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He is so professional. He comes and does his stuff, then he snaps out of it. Some actors like to stay in character, but he doesn't have to. He's very generous and giving, but he also likes to keep to himself a lot of the time. I had a lot of respect for him beforehand, and that has only increased. I really appreciate the choices he's made as an actor.
—Casper Van Dien
Sleepy Hollow co-star, quoted in Depp, by Christopher Heard

If I hadn't been told that he just woke up, I would have believed that Johnny Depp has put hours of work into his bag lady disguise. The long hair with shades of blond seems not to have been in contact with comb or shampoo for a long time. The clothes put on at random show signs of extreme wear, the chains and charms he's wearing weigh one kilogram at least. And yet the effect is that Depp seems too beautiful to be true. Even if only a fraction of the stories about his life are right, at 38 he looks miraculously perfect and alive and kicking.
—Ab Van Ieperen
VRIJ Nederland, May 2001

Mr. Depp is very sociable. But it's virtually impossible to go out with him. Obviously we had the wrap party and we had a few parties at people's flats that we all went to. But if you went into town he would just get mobbed. Do you know the Father Ted episode where all the old women go mad? Like that. It's funny because when people do see him they just come up to him, stand about two yards away and stare. You're thinking, ‘You must be able to think of something to say.’ But they just stare, it's really weird.
—Johnny Vegas
The Libertine co-star, The Birmingham Post, December 2004

He's a brilliant actor. He's not out to create a fan base for himself, or to simply select work based on salary.
—Gore Verbinski

He is a virtuoso. It is like having Miles Davis in your band and you have got to let him go solo. The storyboards can be a funny image and then you put Johnny into it and he makes it his own.
—Gore Verbinski
The Works Magazine, May 2007

As soon as Johnny came on, everyone looked at it a little differently. Johnny brings a credibility, and other actors started to go, ‘Well, wait a minute, maybe I will read the script and take this offer seriously.’
—Gore Verbinski

He's such a piece of garlic in the soup, you know. You need seven straight men around him. He has to rub against a series of archetypes and a series of plot constructs. You almost have to make the movie without him and then put him in. It's such a piquant performance you need some broth to put it into.
—Gore Verbinski
AJC Staff, July, 2006

I've always wanted to work with him, and ah, he's, he's a pirate, you know, he's just, he's the ultimate pirate.
—Gore Verbinski

You have to give all the credit in the world to Johnny. He's created a character people want to dress like, be like. They can't get enough of him.
—Chuck Viane
distribution chief for Disney, USA Today, July 2006


Very Playful is what good actors are, and Depp is wonderful. Between takes we were always having fun.
—Christopher Walken
co-star, Nick of Time, 1995

I’m not sure he looks in his mailbox—I’m not sure he participates in the mail.
—John Waters
on Johnny's wandering lifestyle, 1994

Halfway through writing it [Cry-Baby] I thought, ‘Oh God, who’s gonna play this?’ I went and bought all the teen magazines—everything that he hates—and saw him and thought he’d be perfect for it. So I called him and said ‘I have this movie about a juvenile delinquent whose father got the electric chair’—I didn’t try to make it sound normal. And he really laughed; he liked my old stuff, too. I just wanted to make sure he had a sense of humor. He did this one little sneer in our first meeting which summed it all up, and I knew that, hey, Johnny Depp is Cry-Baby.
—John Waters
LA Times, 1990

He looked good under arrest. I loved the handcuffs.
—John Waters
Esquire Magazine, April 1995

They made a big deal out of that [arrest at the Mark Hotel] only because he looked SO good under arrest in that hat—you know the great hat that he has on when they lead him out—great shoes, he looked really handsome under arrest! And it was a great picture! That's why it became such a huge media sensation.
—John Waters
director, Cry-Baby, 1998

Johnny invented grunge. I don't remember a movie star with that look before him. Nobody looks better in rags.
—John Waters

Johnny Depp's future, I think, is a long, long career; ageing gracefully; working with the great directors. I mean, he's working with Polanski now. I mean, I almost could have PREDICTED that—what a great match! He's going to do Tim Burton's movie with Christina Ricci. The next two projects he's got coming up, right there, are with really strong directors with huge bodies of work. And that's what attracts Johnny Depp to a project; and that's the same way why the directors want to work with Johnny Depp: because of HIS body of work. And I think he brings to any project PRESTIGE, and really, really, TALENT, that very few actors have in Hollywood today.
—John Waters
director, Cry-Baby, 1998

First of all, Johnny is a pirate in real life. It's the closest part he's ever played to his real self, but the fact that he played it kind of nelly was a big risk.
—John Waters
Newsweek,, June 2006

A Broadway version of Cry-Baby is in the offing, with newcomer James Snyder handling the title role. “I just saw one of their rehearsals and it’s going great,” Waters said. “We didn’t want someone who was going to do an imitation of Johnny Depp. On the other hand, it’s impossible to be too much like Johnny Depp; I think he’s one of Hollywood’s all-time renaissance men.”
—John Waters
October 2007

[Regarding the photoshoot for the February 10, 2005 Rolling Stone cover—Johnny didn't want a hairstylist or a makeup artist. Depp walked in the studio, chose a shirt and was ready to go.] He's devilishly good looking. He just comes in. He's himself. He had a cowboy hat on, and he's easygoing. It didn't matter what he was wearing.
—Albert Watson
Photographer, Rolling Stone, May 2006

Depp is a great beauty. He does everything he can to break that beauty down a little bit. But everything he does just makes him more interesting-looking.
—Albert Watson
Photographer, Rolling Stone, May 2006

