Johnny Depp at 50: “I’ve been able to be involved in, you know, a couple of films that shocked everybody, especially me”

Believe it or not, Johnny Depp is fifty.  Doesn’t it seem not that long ago that he was making hedge sculptures in Edward Scissorhands?  Yeah, that was over twenty years ago.  Seven more Tim Burton films, four Pirates of the Caribbean films, three Oscar nominations, and several other big and small movies later and Depp is now one of the most popular movie stars in the world.  He spoke to the Associated Press about his career and what life is like a half-century on.

Depp reflects on his indie film origins when he points out, “I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some very small and different independent films throughout my career and I’ve been able to be involved in, you know, a couple of films that shocked everybody, especially me.”

One of the most notable things about Depp’s rise to stardom is that it all happened right around the time he turned forty — normally an age when an actor begins losing popularity, not gaining.  On how he managed to pull that off, he says, “The only thing I can equate it with is luck. There’s no other reason.  The fact that I was able to survive through that 15 years of just bouncing around doing (indie) movies and now still to end up here is amazing.”

Nonetheless, Depp is sure that his current hugely successful ten-year run will eventually lose steam.  He says, “I certainly wouldn’t expect that it is one of those things that is going to stick around forever and ever.  The clock ticks, the time’s up and the next guy steps in or whatever and that’s how it goes.”

Ultimately, he echoes the words of his idol Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones (who often jokes, “It’s great to be here.  It’s great to be anywhere”) when he expresses the simple fact that he’s grateful just be alive.  He elaborates, “Just to be here still is pretty amazing.  Every day should be some sort of celebration. So yeah, I guess when you hit 50 finally … it’s just happy to still be around.”

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