Johnny Depp is a legendary character actor and became a household name as the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. His career has spanned decades and includes an incredibly diverse range of roles from horror to musicals and everything in between! The versatile actor has been Edward Scissorhands, Sweeny Todd, Gellert Grindelwald, The Lone Ranger, Willy Winka, the Mad Hatter…even Donald Trump! Still, when you say Johnny Depp, it is Jack Sparrow that comes to mind.
In addition to one of the main driving forces behind the massive popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, Jack Sparrow is also Depp’s most reprised role. Depp has graced the silver screen as Captain Jack Sparrow five times over the course of two-decades. It’s no wonder that he became as attached to the character as fans were. Two decades after the first film’s release, Jack Sparrow remains one of the most well-developed, well-written anti-heroes in film history.
Playing the iconic character took a toll on Depp. After two decades as Jack Sparrow, he grew to appreciate the character on a very personal level. “It’s very strange. I’m not real spooky about that whole, ‘You become the character,’ that’s not it at all, ” Depp said. “Just, knowing someone so well and having played them, having them be second nature, it just happens naturally. It’s very foreign to the body to stop doing it.”
He says that after he wrapped filming for the final time, he fell into a deep depression at the thought of never being Captain Jack Sparrow again. “I really loved being the character so much so that at the end of the film, when they wrapped the end of the film — and this has happened to me before — you go through a sort of a decompression, and a depression where you feel like, ‘God, I’ve just been this other guy for six months or seven months. I’ll never see him again,’” he said.
While Depp was in the throes of depression and coming to terms with Jack Sparrow’s story being over, his ex-wife, Amber Heard, accused him of abuse. What followed was a brutal trail on the court of public opinion. He was presumed guilty and quickly dropped from projects. He and Disney had a tumultuous falling out that left Depp feeling alone and betrayed after Disney severed ties with him just four days after Amber Heard accused him of domestic violence. The defamation trial against Heard that followed was highly publicized and though Depp won, Disney didn’t backtrack on their ousting of the vindicated actor.
Though rumors swirl that the actor will reprise his role as the iconic pirate, he remains adamant that he will not. He’s even gone so far as to say he’d turn down $20 million for the part. He has grieved the loss of his relationship with Disney and has mourned the end of Captain Jack Sparrow. His parting words as the character are a fitting send off for the beloved captain, “I have a rendezvous beyond my beloved horizon.”