Johnny Depp has been in Hollywood for a very long time. He made his film debut back in 1984 in Wes Craven’s The Nightmare On Elm Street and has since played everyone from Edward Scissorhands to Willy Wonka. And even though Depp has recently suggested that he doesn’t have quite the same star power he used to, there are few who would argue that Depp has not made an impact on Hollywood.
Johnny Depp has had quite a career
After Elm Street, Depp went on to appear in many more star-making films, including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Pirates of the Caribbean series, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Some of his roles are eccentric, but the fact that Depp takes risks means he has also created numerous iconic characters that live on for fans today.
Don’t be fooled by the risks, though — Depp has true acting chops. As David Ehrlich from Rolling Stone notes, Depp’s role in Donnie Brasco “proved the star could pull off a serious, brooding performance when he felt like it.” Ehrlich also celebrates one of the star’s most iconic roles, saying “the actor’s unblinking eyes [reflected] the joy of every new experience” in his performance from Edward Scissorhands. Drama students for years to come will no doubt be studying Depp’s nuanced characters and everything he has brought to the craft of acting.
Depp’s personal life has sometimes overshadowed his achievements
Many know that Depp and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, had a tumultuous end to their relationship. Heard repeatedly accused Depp of abuse, even going so far as to claim that Depp tried to kill her. Depp repeatedly denied her allegations and even sued The Sun for libel when they reported that he had hurt Heard. Depp lost that lawsuit and the judge in the case didn’t exactly hide the fact he thought Depp was a “wife-beater,” but Depp has also yet to be convicted of assault, so it’s understandable that people have been very torn in their opinions on him recently.
For his part, Depp has also claimed that Heard is abusive, and the multiple legal battles they’ve engaged in since their split in 2016 haven’t exactly helped the truth float to the surface. Depp’s supporters apparently (unsuccessfully) clamored for Heard to be removed from Aquaman, whereas Depp’s detractors have mostly been focused on reducing the power he holds over Hollywood. In short, the whole Heard/Depp thing has been a mess for all involved.
Johnny Depp was just named the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement honor
Despite the controversy around his name recently, Depp will receive the San Sebastian Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Honor known as the Donostia Award on September 22nd in Spain. As The Hollywood Reporter writes, the festival director José Luis Rebordino has gone on the record to defend his decision to honor “one of contemporary cinema’s most talented and versatile actors.” Rebordino added that “the role of a film festival is not to judge the conduct of members of the film industry… [but rather] to extend recognition to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the art of film.”
When Depp receives the Donostia Award, he will join the ranks of past recipients, which, as the Evening Standard remarks, include Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, and Dame Judi Dench.
So, what is on the horizon for Depp now?
Things may seem shaky for Depp at the moment, especially given that he was asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise. However, Depp still has a few projects ahead of him, including playing the voice of Johnny Puff in an animated series called Puffins, Variety reported in June. It remains to be seen how things will shake out for Depp long-term, but in the meantime, maybe we’ll at least get more soulful guitar videos while he weathers the storm?
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