December 26, 2008

"I never wanted to be the guy people looked at. I felt I could only be myself when I was alone, that I turned into some kind of novelty."

"The only way I could get through that time was to drink. I poisoned myself with alcohol for years but I've never been into drugs in the way it was sometimes made out."

Oh, the exquisite pain of being Johnny Depp -- a pain endured in the company of Kate Moss and the guys in Oasis. "I've never been into drugs in the way it was sometimes made out"... makes you wonder about all the ways of being into drugs.

And how can you not want to be the guy people looked at yet still become an actor? Actually, I think it's easy to penetrate that conundrum. He wanted to be an actor to hide inside characters that were invented by someone else. He could be in the world without having to be himself. Ah, yes:
"I was a million percent in love with Edward Scissorhands," Depp says of his 1990 film persona. "I remember looking in the mirror on the last day of shooting ... and thinking how sad I was to be saying goodbye to Edward."

Here he is attempting to talk about it, back in 1991 (when everyone, it seems, looked and acted completely different:


Maguro said...

Oh, the exquisite pain of being Johnny Depp -- a pain endured in the company of Kate Moss and the guys in Oasis.

Put that way, it does sound rather unappealing. I think I'd prefer to be molested by Kate Winslet.

Mark O said...

Both Kates for me. Have you ever seen Kate Moss in person?

But, back to Johnny. He's really good at what he does. Now I see that includes denial.

OK. How do I find pictures on this here Internet thingy?

Host with the Most said...

For what it's worth:

Neighbor worked on Depp's LA home remodel for 3 months, ending in October.

Says he is a great guy, very easy-going, and very family-oriented.

Simon said...

"'I've never been into drugs in the way it was sometimes made out' makes you wonder about all the ways of being into drugs."

The need to make that sort of distinction ought to be considered an alarm bell, one might think.

TitusRoad said...

Speaking of actors the actor that played the gay guy on The Sopranos killed himself-sad.

Spread Eagle said...

Can we distinguish between an occasional recreational user and a full tilt junkie, and one being portrayed as the latter when he is really the former?

Michael said...

"...makes you wonder about all the ways of being into drugs."

Well, anybody who has ever done drugs or knows anyone who has done drugs or reads about those who have done drugs...knows there are many levels of indulgence.

What's so hard to understand?

ricpic said...

This morning I had the appalling realization that I never had a strategy in my dealings with other humans! I've always been very passive socially. I went along with their agenda. I had none of my own! Left to my own devices I stayed in my room or wandered aimlessly in the streets, fantasizing about bizarre things I yearned to do to big ladies, or filled with self-pity and resentment. I was helpless in the presence of other people! My main concern was to make them like me by being as agreeable as possible, and secondly to impress them with my brilliance, my sharp wit, my originality, and my fundamental saintliness. Over time, and after years-decades-of diligent practice, I became very good at this cute little performance of mine. But this performance was improvised in the moment, catered to suit whoever I happened to be with. There was no strategy. It was always an effort. Only in solitude was I completely relaxed. Funny thing...

Who wrote the above? The cartoonist, Robert Crumb. Totally banal, IMO. As banal as Depp's maunderings. The only reason Crumb counts is that he's, again IMO, a great cartoonist. I haven't the foggiest whether Depp is a great actor, but if he is that's the only thing that counts, not his puerile thoughts.

Chip Ahoy said...

I never wanted to be heard, so I pursued singing. I never really wanted to be noticed so I ran for governor. But I could never actually keep quiet so I followed my bliss and became a mime. And I can't draw a straight line to save my life which is how I became an artist. I'm color blind so naturally I paint houses as a side-line, and my tone deafness led me straight to studying piano tuning. Since my taste buds are shot I became a chef. But then my non-existent sense of balance led straight to the circus high wire act. So I'm a little bit tortured and that caused me to drink, and I only do drugs in the unusual sense.

Joan said...

ricpic, I'm calling foul on your characterization of Depp's quotes as "maunderings." Ann's excerpts actually quote the entirety of what he had to say (at least in the linked articles). It's not as if he went on and on about it. He was asked a question, he answered -- no big whoop.

I like him very much as an actor. Don't know him as a person and so have no basis to comment. I do know that many actors are drawn to the profession because it's easier for them to pretend to be someone else than to decide (and be) who they actually are.

Joe said...

Yes actors can be rather conceited, but having seen several interviews with Depp, I think he meant to say "the guy people looked to." or "the guy people looked at [for meaning]."

Ironically, an awful lot of actors are quite shy. Even Jerry Van Dyke admitted that to go on stage for talk shows, he had to invent a character and play it as a role.

EDH said...

My favorite Depp character was named Eddie, but not Scissorhands.

Backstory here with full video here.

Robert Cook said...

Henry Fonda quite famously was uncomfortable in his own skin, stiff and perceived as "cold" even by his own family members. He reportedly pursued acting in order to inhabit other personalities, thereby escaping entrapment in his own introversion.

Depp's quote is hardly difficult to apprehend or credit as truthful, except perhaps by those who understand acting as merely the means by which egotists draw attention to themselves. Well, there are certainly those, but there are artists in every field who are motivated by ego-needs, just as there are artists who are driven by their desire to create something of worth. A writer or painter or composer may create beauty and remain anonymous; an actor is his own medium and thus cannot escape recognition, even though he may prefer it were otherwise.