one kind-of-spooky film juggernaut in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise wasn't enough, Depp was also all set to be a major player in one of those interconnected, multi-movie "universes" that have been all the rage in Hollywood since "Iron Man" launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. 

Universal had huge plans with its "Dark Universe," which was supposed to revive its old monster movie characters from the 1930s and '40s. The production house planned multiple films focused on Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, and the Invisible Man. Depp, a man often photographed while draped in scarves, was a natural to play the heavily bandaged Invisible Man.

But it was all not meant to be. Dark Universe entry "The Mummy" — starring Tom Cruise — made just over $80 million at the North American box office, not exactly setting the world on fire. Universal tabled its Dark Universe plans ... including that "Invisible Man" movie starring Johnny Depp. When an "Invisible Man" movie finally came out in 2020, it had no obvious connection to any franchise and no involvement from Depp.

He almost set off a doggone international incident

In 2015, Depp and his then-wife Amber Heard traveled to Australia via private jet. The couple brought along their two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo. But upon arrival, the couple failed to properly declare the dogs with customs officials.

Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce gave Depp and Heard 72 hours to get their dogs out of the country ... or else. "Mr. Depp needs to take his dogs back to California," said Joyce (per CNN), "or we're going to have to euthanize them." Depp and Heard made haste back to California; he wasn't charged, but Heard was released on a one-month "good behavior" bond. Heard ultimately pleaded guilty to knowingly producing a false or misleading document (for failing to declare the dogs), and two charges of illegal importation of dogs were dismissed. 

Shortly thereafter, Depp and Heard issued a video apology in which Depp noted that Australians are "warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly."

Johnny Depp's body belongs to acting but his heart is owned by music

Some artists love acting. Others love performing music. Occasionally, there's an overlap and they enjoy doing both equally as much. While Johnny Depp is certainly more renowned for his acting than his musical abilities, he revealed to The Guardian there's a sensation he gets from shredding on his six-string guitar that he doesn't feel when the director yells cut on set.

"What do I get from this that I normally don't get? I get me!" Depp said. "But when I'm up there on stage with these guys, it's that feeling I had as a kid. It's freedom. In movies someone is always telling you what to do, but here I have the freedom that my day job doesn't allow." His Hollywood Vampires bandmate Joe Perry, who has performed with Aerosmith for half a century and alongside some of the greatest bands in the history of music, added that he thinks Depp has what it takes and can stand toe-to-toe with the best guitarists around. Not only does he have the talent to rock out with his horns hanging out, but he also has the necessary drive and focus to make a success of it.

Tim Burton pushed for Johnny Depp to play Batman

There's a good joke that questions who got custody of Johnny Depp after Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter's split. While it's a fine piece of Internet humor, it does illustrate how closely linked Burton and Depp have been throughout their careers. Some might even go as far as calling them a dynamic duo of sorts. And speaking of which, even though Burton didn't direct "Batman Forever," he was still a producer on the film. With his clout and influence, he pushed for his friend and collaborator to be cast as the new Caped Crusader after the departure of Michael Keaton from the role.

In a conversation with Comic Book Movie, Depp revealed this bit of movie trivia and confirmed he was interested in the part as well. "What happened was Tim was producing it and he was trying to talk Joel Schumacher and the movie bosses to give me a shot at the role," he said, "but it just never really worked out." Depp added that he would consider a part in any future "Batman" films if the opportunity presented itself.

Johnny Depp based his Willy Wonka performance on a former president

One of Johnny Depp's most memorable roles was as Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's 2005 film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." While he wasn't the first person to play the eccentric chocolate factory tycoon, since that delicious accolade belonged to Gene Wilder, Depp brought a chaotic and unnerving quality to Roald Dahl's classic character. At first glance, it appeared as if the actor drew influence from his long-time friend, Marilyn Manson, who reportedly wanted the part of Wonka for himself as well (via Moviefone).

The truth is, Depp based his performance on someone completely unexpected: The 43rd president of the United States of America, George W. Bush. Speaking on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (via NME), Depp peeled back the creative process for creating Wonka. "Certain ingredients you add to these characters," he said. "Willy Wonka, for example, I imagined what George Bush would be like ... Incredibly stoned, and thus was born my Willy Wonka." Well, that would have certainly explained Wonka's insatiable obsession with chocolate and candy.

Jerry Bruckheimer would love to bring Depp back to the Pirates series

Following the very public breakdown in the relationship between Depp and Amber Heard along with the allegation of domestic abuse, Disney officially chose to ditch the actor in 2018. This meant that he would no longer be part of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" that had brought him worldwide fame and success. This came around the same time that he also stepped back from his role in Grindelwald in the "Fantastic Beasts" series. During the trial in 2022, Depp explained that he felt betrayed by the way he perceived Disney had abandoned him and went as far as to say that he wouldn't reprise the part of Captain Jack Sparrow for even $300 million.

