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The Best of Johnny Depp

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Having recently seen Johnny Depp in "Public Enemies", I got thinking about which are the best characters he's played over the years. Here are the ones that I thought he shined the brightest in:

5. Sweeney Todd

No only does Depp have to pull off playing a Brit, but he has to sing in this movie as well -- a lot of singing, actually. For someone who isn't as gifted as maybe a Hugh Jackman when it comes to this sort of thing, Depp easily earns an 'E' for effort when it comes to this creepy performance.

4. Willy Wonka

While it's not the best movie, Depp puts his own spin on Wonka that is quite compelling. There's no doubt that Michael Jackson was, at least in part, an influence on how he tackled this role. There are just too many similarities in appearance, speech, circumstance and life-story. Regardless, Depp carries the movie on his back and keeps you interested the entire way.

3. John Wilmot, The Earl of Rochester

Unless you've seen "The Libertine" on cable, it's likely that you probably haven't witnessed Depp in this role. John Wilmot is not more than a stone's throw away from Depp's infamous Jack Sparrow character, but he's even more arrogant and self-interested than Captain Jack. Actually, in some ways, Wilmot's lifestyle is probably more pirate-like than Disney allows Jack Sparrow to be.

My favorite scene in "The Libertine" is when Wilmot and his wife are posed while being painted for a portrait. Wilmot looks out the window and expresses interest in having a trained street monkey in their portrait as well. His wife then storms out of the room infuriated by the notion. As we later see, the finished painting only features Wilmot and the monkey...

2. Raoul Duke

I HATED this movie the first time I saw "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". I can stress how much I disliked it. However, in the last year, it's been sporatically on HBO and I've reaquainted and made peace with it. In the process, I also realized that Depp is fantasic in this role as the half-cocked, paranoid goofball based on Hunter S. Thompson.

And number one...

1. Captain Jack Sparrow

None of Depp's other characters come close to being as impressive as Captain Jack. As great as Depp has been in his variety of roles, he created an iconic character out of his own very talents. So many lead characters are well-defined before an actor is even casted, but Depp molded this character from his own idea of who he should be -- a combination of Keith Richards and Pepé Le Pew. The result was pure magic.

I am quite looking forward to seeing Johnny Depp's next endeavour where he plays one of the many oddball characters who reside in the upside down world of Wonderland. Depp will portray the Mad Hatter.


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