Film star Johnny Depp, who sets sail as Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film opening May 26, says this is the first one of the Disney franchise that he’s actually seen.
“I saw part of … maybe the first one,” the three-time Oscar-nominee, 53, said Thursday on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “But I ran out. … Ran out like a scared rat!” he added jokingly. “But this one, this one I did see because it’s the fifth one. I thought, if this is the l— ” he began, possibly meaning “last,” before stopping himself and saying, “I want to make sure that we’re delivering what we need to deliver to the people. Because the people, you guys that went and saw the thing three, four, five times, who knows, you deserve to not be spoon-fed formula. So I tried to up the stakes a little with some of the jokes.”
He did not foresee the wide success the initial film in 2003 would spawn, with a worldwide box office of over $3.7 billion. “I didn’t think I’d make it past three weeks,” Depp told DeGeneres. “No, no, I was right on the way out of the Disney premises,” he added, chuckling. Following 1997’s “Donnie Brasco,” Depp’s next several movies included two hits (1999’s “Sleepy Hollow,” 2000’s “Chocolat”) and one profitable film (2001’s “Blow”), but about a half-dozen flops, including the hugely money-losing “The Astronaut’s Wife” (1999).
His success as Captain Sparrow has allowed him to visit children’s hospitals in character and makeup, he told DeGeneres. “It’s great fun because it’s sort of like a 3 1/2-hour improvisation,” he said, “You meet all these amazing kids who are dealing with very, very adult illnesses. And you see this incredible courage in their faces. It’s the parents who are just falling apart. So I don’t break character — I just try to sort of do as much stupid stuff as I can to make people … laugh.”
He was in those parents’ position years ago himself, he said. “I was a parent in a hospital once for a few weeks,” he said, when his daughter Lily-Rose Depp was hospitalized in 2007. “I know what it feels like, yeah.”
On a lighter note, Depp, who portrayed then candidate Donald Trump in a 50-minute Funny or Die spoof early last year, said that he’d be game to take over for Alec Baldwin if the actor ever gave up his “Saturday Night Live” Trump impression. “Basically, Alec’s done all of the work. I can just copy him.”