The young actor chosen to replace Johnny Depp in an upcoming film says he did not reach out to Depp for guidance or inspiration in the iconic role.
Johnny Depp’s Unrivaled Talent
Johnny Depp is hailed as one of the most talented Hollywood actors of all time, regardless of the fact that his career has come upon several roadblocks in response to his ongoing issues with his ex-wife Amber Heard in recent years.
Depp is known for his ability to portray and embody vastly different characters, and he does it so well, in fact, that many of his fans have difficulty believing the characters in some films are actually played by Depp. And because of his talent in taking on the roles of such a wide range of characters, Depp has been offered numerous roles that have become iconic and nearly synonymous with his name.
Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Depp in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, is one of Disney’s most beloved live-action characters. Not only is Depp’s Captain Jack character totally believable, but Depp as Sparrow delivers a unique take on a pirate captain. Fans of the film series are hard-pressed to find a pirate in any other film who’s like Captain Jack.
In Tim Burton’s live-action take on Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Johnny Depp embodies his own unique brand of the Mad Hatter, and the result was something vastly different from the animated take on the whimsical character voiced by Ed Wynn in Disney’s 1951 film.
For some, Depp’s Mad Hatter was a bit too eccentric, but both live-action Alice films did well with audiences, so the rest is history.
Johnny Depp even gives the Wolf character in Disney’s Into the Woods (2014) his own unique spin. In the scene that features Depp as the Wolf and actress Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, Depp’s predatory ballad, “Hello, Little Girl,” is delivered with such a Depp-esque haunting feel to it that some even described the Disney musical as becoming “quite creepy, quite quickly.”
Beyond the Disney realm, Depp has played a myriad of characters–many of them deemed iconic simply because the famed actor was responsible for bringing them to life–and in a way no other actor could have done. Because Depp’s talents seemingly know no end, he has even embraced roles in which he didn’t even have to speak to convey the essence of the character.
In Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990), Depp plays the title character, but it’s not a quirky voice created by Johnny Depp or any kind of statement apparel he wears that lend themselves to the success of the film. Rather, it’s Depp’s ability to communicate with no words, to convey the character’s feelings with only his expressions, and to tell his character’s story without using spoken language.
A Mentor Nearly 50 Years in the Making
Depp’s talents in the film are remarkable, as he only speaks about 150 words during the entire movie. But he was so good at doing so that the director who chose him for the role paid him $10,000 per spoken word.
It’s safe to say that throughout his acting career, Depp has never failed to prove how valuable he is to the success of a film, and younger actors would largely do well to look to him as one from which to glean wisdom in their own careers.
A Cold Shoulder Toward Johnny Depp?
This month, however, a film featuring a role portrayed by Depp in 2005 will make its theatrical debut, and the actor cast in Depp’s former role says he has never reached out to Johnny Depp to seek guidance or inspiration in embodying the role, despite the fact that the role is considered among one of Depp’s most iconic portrayals.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s Wonka is set to debut at the box office on December 15, although the film has technically been in the works for years.
The film, of course, centers around the quirky chocolatier in the velvet coat, Willy Wonka, but in the 2023 take on the titular character, audiences will be treated to a before-he-was-famous look at Wonka and the events in his life that led him to become the famous candymaker.
Johnny Depp played the role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), putting a different spin on Gene Wilder’s Wonka persona from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Though Wilder’s film was well-received, it was nearly as successful as the film featuring Depp as the chocolate maker, which grossed close to $500 million and became the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2005.
In a recent interview with E! News, actor Timothee Chalamet said he did not seek advice from Johnny Depp in his role as Willy Wonka himself in the new film.
“No, and I love that version,” Chalamet said on The Rundown, referring to Depp’s 2005 performance. “[That] version came out when I was about 10 or 11 years old, and I just thought it was very bold.”
Chalamet went on to say that he loves Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the character in the 1971 film as well.
“The Gene Wilder version I saw first technically, because my mom—that’s the one I grew up on,” he explained. But the fact that Chalamet didn’t contact Johnny Depp seems harmless, as it looks like he may have drawn inspiration from one of his own past roles instead–an alter ego he calls “Lil Timmy Tim” that he embraced when he was much younger.
You can see just a piece of that alter ego below:
The now-27-year-old actor joked, saying that “no one” could see that version of him ever again, as it is “locked away deep into a corner of the digital footprint and [a] deep, dark part of my mind.”
Though he doesn’t rap in the film, fans will get to hear Chalamet sing in the Warner Bros.’ Wonka, as the film is a musical as well.
Wonka makes its long-awaited theatrical debut on December 15.