Johnny Depp has been at the forefront of public conversations lately due to his high-profile legal dispute with Amber Heard. While the trial might have become a significant part of his life, Depp’s legacy is still formed by his memorable contributions to the world of cinema through iconic films such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas among many others.
Over the course of his career, Depp has worked with legendary acting pioneers who have guided him on his journey. Having collaborated with the likes of Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman, Depp has always cited their influence and claimed that he learnt how to be uncompromising in his artistic endeavours from them.
However, he considered one acting legend to be above the rest and that was none other than Marlon Brando. Depp believed that Brando’s influence on the world of acting was simply unparalleled, having inspired generation after generation of aspiring actors to pursue their dreams and embrace the demands of method acting.
Depp once said: “Marlon Brando is maybe the greatest actor of the last two centuries. But his mind is much more important than the acting thing. The way that he looks at things, doesn’t judge things, the way that he assesses things. He’s as important as, uh… who’s important today? Jesus, not many people… Stephen Hawking!”
Brando wasn’t just a role model for Depp but also a friend and he even considered Depp to be one of the finest acting talents of his generation. Depp also revealed that it was Brando who helped him get over his fear of failure by urging him to take a break and reflect on the process of acting while studying Shakespeare.
Depp has also been referred to as the “jester of cinema, the Method clown” which is due to the similarities between his on-screen persona and those of Brando. As a tribute to the acting legend, Depp also named one of the beaches on his private island Brando while also honouring others like Heath Ledger and Hunter S. Thompson.
On multiple occasions throughout his career, Depp has also been compared to various acting icons but it has been a scary experience for him. During the early years of his career, he was often compared to James Dean but he claimed that it’s something every young Hollywood actor has to go through. According to him, a real sense of achievement only arrives when the comparisons with Brando and Robert De Niro begin.