As far as career-defining performances go, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is right up there with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Heath Ledger as the Joker. Yet, Depp revealed in an interview with Euronews that his take on the quixotic pirate in Disney’s blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was far from a hit with studio executives at first.
“They were nervous, they were afraid no one would understand a word Captain Jack said. I got calls from them asking, ‘Is he drunk? Are you drunk? What’s the thing with his hands?’ I wasn’t discouraged in the slightest, it fuels me. I know that if they’re worried, I’m doing my job. When they asked me to bring it down, I turned it up.”
In Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, The Curse of the Black Pearl, audiences were introduced to Depp as notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, in what was essentially the role of the supporting comic relief to Orlando Bloom’s main lead. Yet, Depp’s take on Sparrow was so mesmerizing for the audience that he instantly became the star of the movie.
Ironically, it was the many weird tics and mannerisms that Johnny Depp applied to Sparrow that made him a cult classic character, despite studio execs having little faith in Depp’s interpretation of the pirate. Before Pirates of the Caribbean came along, the audiences had little interest in pirate-themed movies, and there were no iconic pirate characters in Hollywood history save for the animated Captain Hook.
Jack Sparrow’s arrival changed all that and gave Disney one of its most lucrative franchises of all time. With each new installment, Depp’s role became the de-facto lead of the series, to the point that the audiences complained that the movies were becoming less about high-seas adventures and more about watching Sparrow be quirky for two and a half hours.
Lately, that same over-reliance on a single character has come to cost the Pirates of the Caribbean series, with each fresh movie in the franchise getting more negatively reviewed and earning less money at the box office. So much so that Disney is rumored to be looking into rebooting the franchise, parting ways with Jack Sparrow permanently, and putting a female lead in his place.
While the franchise that created him might be looking to break all ties with the character, Depp remains very fond of his Jack Sparrow persona. The actor initially signed on to the role because he wanted to make a movie that his kids could watch with him. After the character exploded in popularity, Depp would often dress up as Sparrow to surprise delighted visitors at Disneyland, and also visited sick children in hospitals in full pirate get up.
With the recent controversy surrounding Depp’s divorce from Amber Heard, the actor’s career has been under a cloud lately. But despite his various detractors, fans are still hoping to see Depp return to the big screen with a new high-seas “Jack Sparrow” adventure someday. This news comes from EuroNews.