With his public persona, I didn't know what to expect. He comes across as a way-out guy, but he's not like that at all. He's friendly, very easy to talk to, quite down-to-earth and real. Although he wants to separate his private life as much as he can now that he has two children, he was willing to talk about pretty much anything. He seemed like a really smart guy.
—Bernard Weinraub
interviewed Johnny for Playboy, May 2004

I think he's probably the premier actor of his day. I think he's been frozen out for years. I think he was looked at as too risky for a lot of the top stuff. A lot of people are going to be kissing his butt now. But what they don't understand about Johnny is that he can smell BS 10 miles away. The same guys who a year ago were saying ‘Him? Are you kidding? He's box office poison’ now [think] he's the hottest thing in the universe.
—Harvey Weinstein
Head of Miramax, Entertainment Weekly, September 2003

Johnny's character in The Libertine is multifaceted and he conveys the complexities with brilliance. He is a true master and his performance in this film is outstanding.
—Harvey Weinstein
October 2005

I would say he’s one of those people who doesn’t fit in this era. His standards and integrity are different. He’s sort of a backlash to technology.
—Chuck E. Weiss
Details interview, 1993

At first, I thought Johnny was taking on more than he could handle with The Brave. I had only seen one other guy who directed and acted in the same film. That was Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves, but I saw Kevin break a couple of times and tear after someone and get angry. I didn't see that in Johnny. He goes beyond getting angry. He likes off-center, arty roles as an actor, and he is that way in his personality too.
—Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman
The Brave co-star, Vanity Fair, February 1997

Johnny is such a gentleman, and he's so funny. He has a really British sense of humor—he's like a European in an American skin. And he's ridiculously gorgeous. It's preposterous, actually. I would say to him, ‘Do you drink alcohol?’ And he'd say, ‘Yeah,’ and look at me like I had six heads. And I'd say, ‘Your skin!’ He has incredible skin!
—Kate Winslet
Finding Neverland co-star, Harper's Bazaar, October 2004

You know I wish I could tell you some kind of outrageous bad story or weird little anecdote about Johnny Depp, but he's an utter pleasure. I mean he was wonderful, he has a great sense of humor and he's a dad so he was very sort of hands on with the boys, and we were like a pack of big kids together, you know. He was great fun. In fact there was one scene where my family, my children and myself are invited to his house for dinner, and the scene is supposed to be kind of fraught with tension and the boys are trying to be poised and correct at the table, and they are supposed to be giggling at how uncomfortable the situation is. How do you just tell a child to just laugh on camera? Johnny Depp comes to work with a fart machine which he rigged up underneath Julie Christie's chair at the table, and he was in control of the button. So, throughout the scene, as far as the boys were concerned, Julie Christie was just spontaneously farting. I cannot tell you, I thought the littlest one was going to fall off his chair—he was in hysterics. It was very funny, so that's basically Johnny Depp for you in a nutshell.
—Kate Winslet

Johnny was wearing a dinner jacket with an old fashioned breast front. I don't know what you actually call those things, but with a very tight collar, and we were doing this scene and Johnny is talking through all his dialogue and turning round looking for people like this. And I said, ‘Have you done something to your neck?’ And he said, ‘No, it's just that my collar is quite tight . . .’ And I said, ‘Well we need to get somebody to come and help you with this thing.’ And he was like, ‘No, no I don't want to make any fuss.’ And he didn't do anything. And I swear to God he did the whole scene like this, hardly moving his neck because he was in agony with this collar, and he could hardly breathe, but he just didn't want to cause any problems, didn't want to adjust the atmosphere of the set and I just completely loved him from that moment on. I thought what a gentleman, what a pro.
—Kate Winslet
co-star, Finding Neverland

Depp has [. . .] mapped out one of the most idiosyncratic resumes on moviedom's A-list, channelling his charisma into audaciously stylised performances for [Tim] Burton, Jim Jarmusch and Terry Gilliam, exploiting or camouflaging his preposterous beauty as the part requires, and amassing a repertoire of accents to rival Meryl Streep's. Now that he has a mega-grossing franchise under his belt (Pirates of the Caribbean), there's no one currently on the Hollywood radar to match Depp's combination of star power with adventurous taste, cockeyed integrity and flair for the without-a-net performance.
—Jessica Winter
National Film Theatre of the British Film Institute, announcing their 2005 Johnny Depp film festival

The first day I met him was quite late on, and I built myself up for it so much, because, obviously, I’ve been in love with him my whole life. Haven’t we all? The day I saw him for the first time though, I was dressed as a boy. I didn’t even have a nice dress, or anything like that. I was literally hiding from the guy, and then Colleen Atwood, the dress designer, brought me over to Johnny, and said, “You haven’t met Jayne yet, she plays your daughter.” And he said, “Hi, I’m Johnny, it’s lovely to meet you.” And I said something that wasn’t actually English.
—Jayne Wisener
costar, Sweeney Todd, The Event Guide—Ireland, December 2007

I was struck by Johnny’s focus, you know. He’s very relaxed when he’s not shooting, but as soon as he goes in front of the camera, his concentration is so intense. It’s really exciting to watch. It was a real lesson for me. He’s like a dancer, so precise and beautiful to watch.
—Jayne Wisener
January 2008

We film at Pinewood next to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. One day this American comes over and starts telling me how he lives in France and is addicted to walnut mustard and is there anywhere he can buy it in the UK. I politely told him I had no idea. Later someone said, 'You do realize that was Johnny Depp, don't you?'
—Kevin Woodford
TV chef, UK Radio Times, October 2004