That doesn't necessarily mean the end of Depp's involvement in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has previously worked on the series and been involved in films such as "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Bad Boys for Life," has spoken about a desire to bring back Captain Jack Sparrow. When asked about possibly having Depp as part of the cast of a future film in March 2023, he told Entertainment Tonight that it is something he would like to see. He said: "We'll see. I would love it. I would love to have him in the movie – that's all that I can tell you."

He owns his own production company

Most people will associate Depp with acting, but he has not limited himself solely to portraying characters on screen. In fact, he has numerous producer and directing credits to his name. For example, he was a producer for "Hugo" and "The Rum Diary" in 2011 and has acted as an executive producer in both "The Lone Ranger" and "City of Lies." Meanwhile, he has also directed several music videos and short films, including "Stuff," "Banter," and "The Brave."

Therefore it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Depp has set up his very own production company as he obviously has interests outside of simply acting. Known as Infinitum Nihil, the studio was originally founded in 2004 and is managed by Depp's sister Christi Dembrowski. Since being established, it has produced almost a dozen films, ranging from "The Rum Diary" and "Dark Shadows" to more recent releases such as "The Professor" and "Minamata."

Depp has starring roles in almost all of the releases, which have largely failed to make much of an impression at the box office, grossing just $744 million in total against an overall budget of $660 million. In recent years, Depp has also set up a UK sister company in the form of IN.2 and signed a first-look deal with IM Global.

Depp has a pretty good singing voice

It has already been discussed that Depp is a skilled musician, as he has appeared in several bands, but he is also a talented singer by all accounts. Since 2019, he has worked with British guitarist Jeff Beck, performing on stage with the musician and even contributing to a collaborative album called "18" which was released in 2022.

Filmgoers also got a chance to experience first hand Depp's singing ability in 2007 with the release of the critically acclaimed "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." The New York Times acknowledged his abilities and admitted he put in a good performance, saying: "His ear is obviously excellent, because his pitch is dead-on accurate."

While he was reluctant to perform in public during his early career, Depp has been far more willing to show off his voice to fans in the last few years. The actor has posted numerous videos on his social media with him singing. That doesn't mean that he hasn't had his fair share of detractors, though, with some audience members lambasting his performances on stage with Beck.

His first job was working as a salesman

Depp's first role came in 1984 when he was cast as Glen Lantz in "A Nightmare on Elm Street," a young character who was boyfriend to Nancy Thompson and ultimately killed by Freddy Krueger. Despite not originally intending to act, he quickly landed other roles and was cast in the likes of "Private Resort" and "Platoon." However, long before he turned his hand to acting, Depp actually worked as a salesman.

When he moved to Los Angeles with his band and found that he wasn't able to make any money, Depp turned to selling pens over the phone. It was a job that he didn't particularly enjoy, although he admits that it did help him develop some skills that proved useful in his later career such as the ability to perform in public. The actor has since revealed he wasn't very good at this job as he found it difficult to lie to the people he was forced to call.

"You'd guarantee them a grandfather clock or a trip to Greece," said Depp in an interview with Digital Spy. "The couple of times that I actually got people to buy the pens, they only agreed because they wanted the grandfather clock. When the supervisor wandered off, I would say, 'Listen, don't buy these pens. The clock is made of corkboard. I'm a thief; we're ripping you off.'"

Depp owns his own private island

It is not unusual for big Hollywood stars to have their own private getaways where they are able to relax in private without having members of the public or media following their every move. Some may have secluded homes or vacation in isolated locations where they are less likely to be recognized but the rich and famous are also able to go to the extreme lengths of buying their own personal island. The likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mel Gibson, and Shakira all own private islands located in areas such as the Caribbean.

Depp is another celebrity that can be added to that list. Vanity Fair first had a look at the island, known as Little Hall's Pond Cay, in 2009 and revealed that it had six individual beaches. Each of them is named after somebody important in the actor's life, from his friend Hunter S. Thompson to his mentor Marlon Brando, as well as his children. Located in the Bahamas, it has 45 acres of land and cost him $3.6 million to purchase in 2004.

According to reports, the actor uses the island as a way to escape from the limelight after high-profile movie roles and relaxes in peace. Depp explained his love of the island further, saying: "I don't think I'd ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It's instant freedom."

Looking after Heath Ledger's daughter was a priority for him

Among Depp's friends in the world of Hollywood was Heath Ledger. But that relationship was cut short in 2008 when Ledger died from an accidental overdose after completing work on "The Dark Knight" and during the production of "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus." His death left the movie in a precarious position until Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Depp stepped in to portray versions of Ledger's character in the final few scenes that were still to be shot.

The trio refused to be paid for their performances and instead decided to donate their entire fees to Ledger's two-year-old daughter Matilda. When the actor died, he didn't leave any provisions for the youngster in his will and the three stars were concerned that she would be left with little money.

Depp's generosity and fondness for his friend were made even more clear when he dedicated part of his private island to Ledger. A location known as Heath's Place was established on his private island and Depp even made it a sanctuary of sorts for members of Ledger's family following his death. This gave them a place to get away from the media attention and grieve in private.

