Johnny Depp Had Plans For a Music Career Before He Became an Actor

Johnny Depp might be known for playing interesting characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka, but he wasn’t always keen on becoming an actor. Actually, the movie star once had big plans for a music career. And despite that nearly all of his fame comes from films, he’s made surprising appearances in a number of songs and music videos.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp | SC Pool/Corbis/Getty Images

Johnny Depp has played various notable roles throughout his acting career

Depp has built a career for himself by taking on quirky, unique roles. Though he’s starred in some dramas, such as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” and “Secret Window,” some of Depp’s most well-known characters are nothing short of creative. In 1990, Depp starred as Edward in “Edward Scissorhands,” where his character was created to have scissors instead of hands.

His roles expanded to include Willy Wonka in the 2005 remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” as well as Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

Depp’s role as Jack Sparrow spanned five movies, and he even developed such a love for the islands that he purchased his own island in the Caribbean while filming. But prior to an acting career, Depp had wanted to break into the music industry.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp | Jim Dyson/Getty Images

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Depp once dreamt of a career in music

Though Depp’s biggest fans might be aware of his musical talent, it’s not something of which most people are well-informed. But it turns out, prior to making it big in Hollywood, Depp had even bigger dreams of becoming a famed musician. The “Benny & Joon” star has appeared alongside various well-known musicians and bands to showcase his musical talents.

Depp dropped out of high school in the early 1980s to pursue his music career. According to Slate, Depp’s band, the Kids, opened for other bands such as The Ramones and The Pretenders. Still, it was his first wife, Lori Anne Allison, who convinced him that acting could be a stronger route. Allison had a good friend, Nicolas Cage, who also spoke to Depp about getting into acting. And Cage ultimately convinced Depp to take his career in that direction. Though Depp found success there, it didn’t stop his love of music.

Johnny Depp (right) with his Hollywood Vampires bandmates Alice Cooper and Joe Perry
Johnny Depp (right) with his Hollywood Vampires bandmates Alice Cooper and Joe Perry | John Atashian/Getty Images

Depp has made various appearances alongside famed musicians

Despite hitting it big in Hollywood starting around the late 1980s, Depp continued to build his music career, opening a nightclub and later forming a band called P. In the mid 1990s, Depp collaborated with Oasis on their songs “Fade Away” and “Fade In-Out.” Depp collaborated with Iggy Pop in 1999, and he even appeared in the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ music video for “Into the Great Wide Open,” though he isn’t featured on the track.

In 2012, Depp collaborated with both Marilyn Manson and Aerosmith. Depp played guitar and drums for Manson’s cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vein” and sang backup vocals for Aerosmith’s “Freedom Fighter.” He’s currently a member of Hollywood Vampires, alongside Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.