He's a critically acclaimed actor, whose résumé boasts a variety of different roles. Johnny Depp hit the big screen in 1984 in the classic horror flick A Nightmare On Elm Street. Then, in 1987, teen girls everywhere lost their minds over a young Johnny in the TV show 21 Jump Street. But Johnny shredded his pretty-boy image in 1990 in Edward Scissorhands and critics raved. In 2003, Johnny swashbuckled his way through Pirates of the Caribbean.
They're just a few of his most famous characters—and though reluctant he may be, Johnny has also been named the sexiest man alive!
Oprah: How did you get discovered?
Johnny: I don't know that I did get discovered. I moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and was basically an unemployed musician and a buddy of mine, Nicholas Cage, suggested that I meet his agent, because he felt I should be an actor.
Oprah: We think you are pretty sexy. Why does that labeling irritate you so?
Johnny: It's not so much that it irritates me. I mean, on some level, if you can sort of take that kind of thing seriously, it's flattering. But, in fact, it's so absurd a notion, you know, to equate my name with that.
This year, Johnny scored an Oscar® nomination for best actor for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean! Johnny says he modeled the character—with his gold teeth, beard and dreadlocks—largely after Keith Richards.
Oprah: It's been quite a year for you. How did you feel about being nominated and being in all of that hoopla?
Johnny: Shock, you know. Completely shocked. It was just super bizarre, you know? I mean, I'm still in shock over it. ... I had this sort of very strong idea what Captain Jack [should be like]. And just sort of stuck to my guns and went in there and did it. So the Academy Award® nomination was a very strange thing, especially because, for the first month, I was convinced I was going to be fired!
Finding Neverland is a heart-warming film about the life of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. Johnny plays Barrie, who, in desperate need of inspiration, finds magic in a chance encounter with a widowed mother and her four young boys. As Barrie becomes a surrogate father to the family, he introduces the boys to a whole new world filled with enchanted kingdoms, pirates and mischief.
Because so little has been written about Barrie, Johnny says his preparation for the role was primarily to master the Scottish accent.
"It was just a question of the voice...trying to find that voice," Johnny says. "I knew sort of what that accent sounded like, and I started working with a dialect coach and she helped me out a lot."
In real life, Johnny lives with his beautiful girlfriend, Chanel model Vanessa Paradis, and their two children, 5-year-old Lily-Rose and 2-year-old Jack.
"She's a great mommy," Johnny says of Vanessa. "I mean, one of the most beautiful things in the world is to see a mommy with her kids. There's nothing more beautiful."
Johnny says that becoming a daddy changed his world. "It gives you perspective—instant perspective. You know, suddenly, what the important things are. ... There were a number of years where I was sort of freaked out about that strange, you know, word, 'celebrity'— just being followed by photographers and stuff like that. But, once you have kids and you're sort of rooted in the earth and you understand what's important, all that stuff around you, the other things, become just insects."
When our viewers found out Johnny was coming on the show, many of his die-hard fans wrote in with their burning questions!
If he could pick anyone, living or dead, who would he choose to have dinner with? Vincent van Gogh, John Lennon and Jack Kerouac.
The most romantic thing he's ever done? He's rented a small silent movie theater for a date with his girlfriend Vanessa.
And what legacy does he want to leave behind when he leaves this earth? That question had Johnny reaching for a glass of wine!
"Wow. Boy, oh, I don't know," Johnny said. "I mean, I just hope that people like the stuff I did. Hope the movies stick around and people like it...that [the movies make] them happy."
Kate Winslet's stunning performance in Sense and Sensibility won her an Oscar® nomination when she was just 20 years old. Next, Kate made Hollywood history when she set sail on Titanic, the number one movie of all time, and earned a second Oscar® nomination, this time for best actress. Now, Kate is the heart of Finding Neverland, in which she plays the dying mother of the four young boys who inspire the tale of Peter Pan.
Off screen, her leading man is Oscar®-winning American Beauty director Sam Mendes. She's also the mother of two children, Joe and Mia.
About Mia's birth by Caesarian section, Kate says, "I spent my life being told I have these fantastic child-bearing hips, so I breezed through this pregnancy, merrily eating and gaining 70 pounds, and came to the birth just very excited and really looking forward to it. I never thought about a Cesarean section. It just didn't occur to me. After 37 hours, they came and said, 'We're going to have to induce you.' And even that didn't work! And then the C-section."
In the tabloid press, Kate's appearance has been something of an issue. She says, "Leo [DiCaprio], when we were doing Titanic, said, 'There are so many girls out there who think that to be successful and to be beautiful and to be loved and respected it means you have to be thin.' And this kind of really struck a chord with me. I thought, 'He's right, this image is being translated to teenage girls.'"
Then, Kate says, "When the Academy Awards® came around, I thought, 'I'm young. I'm 21 years old and I'm in this movie and it's very successful and I have been nominated for an Academy Award® for this and I haven't done any of this through being skinny or through starving myself or anything like that.' And so I thought, 'I'm just going to hold my head high and I'm just going to be the person that I am.'"
In Finding Neverland, the breakout performance of 9-year-old Freddie Highmore carries a tremendous emotional punch. Oprah asked the young actor about his budding career.
Oprah: Did you always want to be an actor?
Freddie: Well, I wasn't sure when I was young.
Oprah: When you were young?!
Freddie: Yeah. When I was younger, I thought it would be quite fun to do a small part and see how it went. And so I went to an audition and I did a small part and then the parts got bigger and bigger.
Kate Winslet on Freddie Highmore
Kate says that Freddie made some of the particularly difficult scenes in Finding Neverland easier. "You just look into the eyes of this boy and he's giving you everything he's got. And you can't help but react to the honesty that he's giving you. It's completely pure."
For his part, Freddie said that working with Johnny and Kate wasn't intimidating at all.
"They're great people, you know, and they treat you like ordinary people and they're not—they don't treat you any different."
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