With the opening of the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, I’d thought I’d update this post from March 2010. Despite Johnny Depp’s many highs and lows the lessons he’s taught me about life remain true to this day.
Johnny Depp has been in my life a long time. I, like most other Gen X girls, adored him from the moment he appeared in 21 Jump Street. With my father begrudgingly putting up with the show while the girls of the house drooled.
I admire Johnny’s acting. I support him when he does his odd roles, you know the ones I mean because I think he is really talented. He puts a great amount of research and effort into preparing for each role that he accepts and you can see he is truly dedicated to his craft.
When I think about his performances, I realize that there has been a lot to learn from Mr. Depp.
 Be undefinable. Just when you think you have Johnny Depp pegged, he does a left turn on you. Isn’t life a whole hell of a lot more interesting when you can’t be easily categorized? That there is no neat checkbox for you? Be original. Be unpredictable.
Okay, I realize that I just rattled off a whole bunch of sound bytes, but I think you get the picture. It’s so much more interesting to be you, even when that means you might be outside the norms of what society accepts when you are being true to yourself and not trying to live up to what someone else wants you to be.
Johnny Depp wasn’t comfortable (and still isn’t) with the sex symbol status that he was labeled with after 21 Jump Street, so he chose roles that were a complete 180-degrees from that.
 You can be as weird as-all-get-out and people will still love you. Okay, it may help that you are handsome in a strange rugged sort of way, but you get what I am saying. Look, there really is someone for everyone. Every taste. Every style. If someone believes in you, they will adore you no matter how far off the beaten path you go. I am not saying that being “weird” will make it easy for those around you to love you. You will find your tribe, trust me. Even the weirdest kids in high school hung out with the other weird kids….
 Don’t mess with a good thing. A good partnership can last a lifetime. Johhny Depp has teamed up with Tim Burton numerous times. Successfully. They complete each other and it works. It has not become so predictable that it is boring. The films that they work have run the gamut. They take the best of their working partnership and apply it to whatever project they team up on. It hasn’t gotten old yet and it is a good example to follow.
If you have something that works, use it. That doesn’t mean you can’t iterate or innovate to improve it, but don’t risk the essence of what is working.
 Living in France is cool. Until recently, Mr. Depp spent most of his time in France in a small village where he grew grapes for wine, tomatoes in his garden to eat and spent his days with his children and now ex-wife. There were no reporters to hound him, the villagers left him alone, and his privacy was respected which is de rigeur in France. A French life can be one of simple pleasures, simple tastes, and simple joys. And when one is a star as big as Johnny is, finding peace in a country that encourages and supports the simple things in life can mean all the difference in the world.
 Never give up your dream to own an island. Again, this may not be your dream (it’s kind of mine), but the point is just because you come from Owensboro, Kentucky doesn’t mean that someday you can’t own your own Carribean island. You never know what your path is, but if you are determined, you never know where you might end up.
Seems a little Pollyanna for you? Well, maybe. But I personally believe that I am going to get a lot further in life if I (a) have a goal and (b) actually plan to achieve it.
Is there anything that Johnny Depp has taught you?
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