Movies - TV
The Disney Brass Weren't Big Fans of Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean Performance
By CHRISTIAN GAINEY
In his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp testified about how his interpretation of “Pirates of the Caribbean’s” Captain Jack Sparrow confused the Disney higher ups. According to Depp, they wanted “more of a swashbuckler type that would swing in shirtless and be the hero,” while Depp’s Sparrow was a cartoonish, staggering, rum-guzzling criminal.
Inspired by the flamboyance and ridiculousness of classic cartoon characters like Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny, Depp decided that Sparrow would be a combination of Pepé Le Pew and Keith Richards. Depp said that his performance resulted in a call from a Disney executive who asked, “'What the f*** are you doing?' And again, the questions came up, 'Is it drunk? Is it gay?’”
Depp answered, “Well don't you know all my characters are gay?” He thought he was going to get fired, but he was kept on, even after being told that his character was going to be subtitled, as they couldn’t understand what he was saying. The risk ended up paying off, as audiences loved Depp’s Sparrow, and the five movies he appeared in earned Disney over a billion dollars.