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The first thing I notice when I meet Depp in his mid-Manhattan hotel is his hair. Where are the shoulder-length locks that have graced the covers of a thousand magazines and made Depp into an X-generation hero? Johnny Depp with short hair is somehow a very different person—not, maybe, quite so different as a cross-dressing 40s B-movie director, which is what he's currently playing in Tim Burton's new movie, Ed Wood, but different nonetheless.
—Dan Yakir
Sky Magazine, April 1994

He was so generous and happy that he would give you the shirt right off his back. And I do mean that; he came into the makeup trailer for his daily regimen, and I commented to him that I liked his shirt. He took it off and gave it to me.
—Patty York
Don Juan deMarco makeup artist, Vogue, September 1994


Johnny Depp, so often described as androgynously beautiful, is really more like a male cat, a creature so sure of himself that his more masculine traits aren't the first things you notice about him. You can see it in the way he underplays every role. Sometimes you look at him and you think he's not doing much at all; then you realize that what he's doing is so economical and so understated that you can't afford to take your eyes off him for an instant.

He wastes no line, expression or arc of movement. Like those ancient inky creatures painted on Japanese scrolls with just two or three strokes, he's both the suggestion and the essence of feline masculinity, all implied muscle and Zen intelligence.
—Stephanie Zacharek
Salon article, Not Just Another Pretty Face, April 2001

In his recent review of Blow, New Yorker critic David Denby lauded Depp, even as he lamented that he's never quite broken through. But I'd argue that Depp has broken through again and again, so many times that it's hard to pinpoint one definable pinnacle of glory. His subtlety is his strong suit. His star power isn't the same brand that Julia Roberts has; there's no false flashiness to him. He'll never be the flavor of the month, because there's no month big enough to hold him.
—Stephanie Zacharek, April 2001

Johnny Depp, who may be the biggest star in the world today, thanks mostly to the Caribbean picture, is an actor who takes chances, will go way out there, as he did in Pirates, and explore a character that other actors would shy away from.
—Richard Zanuck
producer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

We have Johnny Depp at his best. Willy Wonka has always been a very eccentric character, but you put Johnny Depp in his shoes and he becomes even more eccentric.
—Richard Zanuck
producer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Johnny and Tim are like any good team with almost an unspoken way of doing things, and can practically read each other’s minds. Johnny looks to Tim for guidance, and Tim looks to Johnny for taking what he has outlined and pushing it a little further. It’s a deep friendship, and they’re both lovely people, fun to work with and hard-working. And they’re both at the top of their game. So the combination is wonderful in terms of freshness and inventiveness.
—Richard Zanuck
producer, Sweeney Todd

Johnny in front of his victims with the razor is almost like a ballet dancer, dancing around them.
—Richard D. Zanuck, producer, Sweeney Todd
The New York Times, November 2007