Friday, 16 November 2007
In the glitz and glamour of Hollywood it takes a strong character to stand out in the crowd. Johnny Depp has made a habit throughout his career of picking the parts of colourful personalities, when perhaps it would've been easier and even more beneficial to choose a simpler role. However, the dedication shown to his selections has been fruitful for Johnny, who now has the pick of the roles he has always sought. He has proved himself to be a strong character.
His turns as infamous eccentrics like Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Edward Scissorhands (1990), were relatively well received by mainstream cinema audiences. Both films were directed by Tim Burton, who will collaborate with Depp once more for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, due for release next year. Helena Bonham Carter, another regular of Burton's movies, will be included in a cast featuring Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen and Alan Rickman.
Any feverous anticipation that previously awaited the latest Burton/Depp movie was strictly reserved to a cult following in the past. Those who wore ninety percent black attire, lived in their attics and dabbled with witchcraft would be awaiting the next instalment from the duo. It was in 2003 that something happened forcing them to rethink the attic and move onto a boat instead. That something was Pirates of the Caribbean.
The Curse of the Black Pearl would be the first of a trilogy of pirate movies starring Johnny Depp as the mischievous Jack Sparrow. It would also launch Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley into the Hollywood atmosphere, while making Depp's star shine brighter than ever before. He had gone beyond bland mainstream compliments and distinguished himself as a unique movie icon, comparable to the stars that littered Hollywood in the days of the silver screen.
When his next film is released he will receive the focus of a far wider audience than he had previously, having acquired new fans from the success of Pirates of the Caribbean. Whether they are prepared for his portrayal of a homicidal barber or not remains to be seen, frankly I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. The family viewing appeal of Pirates of the Caribbean has created a following of young teenage fans, which might be too young for his other rumoured project, Sin City 2. The previous incarnation of the graphic novel, by Frank Miller, featured sex, guns and lots of bloody violence.
With his profile raised to new heights it will be interesting to see if Depp's performances still embody the bizarre characteristics of the oddball personalities he plays. All eyes will be on Sweeney Todd, which if convincing may see a sudden rise in hair growth. It could be a case of avoiding the barbershop or risk ending up in a particularly meaty pie.