Let’s hear it for Hollywood’s best-loved chameleon, who’s 46 today. None other than John Christopher Depp II, aka Johnny Depp, whose middle name should really be Versatility. Depp, after all, has made a career out of surprising (some might even say shocking) audiences with his unpredictable choice of roles… And his complete lack of vanity.
Having played everyone from cross-dressing D-movie director Ed Wood, to Capt’n Jack Sparrow – the only 18th-century buccaneer who does a very credible Keith Richard impression – Depp is a Hollywood original not afraid to hide his gorgeousness under everything from angora sweaters to dreadlocks.
And if we take a quick glimpse at his up-coming projects, Johnny’s perchance for taking a walk on the wacky side doesn’t seem to be diminishing any time soon.
First up there’s a stint as notorious thirties gangster John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s biopic Public Enemies (due out next month), followed by a turn as The Mad Hatter in mate and mentor Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. And if that’s not versatile enough for you, Depp’s also rumoured to be cast in the continuation of the graphic novel franchise Sin City 3 and retro western adventure The Lone Ranger.
Depp being Depp, of course, he isn’t rumoured to be playing the masked avenger himself (could that really be George Clooney?), but the somewhat quirkier role of the Lone Ranger’s Native American sidekick Tonto. Actually that’s not all that surprising because Johnny’s granny was a full-blooded Cherokee, apparently. But, then again, let’s face it, we probably wouldn’t have put it past him to turn up as The Lone Ranger’s horse!!
So Happy Birthday Johnny… And here’s a hearty Hi-Yo Silver to another year of surprises.