A Southerner Plays Edward, Ichabod, Sparrow, Wonka, Sweeny

9 06 2010

This guy's a star.

As you may have guessed by the title, that’s right, Johnny Depp is a Southern man by birth.

My sister and I have a little Depp-Sweeny Todd tribute song that we like to sing to each other in a theatrical way, “Johnny Depp is from Lexington! From Lexington, from Lexington!”

Technically, he hails from Owensboro, not far from Lexington, where we grew up, but we’re happy to claim him. Though he moved around a good bit growing up, his family finally settled a little further south, in Florida.

While he now resides in France (though I love my South, who can blame him?), preferring the anonymity for himself and his daughters, we can still “see” him in the US at the Disney theme parks, where the classic Pirates of the Carribbean ride was re-designed to feature Mr. Depp’s likeness as Captain Jack Sparrow after his award-winning performances in the Pirates film series.

A talented actor, Mr. Depp often plays those interesting, eccentric characters, so one might not immediately peg him for a Southern boy, but I have a hunch that that charming, unassumingly simple, polite Southerner is in there somewhere. You can almost not mention Johnny Depp without associating him strongly with the talented director/producer, Tim Burton. Burton and Depp have paired up almost too many times to count, for the classic Edward Scissorhands (which I shockingly only saw this year!), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, and most recently for Alice in Wonderland (which I haven’t seen yet!). But he has other interests besides acting.

While most of us are familiar with his acting and antics, true to those Southern roots, he enjoys music and food. He sings in more than one of his films, including Sweeny Todd, and plays guitar in a couple films as well, even having been in a garage band or two in his lifetime. He’s recorded an album and been featured with Oasis. As for his culinary interests, he owns a restaurant in France.

What are your favorite Johnny Depp movies? (I have too many to name, but I could watch him as Roux in Chocolat over and over again, where you can see him play the guitar. I love gangster movies — strange, I know — so his portrayal of John Dillinger in Public Enemies was fantastic too. Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t bad either, and I hear a fourth is in the works!)

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