He was made an honorary member of the Native American Comanche nation

Depp has always maintained that he has some Native American ancestry. He explained to Entertainment Weekly that his family had often spoken about how his ancestors were at least part Native American. The actor has also revealed his pride in this part of his family history although he also acknowledged that some members of his distant family may have suffered violence. "I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line," he said to Entertainment Weekly. "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."

When Depp was announced to be playing Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," he faced a backlash over his portrayal of a Native American character — especially considering the stereotypes present in the film. Many Native American groups expressed outrage that a white man was playing Tonto while critics and viewers noted the seeming disparity between Blackface and Redface. However, Depp was made an honorary member of the Comanche Nation when he was adopted into the family by Native American activist LaDonna Harris as part of a ceremony in 2012. He was given the name Mah Woo May, the Comanche term for shapeshifter.

The actor has a fossilized creature named in his honor

Throughout his long career, Depp has won many accolades and awards. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his performances in the likes of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" along with being the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards from a variety of film festivals. In 2009, the actor was even named the sexiest man alive by People for the second time, having previously won in 2003. He beat out the likes of Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, and George Clooney for the honor.

Yet, Depp's most unusual accolade may be one that came in 2013. A scientist who discovered a fossil of a creature that had scissor-like claws on its limbs was named after him, taking the moniker Kooteninchela deppi. The fossilized creature, which is more than 500 million years old and a relative of the lobster and scorpion families. It was named after Depp because of the scientist's love of his work and the fact that the actor had previously portrayed Edward Scissorhands in the 1990 Tim Burton film of the same name.

He tried to meet gangster Whitey Bulger before portraying him

In 2015, Depp took part in the biographical crime drama "Black Mass," portraying the American gangster James Bulger. Otherwise known as Whitey, this mobster was a crime boss and leader of the Winter Hill Gang which operated in Massachusetts. He was eventually caught and put on trial for charges ranging from murder to racketeering and sentenced to two life terms in prison.

In preparation for playing the real-life person on film, Depp had requested to meet Bulger. The criminal was incarcerated during filming and Depp had attempted to arrange a meeting so that he could better understand some of his motivations and actions. However, Bulger was uncooperative and chose to ignore the requests from the actor. Depp believes that he turned down the opportunity because he wasn't a particular fan of any of the books that had been written about his life.

Bulger's lawyer Hank Brennan later explained that his client had no interest in seeing Depp portray him on screen and blamed Hollywood for greedily attempting to cash in on his life story. In fact, Bulger had reportedly sworn to never watch the movie even if it was on in the correctional facility where he was located.

His role in Pirates of the Caribbean has made him one of the best-paid actors of all time

Depp's role in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise brought him worldwide fame and success at levels that he had never previously known. Along with that came some pretty hefty paychecks that made him one of the best paid actors of all time. Since appearing in "The Curse of the Black Pearl" in 2003 alongside Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, and Keira Knightley, he has become the main star of the series. Depp reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow with the rest of the cast two more times to round out the original trilogy before returning fit two further films in the form of "On Stranger Tides" and "Dead Men Tell No Tales."

The popularity of his character along with the fact that Depp is essentially the face of the franchise has allowed him to effectively name his price when it comes to negotiating contracts with Disney. From a relatively modest salary of $10 million for the first film, his pay grew to figures as high as $55 million and $90 million for the fourth and fifth entries. In total, Depp has earned an estimated $275 million from playing Captain Jack Sparrow.

Depp doesn't want to win any awards

As one of the world's biggest movie stars, it should come as a big surprise that Depp has been in the running for some of the industry's biggest awards. Throughout his long career, he has been nominated for three Oscars and a handful of BAFTAs. Although he hasn't won any of these, that might well be fortunate as the actor told the BBC he has no interest in winning awards.

His reasons behind that stance include the fact that he really doesn't want to have to deliver an acceptance speech and doesn't believe he is in a fight with other actors to see who is the best. "I don't want to win one of those things ever, you know," said Depp. "I don't want to have to talk." Depp further explained: "The idea of winning means that you're in competition with someone and I'm not in competition with anybody."

For Depp, it appears that simply being nominated is enough for him. It means he is being recognized for his work without the added stress of having to worry about talking on stage. "They gave me one of those things, like a nomination, two or three times," the actor confirmed. "A nomination is plenty."

The actor paid for Hunter S. Thompson's ashes to be fired from a canon

A friendship between Depp and journalist Hunter S. Thompson would probably seem strange to most people, considering the almost 30 years age gap between the pair and their very different professions. The two friends first met in 1994 and quickly forged a deep and long-lasting relationship. Fast becoming dependent on each other, the two were together constantly and made headlines for their antics. The actor would go on to describe their relationship as "a love affair, a major love affair that hung around until he made his exit."

Depp would even go on to play a fictionalized version of Thompson in the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," based on the journalist's own novel of the same name. When Thompson passed away in 2005, the actor went all out to help give him a memorable send-off. In a ceremony that was attended by Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson, his ashes were fired from a cannon that exploded over his home. Funded by Depp, it was one of Thompson's wishes following his death because he loved fireworks so much.