A-list Hollywood royalty, Johnny Depp has starred in countless cinematic blockbusters in his long career. But how old was the star when he appeared in the first instalment of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’?
Johnny Depp was 40 years old when the first ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie was released in 2003. Playing the now infamous, perennially drunk, Captain Jack Sparrow has been one of Depp’s biggest roles to date.
Read more about Depp’s role as Captain Jack Sparrow below.
A Pirate’s Life For Me
Already a certified Hollywood star, Johnny Depp began arguably the biggest role of his career; Captain Jack Sparrow in 2003 at the age of 40 in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean; The Curse of the Black Pearl.’
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie franchise has been one of the most successful of all time, grossing over $4.5 billion worldwide.
Synonymous with the movies is, of course, swashbuckling drunkard, Captain Jack Sparrow. A character for which Depp has received an Academy Award nomination.
Depp was initially interested in the film as it was a chance to resurrect the forgotten genre of pirate films that he was drawn to.
Producers of the film, Walt Disney Studios believed the character should be a slightly off centre hero, a ladies man and somewhat of a cad. But Depp had other ideas for this now famous pirate.
Watch Johnny Depp talk about his favourite thing about playing Jack Sparrow on YouTube here:
A Rockstar Spin
Depp decided to add his own spin to Sparrow and surprised Disney executives when he portrayed the character as seemingly drunk and camp.
Having researched 18th century pirates, Depp drew comparisons with modern day rockstars and based his portrayal on Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards.
In an interview with Collider, Depp gave further insight into his inspiration for Captain Jack: “This sounds weird but Captain Jack was born in a sauna. My sauna. I was looking at various aspects of the character and I figured this guy has been on the high seas for the majority of his life and therefore has dealt with inescapable heat to the brain.”
“So that gave me the idea that his brain has been par-boiled to some degree. Also in terms of his body language I felt that when he was on the ship he would be fine as the ship would be bounding away. He would have sea legs, but when he gets on land he cannot get land legs. He would be looking wobbly and Disney disagreed.”
But Disney didn’t agree initially, executives believed Depp’s characterisation would ruin the film. Depp’s response was to trust him, or let him go. They decided against the latter, a decision they would not live to regret.
Watch Johnny Depp transform into Captain Jack Sparrow on YouTube here:
Critical Acclaim for Captain Jack
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise has had continued success since its release in 2003 with four subsequent films.
Depp has reprised his role as Captain Jack in every film in the franchise, winning a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for the portrayal as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Film critics have also given high praise to the actor for his interpretation of the Disney pirate. Alan Morrison, of Empire magazine described it as “gloriously over-the-top…In terms of physical precision and verbal delivery, it’s a master-class in comedy acting.”
As arguably the biggest role of Depp’s career, it gives hope to young, aspiring actors that even Hollywood mega stars have to wait until middle age to be awarded the role of a lifetime.
Watch behind the scenes bloopers of Pirates of the Caribbean on Youtube below.