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Captain Outrageous

Disney took a chance on Johnny Depp's eccentric PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN performance and the result is one of the film's most enjoyable elements

By Michael Tunison     July 09, 2003

It's obvious now that Johnny Depp's fun-loving buccaneer Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the highpoints of Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL earning the actor wide acclaim from critics and fans alike but not everybody at the studio was enthusiastic about Depp's swaying, speech-slurring, gold-toothed spin on the character from the start.


"They didn't

Johnny Depp is one of the title rogues in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL.

like him in the beginning at all," Depp explains. "I think he was a little too unpredictable for them, maybe a little bit weird for them initially which I understood, I really understood. They had their concerns, certainly, about the look the look was upsetting to them," he adds with a laugh.


As production began, Depp began hearing "sideline whispering" about concerns regarding the rather offbeat direction the character was taking. He decided to broach the subject directly.


"I got wind of it, and I sat down with them and just [said], 'Look, you hired me to do this. You know the stuff I've done before, so you had to know, to some degree, where I was gonna go with the thing. I know what I'm doing. I really believe I can deliver an interesting character, a fun character, a character I'm pretty sure audiences could connect to, and you've got to trust me on this. If you can't trust me, then you're better off replacing me.'"


Disney didn't

Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom star in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL.

replace him, of course, and the result is a twist on the traditional pirate captain that already seems like a classic in the genre. Depp has spoken widely about how he partly based Captain Jack on a personal friend, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, but there were other influences as well.


"There's certainly the Keith Richards kind of element, the wise kind of sage," he says. "And there was this sort of Pepe Le Pew angle, which is the guy who has blinders on, who only sees what he wants to see. And there's also the Dean Martin kind of aspect. To me, Captain Jack is this sort of strange, pulsating organism who would shape himself to mold to whatever situation but with a martini glass. He's the guy with the martini glass always."



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