Ellen: Johnny Depp: Willy Wonka Was Inspired By Stoned George Bush


Ellen: Johnny Depp

From Edward Scissorhands to Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp has been the man behind some of the most memorable characters ever to appear on the silver screen. But somehow he’d never managed to make it to Ellen’s show before today.

He came to promote the new movie adaptation of Dark Shadows, with Former Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer and Rising Star Chloe Grace Moretz.


Despite the fact that his face is recognizable around the world, he told Ellen he’s a homebody. She said she understands how different the promotional parts of acting are, compared to the intimacy and control of a movie set.

“It’s a very different thing when you’re playing a character. As a character, you can do virtually anything,” he said. “But as yourself…very awkward.”

Ellen: Johnny Depp, Willy Wonka, George Bush

Ellen asked what draws Johnny to some of the fantastical characters he’s known for.


Ellen: Johnny Depp Characters

Johnny Depp made his debut appearance on Ellen, explaining how he develops his iconic characters. (Image Credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com)

“Generally within the first 10 pages of the script, something hits, something clicks, and you feel like there’s something that you can add to the piece that might not have been done before,” he said. “Then the images start to come, the look starts to come.”

She wondered if the characters’ looks tended to evolve over the course of a project, but for the most part they turn out the way he initially imagines them when reading the script. But he brings certain ideas and influences to his performances.

Willy Wonka, for example was, I imagined what George Bush would be like, incredibly stoned,” he said.

Ellen said that knowledge will change people’s interpretations of the movie the next time they watch it.

Ellen: Johnny Depp, Edward Scissorhands & Captain Jack Sparrow

As for Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp played the character “like a newborn seeing things for the first time,” and the pure, unconditional love of a dog he had.

“It was great,” he said of taking a fresh look at the world as Edward Scissorhands. “There was something very safe in being that open to things, and seeing things as just very new.”

That brought Ellen and Johnny to Captain Jack Sparrow, whom Johnny has played in multiple sequels. She asked about the humorous aspect of his characters.

“Anywhere that you can find a moment of irreverence or absurdity, I’ll stick it right in there, sometimes to the dismay of the director and certainly the studio,” Johnny Depp said.

Ellen said she thinks Johnny Depp’s filmography has made $7 billion, which is staggering if it’s true.

Ellen: Johnny Depp Guitar & Drums

Did you know that Johnny Depp’s first love is music? He plays guitar and the drums, but doesn’t have a knack for the tambourine. Occasionally he gets to collaborate with the likes of Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Oasis and Aerosmith. His wish list of future collaborators includes Air Supply and Bread. Who would be your dream band to jam with?

Ellen surprised Johnny Depp with a gift: silver friendship bracelets bearing both their names and today’s date, to commemorate his first visit to her show. See what Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows co-stars, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Grace Moretz, told Ellen about him.


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