In 2010, Johnny Depp starred in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the famous story Alice in Wonderland. But when it came time to play in front of a green screen, Depp entered a different and unfamiliar world of filmmaking.
Depp usually puts a lot of thought and imagination into the roles he plays. As soon as he receives a script, he can already imagine his character coming to life in his mind.
“When I read a script, I get flashes of images. It can be a person I have known in my life. In Edward with the scissor hands, it was a dog I had as a kid,” he once said in an interview with The Independent. “These pictures are coming. That’s really the basis. If there’s one thing I owe about my job in any situation, especially tough ones, it’s that I tend to turn to humor.”
His dedication to his craft has worked wonders for the actor over the years. His roles were not only successful, but sometimes couldn’t be more different. He’s gone from quirky, wacky characters like Edward Scissorhands in the title film to outlaws like his character public enemies.
Though his film roles are usually unique, Depp maintains that the source of true acting remains the same.
“The most important thing an actor has to do is not act, but react. That’s what it’s about, and you’re doing one of the hardest things in the world, which is just to be — to be in the state of being,” he once said, according to Cinemablend.
Alice in Wonderland once urged Depp to act differently than he was used to. Depp played the role of the Mad Hatter in Burton’s 2010 take on the classic fairy tale. But the film needed a lot of CGI and special effects to live up to the fable. However, it may have been too much CGI for Depp.
“The newness of the green wears off very quickly. It’s really exhausting,” Depp once said in an interview with The Telegraph. “I mean, I like an obstacle — I don’t mind having to spit out dialogue while having to step over the dolly rail while a guy is holding a map and I’m talking to a piece of tape. But the green beats you. At the end of the day you’re kind of confused.”
Although Depp wasn’t initially happy with the green screen, he still considered doing it Alice an impressive achievement.
“To decide to grab Alice in Wonderland, that’s one thing, and then to bring it up to Tim Burton level is madness. It’s so huge because he’s done everything here, whether it’s CGI or green screen or 3D or live action. It’s the biggest company I’ve ever heard of,” Depp said.
Depp is aware of his reputation for playing eccentric characters in his films. This is a deliberate decision on Depp’s part, who wants to distance himself from who he really is on screen.
“The last thing I want to look like is myself,” Depp said in an interview with Today. “I always felt it was important to escape. I always thought if I did the same thing over and over again I would not only bore myself but also the audience.”