Johnny Depp is most known these days as Captain Jack Sparrow or, in certain circles, as Raoul Duke/Hunter S. Thompson. He has an eerie way of embodying the characters he plays so well that we forget he’s just acting.
But while he’s proven himself to be an intriguing dramatic actor, he has a sense of humor that borders on the silly, which shines through in many of his characters. The films he’s most famous for, while all good in their own right, sometimes overshadow other, lesser-known roles that should be seen by any Depp-lover. So here are five of his films you may have forgotten, overlooked, or might want to give a second try.
1. “From Hell”
A film by the Hughes Brothers that also stars Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid, to you non-muggles), “From Hell” chronicles an investigator’s dark path on the search for Jack The Ripper and his struggle to stop “chasing the dragon” (getting blasted on Opium). A bloody, wonderfully interesting take on the Ripper story.
2. “Ed Wood”
The mostly-true account of now legendary B-movie director Ed Wood has Depp dressing in drag and trying to keep a struggling career afloat in an industry that looks upon him as a joke. A lovely, somewhat sad tale which stars Martin Landau as screen legend Bela Lugosi.
3. “Public Enemies”
Depp plays John Dillinger, with Marion Cotillard as his French love interest. Also, Batman is in it. That’s all I need to say, I think.
4. “Once Upon A Time In Mexico”
Antonio Banderas plays El Mariachi once again, with Salma Hayek as his lady-love and Depp as a mad CIA agent (mad as in Hatter). Seems like this performance may be a tad underrated.
5. “Dead Man”
A film by Jim Jarmusch is often pronounced “artsy” and “weird”, so this one got mostly overlooked by even the most avid Depp fans. Mostly because it’s artsy and weird. But so is Depp, really, and he pulls off this character beautifully. Give it a shot, you might dig it.