Johnny Depp Talks About Others

About Artists | About Hunter S. Thompson | About Marlon Brando
About Tim Burton | About Amber Heard

Updated November 16, 2014

About Artists:

There's one of [Jean-Michel Basquiat's] paintings called Riding With Death. That's my favorite. (1995)

[Robert Guinan] paints this hard, dark South Side of Chicago stuff - like a Tom Waits song. He's someone who deserves some love, some press. (2003)

About Hunter S. Thompson:

When you meet someone like Hunter Thompson and watch him, get to know him - people say whatever they want to say about Hunter and his books - he's pure, he's absolutely pure. There's really not an ugly bone in the guy's body. (2004)

We had talked a couple of times about his last wishes to be shot out of a cannon of his own design, All I'm doing is trying to make sure his last wish comes true. I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out. (Source: Associated Press via MSN, 8/20/2005)

Selfishly, what I miss about Hunter isn't the Too Much Fun Club stuff. It was his steady advice. His radar detector was spot-on. He knew instantly if he didn't like somebody. (Source: Vanity Fair, July 2009)

I must have been 17 when I read Hunter's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I thought that he had a unique voice. Then, I read all of his other books. What I loved about Hunter was his honesty. I adored him as a big brother/best friend/mentor. It hasn't stopped. I still have him. (Source: October 21, 2011)

About Marlon Brando:

[Brando's] maybe the greatest actor of the last two centuries. But his mind is much more important than the acting thing. The way that he looks at things, doesn't judge things, the way that he assesses things. He's as important as, uh, who's important today? Jesus, not many people... Stephen Hawking! (1995)

One of the most important things I learned in the couple of times I worked with Marlon Brando, and just by spending time with him, is it's okay to have a ball. It's okay to have fun and fuck up because, after all, it's only film. If you're able to get to a place where maybe your only motivation in the scene is to make the crew giggle, that's okay too. (2003)

The most important thing that I learned while working with Marlon was to keep a straight face. I mean, it's almost impossible. That became the objective in a lot of the scenes was to just to be able to get through without exploding... 'Cause Marlon is hilarious. He's hilarious. I mean... he killed me. He was killing me. (Source: Inside The Actor's Studio, September, 2002)

He was a great teacher for me, a great mentor, a great friend. (Source: Inside The Actors Studio, September, 2002)

"Hey, man. I found this thing, this island!" Brando said, "Well, get me the paperwork and we'll go through it." He was all for it but before he could go over it for me, he, you know, went away. One of the last times we spoke, he was so giving, so affectionate, to the point where somewhere in your mind, you went "Oh, I hope everything is okay." It triggered something. But it was still a shock. We first met in '94, when we did Don Juan DeMarco, and when we got together we were like children. We just laughed, over completely just stupid and vile stuff. Pee-pee, ca-ca, fart stuff. And then sometimes there were great silences. He once told me he couldn't stand people that were afraid of silences. And he practiced what he preached. We had great moments where we'd just sit and say nothing for an hour or two hours. Or there'd be a grunt or "Look at that!" But nothing more. Maybe I should do what Brando did thirty years ago: buy an island. Maybe take my girl ... and just go there and sleep. And read and swim and think clear thoughts. Because you really can't do that [in Hollywood]. You can't be normal, not with people hitting you up at any given moment with bizarre requests. You can't just hang out and have a cup of coffee and pick your nose or adjust your package, you know? (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

About Tim Burton:

I also know that over the years he has had to knock heads with studios because I wasn't very popular. He has fought long and hard to get me in, and won. And because of that there's a bond and a love and respect that will be there forever. And the other side is that he happens to be one of the most interesting film-makers. (Source: The London Times, July 9, 2005)

I know that I respect him so much and love him so much as a filmmaker. I would do anything he wanted... The thing I most enjoy about our relationship, aside from our friendship, is the amount of trust, you know? And the amount of trust that goes into... that collaborative process. Because one minute we're talking very, very deeply about Captain Kangaroo, and the next minute we're doing impersonations of, you know, Sammy Davis Jr. and Charles Nelson Reilly... It can go anywhere. One of the things I think Tim and I share is a kind of fascination with people, with human beings... the human animal. And I think we share also the idea... that most people in life... especially the ones that are considered... super normal - if you really take a step back and observe them, watch them a bit, you'll realize that they're actually completely out of their minds... Most people are really nuts. And that's fascinating to watch, you know? And I think Tim feels the same way. (Source: SciFi, October 2005)

[Tim] leaves you such room to play, to mess around. That's the opportunity you dream of as an actor, to say, 'Look I'd like to try something. It might be absolute crap, but I'd like to see if it works.' If you don't try to push a little harder or go a little bit outside, what's the point? And if it doesn't work, he'll just say, 'All right, you tried it, now try this.' But when it pays off, and I hear that cackle off screen, that's when I know I've hit something on the nose, for Tim. (Source:, February 15, 2010)

There's no real definition other than there is some kind of connection, some sort of understanding that Tim and I have that is at most times unspoken. (Source:, June 22, 2009)

A guy actually came to me one time after watching Tim and I talk for ten minutes and said, 'I didn't understand a word that you guys were saying.' So, yeah. I don't know. It's just one of those things that you don't question, but I sure love him. (Source:, June 22, 2009)

I've always admired Tim for his commitment to his vision and the impossibility of compromise, for doing exactly what he wanted, the way he wanted in his own way, in his own very unique way. As far as I'm concerned he's one of the only true artists working in cinema. (Source:, March 27, 2010)

There's a similar respect for the absurd and things slightly left of center. I've just always understood what Tim's looking for, and he trusts me to go out there and do the stupid shit I do. (Source: Entertainment Weekly, March 5, 2010)

There are directors I've worked with that I've had a grand old time with: Terry Gilliam, Gore Verbinski, and Hughes brothers, a number of guys. But the collaborative process of making a film with Tim - that energy is like riding some kind of enormous wave. There's this connection, this shorthand. It sounds corny, but it's truly home for me, where you can try absolutely anything and you might be afraid to fall flat on your face but that's what makes it worth it. (Source: Entertainment Weekly, March 5, 2010)

It's like each time out of the gates its feels like the first time we're doing it because everything is so fresh. (Source:, May 7, 2012)

About Amber Heard:

Every day, every year that you get a little bit older, you get a little bit wiser. You have an easier, better look at what's going on in your life. Then you meet someone. I am everything that she wouldn't want to be with. In a lot of ways, she's everything that I wouldn't want to be with because with actors and actresses, it's not an easy deal. But she has a very good perspective on her career. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11, 2014)

On one of the first times I sat down with her, just talking after we met, I was astonished at how smart she is. She's a real strong, brilliant woman who has a lot to say. When you have that combination... And also, she has the ability to bring up the names of old blues guys, like Slim Harpo, Tampa Red or any of these somewhat obscure guys. She has great knowledge of that and country music. It was just... there was no way around it. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11, 2014)

It's an interesting thing - when you realize that you are at a point in your life where you are able to dedicate your life to one person, to love that person. As you do your children. So yeah, I guess it's a little combination. She's a wonderful girl and I'm very lucky. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11, 2014)

As far as having more kids, it's easy for me. I mean, let's face it - practicing for it is fun. It's all wonderful. But yeah, the woman most assuredly and definitely has the big gig. Amber should have the opportunity to have kids if she wants. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11, 2014)