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The year 2010 was one of Johnny Depp’s busiest, opening auspiciously with Johnny’s People’s Choice Award as “Favorite Actor of the Decade,” and followed in February by the Royal World Premiere of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, where Johnny and his castmates shook hands and conversed with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Despite Johnny’s prediction that he would spend the gala evening “hiding in a broom closet,” he handled his duties with aplomb. Johnny’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter—fierce and whimsical, loyal and tormented—perfectly complemented Mia Wasikowska’s luminous Alice and Helena Bonham Carter’s imperious, demented Red Queen. The result was critical and box-office magic: Alice in Wonderland earned over $1 billion worldwide and won two Oscars, for art direction and costume design.
As soon as Alice opened, Johnny flew to Venice to begin shooting the romantic thriller The Tourist for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Johnny’s “everyman” character, Frank Tupelo, was quite a departure from his usual colorful roles—a modest traveler who crosses paths with an elegant woman of mystery, played by Angelina Jolie. The Tourist opened in December 2010 and eventually earned $278 million worldwide and three Golden Globe nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Johnny.
In June 2010, Johnny donned Captain Jack Sparrow’s boots to film the fourth installment of the beloved Pirates of the Caribbean saga, On Stranger Tides. Under the guidance of new director Rob Marshall, and with an incandescent new leading lady, Penelope Cruz, On Stranger Tides filmed on location in Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico, and England, including a memorable sequence staged in Greenwich. Released on May 20, 2011, On Stranger Tides became the eighth film in history to reach more than $1 billion in ticket sales, proving Johnny Depp’s box office magic yet again.
As On Stranger Tides hit theaters, Johnny reported for work on Tim Burton’s new version of the classic Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Johnny plays the iconic vampire Barnabas Collins, leading an impressive ensemble that includes Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, and Chloe Moretz. Dark Shadows appeared in theaters on May 11, 2012.
Between the release of The Tourist and On Stranger Tides, audiences flocked to see Gore Verbinski’s clever animated Western Rango, in which Johnny voices the title character, a chameleon stranded in the Mojave Desert who turns into the gunslinging savior of a desperate, water-starved town. Rango was a surprise critical and box-office hit, earning nearly $243 million worldwide. Director Verbinski, who helmed the first three Pirates movies, will reunite with Johnny and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for a retelling of the classic Western Lone Ranger, with Johnny playing Tonto and Armie Hammer portraying the masked lawman. Lone Ranger will shoot in summer 2012 for a theatrical release on July 3, 2013.
Mad Hatter, everyman tourist, chameleon, displaced pirate, two-hundred-year-old vampire, Native American guide . . . Johnny Depp’s most recent work continues to dance between fantasy and realism and dazzle us with the breadth of his imagination and the intensity of his connection to the human condition. What links all of his creations is their humor and heart, a passion for life that lights up the screen.
-- Part-Time Poet
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Fair, Patti Smith
May 12 -- Philippine Daily Inquirer, Reuben V. Nepales
October 29 -- The Mail on Sunday, Martyn Palmer
November -- Vanity Fair, Nick Tosches
Winter -- AspenPeak, Douglas Brinkley