How many Hollywood leading actors can brag that
they once toured as the opening act to punk legend Iggy Pop? It's
a guarantee that you will only hear it from one; actor Johnny Depp.
Before making it big in the Hollywood acting scene, Depp followed
the path of a punk rocker. Alas, with the L.A. music market flooded
with wannabe rock stars, Depp decided to pursue an acting career.
Johnny Depp grew up in Owenboro, Kentucky before
moving to the coastal town of Miramar, Florida. After teaching himself
the electric guitar and unhappy with high school, Depp dropped out
to lead a musicians life. He started out playing local clubs in
the Florida area with a band called Flame. Depp was still a minor
so in order for him to enter these clubs he had to go through the
back door and leave after the first set. The band soon changed their
name to the Kids and moved from $25.00 a night gigs to touring with
legendary punk icon Iggy Pop. Johnny Depp and his band the Kids
uprooted to L.A. to find a life music.
Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Depp realized
that the Kids were swimming in a deep sea of other wannabe rock
stars looking for easy street in the music industry. Having to almost
abandon music to support themselves with day jobs, the band quickly
broke up. Fortunately for Depp, the makeup artist that he was dating
introduced him to Nicolas Cage, who in turn set up an interview
between Depp and Cage's agent. This union spurred Depp's first role
as a teenage homicide victim in the horror A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Johnny Depp had higher expectations for his acting
career than teenage thriller movies. He enrolled in L.A's Loft Studio
acting school to sharpen his acting skills. After completion, he
landed a small role in Platoon and was offered one of the leading
roles in the new television series 21 Jump Street. Depp turned down
the role at first, the first in a line of many, because he did not
think that it was serious enough. Depp did not want to fall into
the teenage genre of acting; he searched more serious deeper roles.
After being convinced that 21 Jump Street would be cancelled after
the first season, Depp took the role of Detective Tommy Hanson.
The series became a hit, making Tom Hanson the most popular character
of the series for three seasons.
Fighting to wipe away any traces with his teenage
image, Depp took the leading role in the John Waters film Cry-Baby.
The first major feature film break that Depp received was in Tim
Burton's Edward Scissorhands, a film about the forbidden love affair
between a teenage girl and a boy with scissors for hands. In 1993,
Depp delivered a quality dramatic performance in What's Eating Gilbert
Grape, a film that co-starred Juliette Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Depp was also honored in taking a role opposite Al Pacino in the
1997 film Donnie Brasco, as undercover FBI agent posing as a mobster.
Also impressive is the list of roles that Johnny
Depp has turned down. Before Speed turned Keanu Reeves into a Hollywood
hot shot, the role was offered to Depp; before Tom Cruise sucked
the blood from Brad Pitt to turn him into a vampire in Interview
with the Vampire, Depp once again passed; and speaking of Brad Pitt,
he was only second on the list for Legends of the Fall casting directors,
who initially wanted to place Johnny Depp in that role.
In the past few years, Depp has more than proven
himself with roles like the one in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Here, Depp had a stellar performance in the adaptation of the drug-induced
psychedelic memoir of Hunter S. Thompson. Depp also had no trouble
portraying an out-of-this-world creature in the sci-fi movie The
Astronaut's Wife. Depp's next upcoming project will see him once
again in a Tim Burton film. Johnny Depp will portray Ichabod Crane
in Sleepy Hollow, an adaptaion of the Washington Irving classic.
Look for it in theatres in the fall of 1999.