Rebel of many faces

By Helen Barlow – Kids love him, teens think he’s cool, girls of all ages drool over his looks and charm, while parents and grannies find him endearing. Having cleaned up his act to become a doting parent, he has won a new respectability, and now with his box office clout he can make whatever movie he pleases.

But still the question remains: underneath all the disguises just who is the real Johnny Depp? In movies he has worked with the most creative and eccentric of directors and actors. His debut was in Cry-Baby with John Waters and then came Edward Scissorhands. His excursion into the mainstream as a regular accountant chasing the clock in Nick of Time, directed by the highly respected John Badham, flopped at the box office, and he looked most sexy when he reluctantly played a latter-day Rudolph Valentino in Don Juan DeMarco, which he only did to work with Marlon Brando.

Brando, another adventurer who also became his friend, came out of retirement to feature in the only film Depp would ever direct, The Brave, which played only in a couple of tiny Parisian cinemas.

“I don’t think you can spend more than two minutes with Marlon Brando without walking away with an unforgettable experience and with an education,” he says. The Brave was hardly a gripping experience, though its native American theme showed that Depp was keen to explore his part-Cherokee roots.

He had appeared already in the Native American-themed Dead Man for his friend Jim Jarmusch, when (five years later) he teamed again with Lasse Hallstrom, his What’s Eating Gilbert Grape director, and played a gypsy musician in Chocolat.

He says it is the character closest to himself he has ever played.

Copyright 2005 News Limited.

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