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There’s just something about that Johnny-Depp Impact, one might say. Rising from character actor to leading man status with two splendid performances this year, Depp has managed to combine good looks, talent, courage, and imagination in one powerful package. A new member of Hollywood’s pantheon of handsome leading men- no one is more intriguing than this former “hillbilly” wild child, quirky actor, and new father!

Whether friend or foe, fan or skeptic, everyone has an opinion about Depp- but the one thing about which there is no debate is his remarkable acting ability. He’s quickly making a place for himself as a Hollywood legend, endlessly interesting and prodigiously talented-like Marlon Brando, or Richard Burton, or Alfred Hitchcock, unique personalities who bring something eternal and enormous to the screen. Like them, Depp manages to make even the humblest of his characters seem larger than life – creating something indefinable, intriguing, dangerous, mysterious about them, by revealing the secret life going on in their heads.

Although he had appeared in four movies, including “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Platoon”, it was his role on the hit TV series “21 Jump Street” that catapulted Depp to teen heartthrob fame in 1987. Never interested in the heartthrob title, Johnny began taking film roles that challenged that image.

In almost every role he’s undertaken, Depp brings a quirky, heart-wrenching quality to the part-whether it’s 1990’s wildly inventive “Edward Scissorhands”, (marking his first collaboration with mentor Tim Burton) and which Depp describes as the “defining role” in his career, his Buster Keaton-ish Sam in 1993’s “Benny and Joon” (which by the way, also stars the young Julianne Moore, and blue-eyed Aidan Quinn as Benny), to 1993’s groundbreaking portrait of teenage angst in “What’s eating Gilbert Grape”, to Burton’s 1994 surrealist portrait “Ed Wood” to the definitive 1999, again directed by Tim Burton, “Sleepy Hollow”.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 35 - September 2018
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