Johnny Depp Improvised a Hilarious Scene in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Franchise: ‘I’ve Got a Jar of Dirt’

Johnny Depp has had a lot of iconic roles during his career, but one of his best-known parts is that of the pirate Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Depp’s performance as the pirate ship captain was certainly unique and groundbreaking, and it spawned multiple sequels.

But there’s one scene in particular from the franchise that proves just how talented Depp is. Let’s take a closer look at the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and one scene from that film where Depp really takes over in an unexpected way. 

Johnny Depp | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

What was ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ about? 

In 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl took the world by storm. The film based on a Disney ride was a box office smash. While the film’s main character was Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner — the character determined to win the heart of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swan — fans of the film know who the real star was.

Depp’s depiction of Jack Sparrow made the film a runaway hit. He combined the effortlessness of Keith Richards with the hijinks of Bugs Bunny. The film was followed up with a series of successful sequels.

The first sequel was the also-successful Dead Man’s Chest. According to IMDb, it was directed by Gore Verbinski and followed the continuing adventures of Turner, Swan, and Sparrow. The film also introduced a new villain: Davy Jones. It was up to Jack to find and destroy the heart of his enemy to avoid being enslaved by him. 

One of the best parts about the entire film series was Depp’s comedic turn in his role. He’s more than just an action hero — he also provides a genuinely funny character that audiences adored. 

The special jar of dirt from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ and its significance

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According to Mental Floss, there’s a rather significant object in this film that Jack uses to help him avoid Jones: a jar of dirt.

In the movie, Jones is unable to leave the sea and must therefore pursue Jack on the ocean. As long as Jack is on land, he’s impervious to Jones. To aid him on his journey, the witch Tia Dalma gives Jack a jar of dirt so that he’ll always have a bit of land with him. 

Jack eventually grows close to the jar, not wanting to let it out of his sight. Jack stores Jones’s heart in it, only to have it stolen.

During a battle at sea, the jar falls out of Jack’s hands and shatters. With the heart no longer in Jack’s possession, he falls prey to the monstrous Kraken. 

How Johnny Depp improvised a hilarious scene from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’

While Pirates fans have their fair share of great scenes to select as their favorite from Jack, there’s one they may want to consider: a scene that was completely improvised by Depp that even got actors on set to laugh. 

There’s a scene in the film where Jack refers to Jones as “fish face” and then taunts him with the fact that he has a jar of dirt. He even sings a song about it after falling down a flight of steps. While the scene is hilarious on its own, what makes it even better is the fact that according to IMDb, Depp improvised it. 

This scene is a true testament to Depp’s comfort in the role of Sparrow. He’s able to breathe so much life into the character, as evidenced by his ability to make part of it up off the cuff.