Johnny Depp says he has never watched Pirates of the Caribbean (Picture: REX / AP)
Johnny Depp revealed that he has never seen Pirates of the Caribbean, as he took to the stand during his defamation court case.
The 58-year-old – who starred as Captain Jack Sparrow in the hugely popular blockbuster franchise – is suing ex-wife Amber Heard after she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, discussing her experiences with domestic abuse.
Depp is seeking $50million (£39m) in damages. He was not named in the article, which was published in 2018, but his lawyers argued that it falsely implies that his former partner was physically and sexually abused by him when they were married. Heard is countersuing.
He testified at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia earlier today, when he was questioned about his career – and how his life changed thanks to the first Pirates film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was released in 2003.
‘Cartoon characters can get away with things we can’t. Captain Jack Sparrow can do things that I could never do. He could say things that I could never say,’ he told the jury. ‘So it was for me, a way to stretch the parameters of a character and take a risk in doing that.
’But if it panned out, and I felt I was on a pretty good mission, I thought that it might be a character who would be accepted by five year olds and 45 year olds, 65 year olds and 85 year olds in the same way that Bugs Bunny is.’
Depp opened up about his famous role on the stand (Picture: AFP)
He testified at the Fairfax County Courthouse today (Picture: AP)
Recalling his first reaction to the script, he continued: ’I thought that it had all the hallmarks of a Disney film – that is to say, a kind of a predictable three act structure. The character of Captain Jack was more like a swashbuckler type that would swing in shirtless and be the hero.
‘I had quite different ideas about the character, so I incorporated my notes into [the] character and brought that character to life. Much to the chagrin of Disney, initially.’
When asked how the film turned out in his view, Depp told the court: ‘I didn’t see it. But I believe that the film did pretty well, apparently, and they wanted to keep going, making more and I was fine to do that.
‘It’s not like you become that person, but if you know that character to the degree that I did – because he was not what the writers wrote, so they really weren’t able to write for him… Once you know the character better than the writers, that’s when you have to be true to the character and add your words.’
Depp and Heard were married for one year (Picture: Getty)
Depp never watched back his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow (Picture: Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
Fans were first introduced to Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in 2003, with the franchise going on to gross a reported $4.5billion (£3.4bn) worldwide.
Depp went on to reprise his role in sequels Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), and reportedly earned $300million (£230m) in that time.
The court heard that Depp’s life changed totally with the success of the first flick.
‘I had been around for many years really, and people knew who I was and all that. After Pirates one came out, it was a completely different way of life my family and I were being plunged into,’ he added.
‘That is to say, at our house in Los Angeles, you would have people trying to climb the gates to get in to see Captain Jack Sparrow. You would have people trying to bust in the gates dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and follow you, or follow you and your family.
‘We had to hire more security guards, and I was certainly worried for my kids’ safety. Instead of just the one guy, there became several security people because I wanted to make sure that my kids were safe when they went to school, or when they went to Disneyland, when they went to the mall or whatever.’
Depp appeared in court after filing a defamation lawsuit against his former partner following allegations of abuse during their marriage – something he has denied.
The case began on April 12 and has been brought in Virginia because The Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers located in Fairfax County.
The court has heard testimonies from multiple people so far, including Depp’s nurse, Dr David Kipper – who treated him for addiction – and the former couple’s therapist, Laurel Anderson.
The trial continues.