Actor Johnny Depp loved his experience playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the original Pirates of the Caribbean. However, he had a difficult time recovering from diving deep into the character. As a result, Depp admitted to having depression after playing Jack. Here’s a closer look at what the actor went through over the course of his time playing the iconic character for the original movie.
Johnny Depp’s inspiration for Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’
In a 2003 interview with IGN, Depp discussed playing Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean. He pointed to a couple of his major inspirations when it came to crafting the character, including Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Pepe Le Pew. However, Disney executives weren’t initially very thrilled about how Depp decided to play Jack.
“I started trying to figure out pirates of the 18th century, and sort of what it was all about,” Depp said. “Initially you think money, and all that. I think it also had much more to do with freedom. To be out there, moving forward. So I sort of thought that pirates would be the rock and roll stars of the 18th century, you know? Then, when you think of rock and roll stars, the greatest rock and roll star of all time, the coolest rock and roll star of all time, in my opinion, is Keith Richards. Hands down.”
“What I loved about Pepe Le Pew was this guy who was absolutely convinced that he’s a great ladies man,” Depp explained. “And he’s a skunk. Watching those cartoons, this guy falls in love, deeply falling in love with this cat. The cat clearly despises him, but Pepe Le Pew takes it as sort of a, ‘She’s just playing hard to get. She’s shy. Poor thing.’ I always loved a character like that, just blinders no matter what the actual reality is happening around him. This guy sees only what he wants to see. Pepe Le Pew was the kind of character who always was able to run between the rain drops. He’d just always make it through.”
Johnny Depp had depression after playing Captain Jack Sparrow
Depp continued in IGN’s reporting that he had some difficulties after playing Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean. He greatly enjoyed what he put into his performance, but wasn’t expecting what would come next. Many moviegoers didn’t realize that the actor actually went through depression after playing the character.
“I really loved being the character so much so that at the end of the film, when they wrapped the end of the film – and this has happened to me before – you go through a sort of a decompression, and a depression where you feel like, ‘God, I’ve just been this other guy for six months or seven months. I’ll never see him again,’” Depp said. “It’s very strange. I’m not real spooky about that whole, ‘You become the character,’ that’s not it at all. Just, knowing someone so well and having played them, having them be second nature, it just happens naturally. It’s very foreign to the body to stop doing it.”
The actor wasn’t sure about letting his children watch ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’
Johnny Depp: Terrifying children since the 80s pic.twitter.com/CkPteqkVL9— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) October 23, 2018
Depp had the opportunity to star as Jack in Disney’s first PG-13 movie with Pirates of the Caribbean. IGN included the question of whether or not the actor would allow his then-young children to watch the movie. However, Depp had different responses regarding each of his children.
“I think Jack [Depp’s youngest child] is a little short for it, he’s only a year old,” Depp said. “He’s basically like a miniature pirate. He’s amazing. Lily-Rose, I think she’d be OK … I’d be ready, certainly to cover her eyes. But, then again, when she was 2 years old she was watching The Wizard of Oz 20 times a day.”