I have been a Johnny Depp fan since his days on the TV show “Jump Street.” I like how he did not want to be marketed as a pretty boy like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise and chose the quirky roles more so than the traditional leading man role. Sure he has played straight roles like Donnie Brasco, J.M. Barrie, and last summer’s “Public Enemies” (as John Dillinger) with aplomb, but he still gives iconic and memorable performances from Edward Scissorhands to pirate Jack Sparrow. I imagine Depp likes to indulge the quirkier side of his personality since he does not feel restrained in his performance.
With Tim Burton’s much-anticipated version of “Alice in Wonderland” opening this week I felt like ranking my favorite Johnny Depp movies starting with my #1 Edward Scissorhands.
1. Edward Scissorhands- one of the most bizarre and original movies ever. It was the first pairing of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and turned out to be one of the strangest pairings to ever come out of Hollywood.
2. Donnie Brasco – fuhgettaboutit! A gritty portrayal of a real under cover cop who infiltrated la famiglia.
3. Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl- Depp could have chosen to play this character like the swashbuckler Disney Studio Execs wanted him to, but I am glad he choose to play Jack Sparrow as an homage to Keith Richards.
4. Ed Wood- 2nd pairing with Tim Burton produced a funny but under the radar movie about perhaps Tinsel town’s campiest cross dressing director.
5. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape- Depp plays it straight compared to a young Leonardo Dicaprio as a mentally handicapped youth.
6. Don Juan DeMarco- plays a mental patient who believes he is The Don Juan with Marlon Brando as his psychiatrist.
7. Finding Neverland- Depp portrays another iconic real life person- JM Barrie the author who created Peter Pan.
8. Public Enemies- Depp plays John Dillinger and gives an excellent performance.
9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- quite possibly Depp’s wackiest role to date based on Hunter S. Thompson’s own experiences in Las Vegas searching for the “American Dream” while loaded on various psychedelic drugs.
10. Chocolate- Depp plays a cool, charming, smooth gypsy who gets to sample Juliette Binoche’s treats.