Worth over $300 million, with over a dozen awards for his acting (but no Oscars… yet), Johnny Depp is having an all right life. His acting career started out over thirty years ago, with his role in A Nightmare on Elm Street. A few more small movie parts and 21 Jump Street built his name in the late 80s and by the 90s, he was a budding star. 1990’s Edward Scissorhands and 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape helped Depp cement himself as a respected actor (although that movie did more for Leo DiCaprio‘s reputation than Depp’s).
More recently, he has played the main character in two movies inspired by the work of Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary) not to mention possibly his greatest role: Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney franchise. But for the past couple of weeks, Depp has been receiving attention for the wrong reasons. He and his stunning wife Amber Heard, who he met while filming The Rum Diary, are in the middle of a very public divorce, with accusations of abuse being chucked back and forth. Some have suggested that even if he is absolved of any abuse, Depp’s career will never be the same, but that remains to be seen.
While the accusations against him are a big deal, many people forget that Johnny Depp’s career so far has not been a cake-walk. Here are fifteen things, other than his current marital drama, that Johnny Depp wishes we’d all forget.
15. His Daughter’s Bout with E. Coli
This is probably one event in his life that Johnny Depp wishes he and everyone else would forget. Depp has spoken about how his experiences as a father have changed him and considers his two kids to be the greatest things about his life. Back in 2007, when his daughter Lily-Rose Depp was just seven years old, she nearly died. A nasty bout of E.Coli related food poisoning caused her kidneys to shut down and she nearly died. Depp referred to this as one of the most difficult times in his life.
After she made a full recovery, Depp made a contribution of $2 million to the hospital. Class act, but we’re willing to bet he hates the fact that this ever happened, and wants to never think about it again.
14. He Co-Owned The Viper Room
This famous club was a popular hangout for Hollywood stars throughout the 1990s. While it was designed to be a magical place for good times and awesome music, it is remembered for all the wrong reasons. Johnny Depp was a part owner of the club until 2004, but prior to getting out of the business, he was sued by one of his business partners; Anthony Fox. Astonishingly, Fox disappeared back in 2001, while the lawsuit was still ongoing. The club is also known as the place where young actor-musician River Phoenix, died of heart failure after taking a speedball (heroin and cocaine) and chasing it with Valium.
13. Years of Terrible Facial Hair
Johnny Depp has often been called one of the most attractive men ever to grace the big screen. As a heterosexual male who is comfortable enough with his sexuality to say so, Depp is a pretty good looking guy, I can see where the hype comes from.
Defined cheek bones, a nice jawline and intense looking eyes are among the praise he usually gets for his looks. Unfortunately, he spent much of his recent career sporting what have looked like failed goatees and patchy attempts that rival NHL star Sidney Crosby‘s playoff beards. Somebody forgot to tell him, much like you don’t put a tarp over a Corvette on a sunny summer afternoon, don’t grow a messed up beard to cover up a great jawline.
12. A Couple of Arrests
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone but Captain Jack has been arrested a couple of times for less-than-admirable behavior. In 1994 he was arrested in New York City after he and then-girlfriend Kate Moss, were fighting while hammered and destroyed their hotel room. He was arrested while on a date with ex-wife Vanessa Paradis, in 1998, when he threatened some photographer. In London back in 1999, Depp was once again arrested for threatening paparazzi with a piece of wood when they were harassing him outside of a restaurant. Who can blame him for those last two?
11. Alcohol Abuse
While he has made peace with his past for the most part, Johnny Depp has had troubles with the drink over the years. Several times throughout his life he has admitted in interviews that he was not completely happy and often turned to the sauce to get him out of a funk. He has had to interrupt shooting movies because of his addiction, and at the Hollywood Film Awards in 2014, he was noticeably drunk while trying to present an award for documentary work on stage.
This just goes to show you, money and fame don’t equal happiness, and that everyone has their demons.
10. Named “Hollywood’s Most Overpaid”
Forbes has a formula for determining how much “bang for their buck” actors can deliver to a film’s production. Basically they determine how much money movies featuring a certain actor makes, per dollar paid to that actor. In 2015, while names like Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt were achieving numbers $12.00 per $1.00 paid or above, Johnny Depp’s movies made just $1.20 for every dollar they paid him. The number two on Forbes‘ ranking wasn’t even close; it was Denzel Washington at $6.50 per $1.00.
9. Past Relationships
Prior to his current drama with Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has had an eventful love life. His relationship with Vanessa Paradis was fairly uneventful, and the two seem to have a decent amicable relationship today. She has even defended him against Heard’s accusations of abuse.
