Johnny Depp is best known for playing Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But his latest film, Minamata, is a different look for him. He played real-life photographer Eugene Smith in the biopic, telling the chilling story of the mercury poisoning of Japanese residents. He has now opened up on telling the American’s photojournalist’s story.
Depp has been largely silent in the public eye due to his ongoing court battle with his ex-wife Heard over “wife-beater” claims – claims which prompted his exit from both the Disney Pirates series and the Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts films. But the American actor has explained how important he felt his role in Minamata was, to both his fans and to history. He said he “absolutely, without question” felt “extra responsibility” in portraying the photographer.
He explained: “When you’re portraying someone who either exists or existed, no matter who they are, you owe a debt to that person to play them responsibly and represent them responsibly.” (Via Variety)
Depp revealed how he felt a “great debt” to both Eugene and his wife Aileen Mioko Smith. He said: “With Gene Smith it went to a great respect for him, but also to Aileen and what she carried on for years. It’s astonishing, it’s incredibly admirable, what she brought to the table – which was everything, no holds barred.”
The Edward Scissorhands actor also opened up about his style of acting in the biopic. His fans will likely best know him for playing the eccentric pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in the Disney series. But in Minamata Depp played a much more reserved character, and there was a good reason for that.
Depp revealed: “The only reason I did many things are some of the choices that I made were because they were a challenge. I think if you step out the gate and do the same thing every time … well, it would drive me mental.” He also explained how he often thought of his fans watching him on screen, adding: “It’s unfair to the audience or the viewer if I come out and I’m the same fella every time. I think it’s important that you try to find something that you can grab onto that maybe hasn’t been done to death and maybe you can come through a different pathway and find a different angle on the character.”
Minamata was Depp’s first film appearance since being axed from both Fantastic Beasts and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. But he is due to star in something new very soon.
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Depp was recently announced to be joining an upcoming film from French director Maiwenn. The untitled movie will star the Donnie Brasco actor as French King Louis XI.
The film is due to explore the final years of real-life Louis XV who ruled France for 59 years. His final years were bogged down in corruption allegations, leaving him dying an unpopular ruler.
Although this is a great win for Depp, he has also recently seen a spike in his ongoing Pirates of the Caribbean petition.
The fan-made petition, titled “We want JOHNNY DEPP back as CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW” recently passed 704,000 signatures.
These hundreds of thousands of fans are calling for the American actor to be reinstated as Jack Sparrow in the ongoing Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. However, things are looking unlikely considering a spin-off movie starring Margot Robbie has already been confirmed to be in the works.
The Pirates of the Caribbean films are available on Disney Plus now.
Minamata is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video now.