Johnny Depp: “It’s not like I was ever looking to become franchise boy”

"It's a very privileged opportunity I've been given, obviously. You know, the benefits are certainly very good. But there is a trade-off, as with anything."

Johnny Depp is coming off the release of his latest film (The Rum Diary), just wrapped on another (Dark Shadows), and is gearing up to star in another big blockbuster (Lone Ranger).  As one of the most famous and highest-paid actors working in film today, Depp has been able to pick-and-choose his projects, including The Rum Diary.

Yet in an interview with The Guardian, Depp confesses the trouble with his success (though he wouldn’t trade it for anything) and his theory why The Rum Diary wasn’t a major success at the U.S. box office.

Depp had been a recognizable name since the late 1980s, but he obviously hit worldwide superstar status with his first turn as Captain Jack Sparrow in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Depp claims he didn’t anticipate the massive success he would receive from the role, explaining, “Pirates was a film I did just like any other one, I made that choice the same way I made every other choice.”  While he admits that he loves acting, being a superstar does have its drawbacks.  He points out, “It’s a very privileged opportunity I’ve been given, obviously. You know, the benefits are certainly very good.  But there is a trade-off, as with anything. Somebody’s always going to bring you the bill. The invoice comes.”

Despite that, he says he wouldn’t change the success he’s earned from his recent career, saying, “I wouldn’t change anything, no. Because I think I went into it innocently, and it became what it became. And now they want to tear me down. Instantly, as soon as I did Pirates II, they say: ‘Oh, he’s selling out.’ What the f— does that mean, selling out? What if I did Ed Wood II, is that selling out? I mean, it’s not like I was ever looking to become franchise boy, I was never looking to become anything like that. I just latched on to a character I loved.”

Depp at least has gotten to a point in his career that box office receipts aren’t a big deal to him, so when films like The Rum Diary perform below expectations it does not phase him.  He candidly comments, “It’s always a crap shoot, and really if you have that in your head while you’re making a movie the process would become something very different. No, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse really [about the money], not really.”  Still, Depp thinks the film has a better shot at success in Europe, explaining, “Most definitely. It’s something that will be more appreciated over here, I think. Cos it’s – well, I think it’s an intelligent film.  And a lot of times, outside the big cities in the States, they don’t want that.”

Yikes… seems like Depp doesn’t seem to worried about the “invoice” that could come from American fans who “don’t want” his “intelligent film”!  After all, who else is going to make the sure-to-come Pirates 5 a hit?

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