But prior to that relationship, he dated Kate Moss for a messy four years. Early in his career, he was married to Lori-Anne Allison, but they divorced after two years together. He was engaged to fellow actor Sherilyn Fenn, but they broke up before they could tie the knot. Later on he was rumored to have been engaged to Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey but they broke up in 1989. He dated and was engaged to Winona Ryder as well, but they broke up after a few years together.
8. “Winona Forever”
That relationship with Winona Ryder was great at one point, and Johnny was so smitten that he got a tattoo that read “Winona Forever” on his right arm. When they finally broke up, he had the tattoo modified and now it reads “Wino Forever”. This could be an admission to his own alcoholism or possibly an homage to W.C. Fields, who once said something to the effect of “Twas a woman drove me to drink. I didn’t even have the courtesy to thank her”.
7. Bogus Claims of Native American Ancestry
A couple of times in his career, Depp has hinted that he thinks he may have some Native American ancestry. He’s never offered any concrete evidence but has produced little anecdotes in interviews. These kinds of claims don’t sit too well with some members of these communities and he has been criticized for playing the role of Tonto in The Lone Ranger.
Surprise, surprise, many in the Native American community take exception to celebrities claiming to have Native blood for attention.
6. Near-Elimination of His Part in Platoon
Oliver Stone’s 1986 war film Platoon, is widely considered one of the greatest war movies ever made. The effects may be primitive compared to what we can see today, but the story, based loosely on his own experiences during the Vietnam War, is an effective portrayal of some of the realities of that conflict. For a brief synopsis: a young Charlie Sheen plays Chris Taylor, a private who is caught in an ongoing conflict among his platoon-mates and sergeants during the Vietnam War.
Depp played the role of Lerner, a young interpreter, and had quite a bit of screen time during shooting. Unfortunately most of this was cut during editing, and we were left with just two scenes involving the character. In one he was chewed out by Tom Berenger‘s Sergeant Barnes, and in the other he is wounded, and loaded onto a helicopter.
In the same year as Black Mass, in which Johnny Depp played the notorious criminal leader Whitey Bulger, he also played the titular character in Mortdecai, widely considered one of the worst films of 2015 and the worst of Depp’s career. He was nominated for a Razzie for worst actor. The film which was essentially supposed to be an action-comedy without much action or much comedy, was almost universally panned by critics and lost over $10 million.
4. Dog Smuggling
Last year, Depp and Amber Heard encountered legal issues for trying to illegally bring their two Yorkies, Boo and Pistol, into Australia without following the proper procedures. This is like the fourth thing everyone should know about Australia; they have cool accents, they are a former British colony, toilets flush backwards (we know this because of an awesome episode of The Simpsons) and finally, they have a carefully monitored ecosystem that is heavily regulated.
The couple wanted their pooches to forgo the required quarantine, and health screening, and were caught. Whether government policies are nonsense or not, being good looking and famous does not mean they can be circumvented.
3. Barely Intelligible Anti-American Comments
In an interview with Germany’s Stern magazine, Johnny Depp said of the United States: “America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth—that can bite and hurt you, aggressive”. Most people in the States likely thought “who the hell cares about what that pretty boy thinks” but none of those people work in the media. There was a predictable uproar, especially because this event took place in the wake of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, when half the country probably agreed with Depp, while the other half were still busy waving flags and blew their collective stack.
This is another point in the lesson plan entitled “celebrities need to stop running their mouths about politics”.
2. Callous Whitey Bulger Comment
His 2015 role as crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass saw Depp play a terrifying murderer who has been incarcerated since his capture in 2011. Johnny Depp is known to get into his roles; one example being the time he lived with Hunter S. Thompson for a few months while filming Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
In the case of Bulger however, he came to admire the criminal he was playing and said in an interview: “No disrespect to any victims or families of victims, but there was some element for me that was kind of glad that he got away. For 16 years he was on the lam and he wasn’t causing any trouble. He was living his life. Good on him.” Despite the fact that he said “no disrespect to any victims or families of victims”, they took exception to his quote anyway. Funny how that works, people tend to get upset when some big time actor roots for the guy who killed their family member.
1. He Compared Photoshoots to WHAT?!
Back in 2011, we all found out that Johnny Depp was no fan of photoshoots. All he had to say was something along the lines of “I don’t enjoy the process, I’m rarely impressed by the end result and find the whole experience to be very negative and intrusive”. Instead he compared photoshoots to ra*e. That’s right, one of the worst violent crimes out there is apparently comparable with dressing up and having one’s picture taken.
Various advocacy groups were less than pleased with his choice of words. It’s doubtful that he meant anything truly offensive by this but it is an example of atrocious word choice. It doesn’t take much experience in public relations to know that you don’t compare stuff to something as traumatic as sexual assault.