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Perennial Hollywood A-lister, Johnny Depp has gotten just about as much out of the movie biz as a person can possibly get. However, if it was up to him, there would be limits on what movie actors should endeavor to achieve outside of the acting game just because of their name. At the Berlin premiere of his new slapstick spy comedy, Mortdecai, Depp went off on actors who try to use their fame to parlay into a career as professional musicians.
During a conversation between Johnny Depp and reporters, including the Sydney Morning Herald, outside the premiere, the subject shifted to the subject of actors who are also musicians. Depp - a longtime guitar player, who admits to having a deep love for music - seems to feel it’s not his place to use his stardom as a famous movie actor to become a famous singer. Said the Pirates of the Caribbean star,
"That whole idea for me is a sickening thing, it's always just made me sick... I've been very lucky to play on friends' records and it's still going. Music is still part of my life. But you won't be hearing The Johnny Depp Band. That won't ever exist."
It’s an interesting quote that could simply be perceived as being rooted in Depp’s humility. However, Depp refers to this kind of fame as "a luxury," and his comments seem to be an expression of a pet peeve targeted towards an almost pretentious ambitiousness in some actors that already "have it all" when it comes to fame and money. Meanwhile, people who desperately attempt to chase down one dream may never be able to break through barriers that the "double threats" don't have to deal with. Well, that may be putting words into Depp’s mouth a bit, but it does seem to accurately represent why such a negative backlash would be present. He continued :
I hate the idea, 'Come see me play the guitar because you've seen me in 12 movies'. It shouldn't be (that way). You want the people who are listening to the music to only be interested in the music."
It’s certainly an understandable gripe, although I can’t say that I would personally go out of my way to begrudge, say, for example, Jared Leto for his success with Thirty Seconds to Mars. Privilege, which, in this specific case is represented by fame as an actor, is always going to beget opportunity. At the end of the day, we all utilize the opportunities that are given to us. If the talent happens to be there, then the secondary success, however unfair in a societal sense, is deserved; even if there will always be a big asterisk to the hardcore music fan that sees it as an "actor’s band."
What do you think about the matter? Does the idea of famous actors using their prominence to become recording stars grind your gears? Or is it music to your ears?
Meanwhile, Mortdecai brings its brand of bumbling sophistication to theaters this Friday, January 23.