5 Things Johnny Depp Taught Me About Life

With the opening of the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, I 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.

5 Things Johnny Depp Taught Me About Life
Photo credit: CelebrityABC

Johnny Depp has been in my life for 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.

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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.

[1]  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.

[2] 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…

[3] 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 on 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.

[4] 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 the 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.

[5] 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 Caribbean 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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  1. I recently saw a 48 hours or 20/20 episode where Depp spoke up for a convicted murderer from him small hometown. He talked about how he knew what it was like to be different. Turns out, the guys WAS innocent! Released from prison after 15 or so years – based on DNA. Depp takes risks. I do like that. Having said that, I had to leave Willy Wonka half way through b/c he creeped out my five year old. =/ He is brilliant and I loved him in the Pirates of the Carribean.

  2. I love Johnny Depp, Chocolat stands out as one of his memorable ones for me. I won’t see Alice quite yet, I can’t stand being in a crowded theater.
    As for Pollyanna, she was pretty savvy little girl. One of my favorite movies as a child!

    What I admire about him is his total self-assurance!

  3. Excellent, fun post today, Andi!

    I remember doing an exercise with my students a couple of years ago in which they had to persuade their favorite celebrity to take them to dinner. One girl chose Johnny Depp, and I mentioned something about loving him ever since he was on 21 Jump Street. Of course, she and her classmates looked at me like I was nuts.
    “It was this TV show he was on about 20 years ago,” I said.
    “Wait, how old is he?” they asked.
    “He’s gotta be at least 40,” I said, hoping my own age wouldn’t be revealed, “if not 45.”
    The girls gasped in horror. “Wow, I didn’t know he was like, *OLD*!!”

    And I agree w/ Laura — I think Roux in Chocolat is my favorite Depp role.

  4. My fave movies of his are Chocolat and Pirates of the Caribbean…what I adore about him is his devotion to his family! I will see Alice but not tomorrow….great post, Andi! xxoo πŸ™‚

  5. I LOVE this post!!! I was just having the exact same conversation the other. Although, it wasn’t framed in terms of Johnny Depp teaching me something but rather how he has redefined success in Hollywood. He is an interesting actor with amazing range.

    And yes, I can’t wait to see Alice…Friday date night!

  6. I am a big fan of Johnny Depp from the 21 Jump Street days, too. I used to have a binder dedicated to his pics.

    I love how you have set out this post. It’s all true and I hope to be like him one day, especially living in France!

    1. @Lynn @ Midday Escapades, yah I know you didn’t take me after seeing it twice you snuck in the second one Good Luck

  7. These are good life lessons. I especially like the first one, as I am trying to reach for more breadth than depth right now. It’s always a little scary to move out of the comfort zone. People always tell us to play to out strengths, but sometimes it’s working on our weaknesses that allows us to progress the most. Great post!

  8. Clarabela says:

    Excellent post, Andi!

    I am also a big Johnny Depp fan. When I saw his interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio I could see there was a deeper man inside. Which is why he can play such diverse roles.

    He is not afraid to be crazy or humiliate himself. He just jumps head first into some of his craziness characters. From 21 Jump Street to Chocolat to Benny & Joon, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Sweeney Todd, you get a different Johnny each time. And we always love him.

  9. Love Johnny Depp! The only thing I didn’t like that he was in was the second half of Sweeney Todd. (First half was great! Second half = ICK!)

  10. Loooove these lessons! Esp #1 & #5. I definitely want to own my own island one day. πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to see Alice this weekend!!!

  11. Ah, great post, Andi! Yup, love him too, and what he has done. And I didn’t even know he lives in a French village…respect meter just went up a couple of notches!
    My daughter loves him too, so for her recent 22nd birthday I bought her the 21 Jump Street DVD πŸ™‚
    Can’t wait to see Alice, but will wait until all my family is free, which probably means a couple of weeks.

  12. I like very much the 5th point !
    Not for the Island, haha.
    But for the meaning. =)

  13. Madeline Felman says:

    Johnny Depp is very very comedy and I he’s the best in the world …..his movies very special

  14. Johnny Depp has taught me more than to be brave.

  15. Amy Green says:

    Johnny Depp is truly one of our greatest American actors. He is sure to win an Academy Award someday. I have been a devoted fan since “21 Jump Street”. I know everyone says this, but it’s true! Its a show my best friend and I bonded over. I have even watched his smaller films, like ‘Arizona Dream’. The movie of his I have probably watched the most is ‘Ed Wood’. I find it very funny and touching. The fact that he’s done another ‘Pirates’ movie already has me looking forward to 2017!

  16. janet kemp says:

    I’ve always liked Johnny Depp. Great actor, and good looking.

  17. Charlotte says:

    I don’t know anything about Johnny Depp but I can relate to your first two life lessons.

  18. I love Johnny and the last movie is great. I think that he is weird in a good way and he teaches kids (an me) to be unique and that being a little weird is not bad. It is actually great to be different and no follow all the trends. Such a great article about him, there are some things I did not know about him and I am a big fan. Thanks for sharing

  19. David Elliott says:

    I didn’t realize that Mr.. Depp owned an island. But I am sure he is wealthy beyond his wildest dreams so it would not surprise me. And it’s great that he has such a great partnership with Burton. I think their sensibilities run together which is why they work so well.

  20. Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors! I love him and he is always a great inspiration . . .it’s good to know I’m not alone!

  21. Johnny Depp is one of my fave actors of all time. I visited France many times and I would love to live there. I also agree with the idea not to mess with a good thing. Although it’s sometimes tempting to change things, it’s best to leave a good thing alone. Depp can teach all of us a thing or two about life.

  22. I’ve been a big fan of Johnny Depp for a long time now. I had no idea he lived his everyday life in France. We visited Paris last year and I couldn’t get over what a relaxed culture it was. Good for him for stepping out of the limelight and really taking the time to enjoy his family and have peaceful days

  23. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    I have been a fan of his since he was on 21 Jump Street. I fell in love with him then. I love how he has evolved over his career!

  24. He is such a great actor the Pirates of the Caribbean is one my favorite movie. I didn’t know that he is that old base on his physical. The Willy Wonka was a nice movie too although sometimes he looks creepy haha! He is a man with a talent that inspire people by his words. I am not surprised at all why he has so many fans old and young ones.

  25. I don’t know… I used to love him and agree he’s a brilliant actor, but am I really the only one who can’t quite-so-easily forgive him for assaulting his wife?

  26. Dori Reay says:

    love the rv with hubby thing!

  27. Kelly Kimmell says:

    I always enjoy Johnny Depp movies, no matter how weird he may be.

  28. Calvin F. says:

    Edward scissorhands is the best@ aha

  29. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    He is such a great actor. I loved this movie. Thank you so much for sharing this article about him. Thank you so much for sharing

  30. King Blanketkfort says:

    I believe that Johnny Depp was from Bowling Green, Kentucky