Johnny Depp stands among the most versatile and successful actors of his generation. He has appeared in many films, from supernatural horror and murder mysteries to romantic comedies and children’s fantasy. It would not be easy to compile a list of the top Johnny Depp movies, as he has starred in over 60 movies. However, the following 10 movies deserve to be on top of the list for their popularity and quality.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The curse of the black pearl (2003)
This exciting adventure movie stands as the first installment of the Caribbean series. Depp is the eccentric pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, in the movie. He teams up with Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) on the mission of rescuing Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Keira plays the victim of Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who leads the crew of cursed pirates.
- Depp wanted the Jack Sparrow character to have no nose. However, Disney did not like his idea.
- The contact lenses he wore during filming served as sunglasses. It saved him from squinting in the sun.
- Jack Sparrow’s gold teeth were Depp’s idea. However, he thought that the executives would want fewer gold teeth. So he asked his dentist for more gold tooth implantation as a bargaining tool. The final number of teeth in the movie is what Depp wanted all along.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
In this dark musical, Depp plays the titular character of a vengeful barber. He murders his customers to bake pies out of their flesh afterward. Later, Todd meets the evil Mrs. Lovett, and the two become the most feared duo in London. Mrs. Lovett is played by Helena Bonham Carter.
- Depps has to open his razor very quickly in some of the scenes. Therefore, he asked the prop makers to design a mechanical one with a button to instantly open the razor. Johnny Depp kept the button hidden with his fingers throughout the scenes.
- He recorded his demo tapes in West Hollywood in preparation for playing the character. For that, he worked with his friend, Bruce Witkin, to shape his vocals without needing a voice coach.
- The over-size jacket costume in the movie is actually a Belstaff dark leather trench> it was exclusively designed for him.
Edward Scissorhands (1999)
Johnny Depp’s role in Edward Scissorhands shows that he isn’t always the cool or an evil guy. He can also play a gentle, sweet, and innocent man, who we can easily adore. Everyone wants to cuddle him in Ed’s role.
- Depp admitted that he wept like children when he first read the script.
- Winona Ryder left Godfather: III because Johnny convinced her to appear in Edward Scissorhands.
- Johnny beautifully played Edward with mostly his expressions because he had to say only 169 words in the film.
- Edward’s amazing topiary is not real. They have just welded steel armature covered. The artificial greens were punched on it.
Sleepy hollow (1999)
Under Tim Burton’s direction, Depp has beautifully played the role of Ichabod. His character completely blends with the movie’s dark atmosphere. He has disappeared into the character.
- Johnny Depp did all his stunts in the last scenes of the movie, including when the horse drags him. However, he wore bulletproof clothing underneath his movie costumes.
- History tells us that Ichabod Crane was an unattractive man. Depp wanted to look ugly with the help of prosthetics. On the other hand, Tim Burton wanted to focus on the unattractive personality traits of the character, such as eccentricity and squeamishness.
- Johnny initially felt rather odd about Christina Ricci playing his love interest in the movie. It is because he’d known her since she was only nine years old.
Charlie and the chocolate factory (2005)
This is again the result of Tim Burton’s direction and Depp’s outstanding performance. It is the remake of the Roald Dahl classic book. Depp plays the role of eccentric and quirky Willy Wonka. He owns the magical chocolate factory in the movie. The film depicts the wondrous journey of the five children when they win the golden tickets to visit the factory.
- Depp signed the movie without reading the script. He wanted to take a completely different approach from Gene Wilder’s in the 1971 version of the movie.
- Johnny Depp was allergic to chocolate in his childhood. It is quite an irony, right?
- This is Johnny’s second chocolate-based film. His first one is Chocolate (2000).
Finding Neverland (2004)
Finding Neverland shows the protagonist side of Johnny Depp without his usual colorful makeup. The movie is set in a fantasy world where he plays J.M. Barrie. He adds charm and grace to the real-life story.
- There are three deleted scenes throughout the movie. Amazingly, Johnny has already predicted it.
- Johnny Depp placed a “fart machine” under Julie Christie’s chair as a prank during a formal dinner scene. He controlled the device via remote control.
What’s eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
This movie is a great example of Johnny Depp’s versatility. It is easy to feel emotionally connected to his role as Gilbert Grape. However, young Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance is not the only thing that impresses me. Variety magazine stated, “Depp can command the center screen with an extremely affable and appealing character.”
- Johnny Depp felt very bad insulting Darlene Cates’ character, “Momma.” He would often apologize to her after filming.
- He had also thought of Gilbert Grape as always half awake/half asleep, a person who is numb to the unique aspects of his life. Juliette Lewis was completely in agreement with his portrayal of the character. However, he was concerned that Gilbert’s mild portrayal might make him boring. Lasse Hallstrom, however, agreed with Lewis and felt that Depp was a great choice for the role.
- Johnny Depp admitted that Leonardo DiCaprio easily irritated him during the shooting. He said in an interview, “It was a hard time for me, that film, for some reason. I don’t know why. I tortured him (Leonardo DiCaprio). I really did. He was always talking about these video games, you know? I told you it was kind of a dark period… ‘No, I will not give you a drag of my cigarette while you hide from your mother again, Leo.'” Depp said, “I’d say the absolute truth is that I greatly respect Leo. He worked hard on that film and spent a lot of time researching. He came to set and was ready to work hard, and all his ducks were in a row.”
Donnie Brasco (1997)
The adapts Joseph Pistone’s novel about his adventures as an undercover FBI mole. In the film, Johnny Depp was given the role of Pistone and his undercover personality of the titular Donnie Brasco. Critics fell in love with the character Depp played. a Salon.com review even described his performance as “sensational.” New York Magazine titled the character “graceful” and considered his acting highly believable: “We can believe that the mob might take him for a tough, ambitious young hood—he has the wariness and the self-confidence that creates an aura.”
- To better capture the character’s personality, Johnny Depp met up with Joseph D. Pistone in person to better understand the character. He also took shooting lessons from the FBI of that time.
- Johnny spent most of the time lifting weights with Pistone.
- Initially, Al Pacino had to play Brasco. However, he recommended Johnny Depp before switching to Lefty.
Ed Wood (1994)
Ed Wood is another Burton-Depp collaboration. It’s a biopic in which Depp plays the cult filmmaker Ed Wood. This movie proved that Johnny Depp is capable of handling various roles, even without wearing flashy costumes and makeup. Although it was not a box office hit, the movie earned Johnny Depp a Golden Globe nomination.
- Ed Wood’s Hollywood home, overlooking his night cub “the Viper,” was previously under the ownership of Bela Lugosi.
- Ed Wood is Tim Burton’s first R-rated movie.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Johnny plays another colorful role of Mad Hatter in this live-action/CGI adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. He is a psychopathic yet adorable character who helps Alice navigate the dangerous and strange Wonderland. Mia Wasikowska plays Alice n the movie.
- This is the seventh collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
- Johnny watched the 1998 Scottish comedy show, Rab C. Nesbitt, to master the Glaswegian voice of his character.