Nicolas Cage Steps in To Save Johnny Depp’s Career

in Entertainment

Johnny Depp at a press conference

Credit: Wikimedia/Harald Krichel

Over the course of time, there are not many more iconic actors in Hollywood than Johnny Depp, considering what he has accomplished.

Johnny Depp is known for his versatile and captivating performances, with one of his most iconic roles being Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. Depp’s portrayal of the quirky and unpredictable pirate captain catapulted him to international stardom and became a defining role in his career. The first film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) was a massive success and firmly established Depp as one of Hollywood’s leading actors.

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow was a unique blend of wit, humor, and a touch of madness. His ability to bring depth and complexity to a character that could have easily become one-dimensional made him the heart and soul of the franchise. Depp’s performance was so beloved that he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, marking a rare instance of an actor from a big-budget, swashbuckling adventure film being recognized by the prestigious awards.

Over the years, Johnny Depp reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in multiple sequels, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).

Outside of his iconic role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Johnny Depp has delivered exceptional performances in a wide range of films. His filmography boasts diverse roles in movies such as Edward Scissorhands (1990), directed by Tim Burton, where he played an artificial man with scissors for hands, showcasing his ability to embody eccentric characters.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

In Finding Neverland (2004), Depp portrayed author J.M. Barrie and received an Academy Award nomination for his heartwarming and touching performance. He also captivated audiences in the dark and mysterious world of Sleepy Hollow (1999) as Ichabod Crane, collaborating once again with director Tim Burton. Additionally, his work in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) demonstrated his versatility as a performer, earning him a Golden Globe Award for his role as the vengeful and singing barber, but did you know we almost didn’t get any of those performances, including Captain Jack Sparrow?

Before achieving fame and fortune, Depp reportedly worked as a telemarketer upon his arrival in Los Angeles with his band, The Kids. This job was a means to make ends meet, and Depp once described it as his first true role. In his own words, he explained, “I would call people up and say, ‘How do you do, this is Edward Quartermaine.’ You’d guarantee them [customers] a grandfather clock or a trip to Greece. The couple of times that I actually got people to buy the pens, they only agreed because they wanted the grandfather clock.” His earnings from this job amounted to a mere $50 per week, as he would reveal the truth to customers when his supervisor wasn’t around.

Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates
Credit: Disney

Interestingly, Johnny Depp’s journey into acting was somewhat accidental. He initially arrived in LA with aspirations of pursuing a music career, having relocated with his bandmates. When the band disbanded, Depp had to seek alternative employment. Fortuitously, he was introduced to Nicolas Cage through his then-wife, Lori Ann Allison.

Depp recounted the story of how he stumbled into the acting industry during his testimony in his well-known legal battle with Amber Heard. He explained, “I ended up (in) acting by accident… I remember I was filling out a couple of job applications with a friend of mine… He happens to be an actor less known than he is now, Nicolas Cage. I was filling out applications at video stores and clothing stores just to be able to pay the rent… Nic Cage said, ‘Why don’t you meet my agent… cause I think you’re an actor… You could be an actor… I said I’ll meet anybody. I’ll do anything at this point.”

Following this encounter, Depp auditioned for the classic horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in 'Pirates of the Caribbean'
Credit: Disney

It’s interesting to think about what could’ve been. Had Depp never gotten into acting– and had Nicolas Cage not had the influence on him to get him to pursue those options– we may have never seen Captain Jack Sparrow brought to the big screen, or the role may not have been nearly as iconic. This doesn’t even count all the other roles that we’ve seen Johnny Depp take on over the years.

While fans continue to await what might be next for Depp and his career following the allegations that came forward from Amber Heard, one thing is for sure: We’re all thankful that Nicolas Cage was there to get him into acting in the first place.

What is your favorite Johnny Depp role of all time? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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