Johnny Depp Co-Star Expected Him To Quit Acting Before ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

in Movies

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

Johnny Depp became one of the world’s most popular actors in the early 2000s with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but one of his original co-stars thought he would quit before he ever made it there.

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

While most audiences know Johnny Depp best as Captain Jack Sparrow, he had already been acting for nearly 20 years by the time he exploded into billion-dollar global stardom.

He first broke out as a cast member of the 1980s cop show 21 Jump Street, and then famously, he worked on a series of movies with director Tim Burton, beginning with the unexpected hit fantasy Edward Scissorhands (1990) and going on to the critically acclaimed Ed Wood (1994) and the bizarre blockbuster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

Related: Op-Ed: It’s Time to Talk About Johnny Depp’s Worst Role Ever

Willy Wonka Johnny Depp
Credit: Warner Bros

While the two have not worked together since the critically panned Dark Shadows (2012), rumors have recently been swirling that Depp may appear in a cameo in the upcoming Beetlejuice 2 alongside Winona Ryder and Jenna Ortega.

At the same time as he was building a reputation as a quirky leading man in movies like Sleepy Hollow (1999), Johnny Depp also became a darling of the indie film world, starring in the critically acclaimed Jim Jarmusch feature Dead Man (1995) and Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).

All of this is to say, Johnny Depp had a wildly mixed film career before Captain Jack Sparrow came around, and everything changed for him.

Johnny Depp in Ed Wood
Credit: Touchstone

However, according to his co-star from his very first movie, it did not seem like Johnny Depp enjoyed acting, and that it, frankly, seemed like torture.

Depp made his feature film debut in the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), the film that also introduced the dream-dwelling undead murderer Freddy Krueger to the world. In his first role, the future Sweeney Todd portrayed Glen, the teenage boyfriend of Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), and was noted for both his boyish good looks and his horrible death.

Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Credit: New Line Cinema

Heather Langenkamp recently appeared on Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast to discuss numerous aspects of her long career and was asked about Depp in those early days.

Langenkamp said that Johnny Depp did not actually appear to really like acting, saying, “I could not tell if he liked acting or not because he seemed kinda tortured by it, the pressure of… I know that he really worked hard to be Glen. He worked very hard on this part. So I couldn’t tell if he was enjoying himself frankly because he was always so dedicated and serious. We all joked around and cracked smiles and stuff.”

Continuing on, the longtime scream queen revealed that she did not actually think Depp would continue as an actor and would go back to playing music, his first aspiration. She said, “He was a musician, he was a guitar player in a band, I thought, ‘Oh, he’s just going to go back to that.’ … I thought, ‘He’ll give this up, this won’t keep him satisfied or fulfilled.’ If you’re a great musician, you’re not going to turn it all in for acting.”

Johnny Depp and Heather Langkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: Amazon Prime TV Show Picks a Side in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Controversy as New ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Revealed

While her prediction did not turn out to be true, it is undeniable that Johnny Depp has kept his love of music throughout his entire career, playing with his band Hollywood Vampires and touring with the late Jeff Beck.

While it is unclear whether Johnny Depp will actually return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (and appears to be permanently done with the Fantastic Beasts series), the actor is currently in a post-Amber Heard comeback.

His most recent movie, Jeanne du Barry, in which he portrays French King Louis XV, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a standing ovation. Depp is currently in production on his second directorial effort, a historical biopic featuring his old co-star Al Pacino.

While he is unlikely to appear in the upcoming revival of A Nightmare on Elm Street, at least he didn’t quit after just one movie.

What is Johnny Depp’s greatest role? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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