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Film

The movie Johnny Depp calls "as good as cinema gets"

@Russellisation

It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that the American actor Johnny Depp was considered to be one of the greatest actors in modern cinema, transforming blockbuster cinema with his Oscar-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Since then, Depp has transformed into a leading man, before being disowned by Hollywood in 2020 following allegations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife Amber Heard. 

Currently in the midst of a defamation lawsuit with his ex-wife, Depp has seen a remarkable amount of support from fans who believe he was wrongfully cancelled by the industry which helped him to become one of the most famous stars in the world. 

Despite Pirates of the Caribbean being recognised as Depp’s most successful franchise, he has enjoyed a career of varying roles, working with some of the best directors in the contemporary industry. Collaborating with such names as Tim Burton, Oliver Stone, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam, Wes Craven and Michael Mann, the influence of the actor goes far further than Disney’s wild action-adventure series.

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Whilst it was Craven that gave Depp his first break with the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, it was Stone’s Vietnam war movie Platoon that would help elevate the actor to new industry heights, appearing in the film with such names as Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker. Despite an immediate collaboration with John Waters following his outing with Stone, it was the TV series 21 Jump Street that would further accelerate his stardom. 

In the contemporary industry, it seems as though the fandom for Johnny Depp has never died out, with the actor’s followers keen to learn about his take on modern culture. This was partially revealed to fans in an interview with ShortList in 2011, where Depp revealed one of his favourite films of all time in an extensive conversation. 

Revealing one of his “top three” films of all time, Depp discusses the 1987 British comedy Withnail & I with gushing adoration. Describing the film he comments, “Withnail, for me, is as great as cinema gets. It has every aspect you want. It’s hysterically funny, immensely quotable and there’s a great gravity to it as well. It’s a very poetic film. For me, it’s in the top three of all time”. 

Commenting that he was inspired by the film for his performance as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s certainly with surprise that Depp picks the Bruce Robinson movie as one of his all-time favourites. Starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths, the 1987 movie is considered to be one of the finest British films of all time, telling the humorous story of two substance-abusing, unemployed actors who go to the countryside for a creative retreat. 

Asked by the interviewer if he had a favourite quote from the movie, Depp replied with panic, explaining, “Oh my God, there are so many. Well, certainly Uncle Monty. Oh, and then there’s the opening scene [adopts Withnail voice] “I have some extremely distressing news… We just ran out of wine”. 

Take a look at the trailer for the iconic comedy that Johnny Depp calls “hysterically funny”, below.