Johnny Depp’s role origins.


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Johnny Depp has often stated that he bases his performances on pre-existing people or movie characters. This is a listing of all those origins that we know of.

Don Juan — IMDB says that "In order to learn a Spanish accent, Depp watched a tape of "Fantasy Island" (1978) re-runs" — So perhaps there is some Ricardo Montalban in the role?

Ed Wood — "a cross between Ronald Reagan, the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the voice of Casey Kasem.#

Ichabod Crane — Based on the character Withnail (played by Richard E. Grant) from the movie Withnail and I (1987). (6 years after playing Ichabod Crane, Johnny Depp and Richard E. Grant appeared together as voices in Corpse Bride.)
Also, the production notes on the dvd claim that Depp based this role on actors Roddy McDowall (Fright Night (1985)), Angela Lansbury (The Mirror Crack’d (1980)) and Basil Rathbone (Numerous Sherlock Holmes movies).

Jack Sparrow — "a cross between Keith Richards and Pepe Le Pew."

Mort Rainey — Apparently based on Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Sweeney Todd — Tim Burton about the movie: " I always felt old actors like Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney or Boris Karloff had a way about them that’s very unique to those styles of movies, and this material really lent itself to that kind of old horror-movie acting."

Willy Wonka — "Johnny Depp used game show hosts as well as children television hosts, such as ‘Mr. Rogers’, as his inspiration for his performance as Willy Wonka. He also said in interviews that Willy Wonka would be "part ‘Howard Hughes’ reclusive, part ’70s glamorous rock star"."