The Most Important Part Of Acting, According To Johnny Depp

Depp as Jack Sparrow

Growing up and becoming a famous actor is a dream that many kids have, before the reality and challenges of the profession end up rearing their ugly heads. One actor that has a long and acclaimed career in the business is Johnny Depp. While he started off as a kid in movies like the original Nightmare on Elm Street, he's maintained a career of blockbusters leading up to his current role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Aside from his work ethic, it's clear this tenure in show business is related to his skill in his craft, and Depp recently gave some advice about acting. And it's advice that is one you'll get in Acting 101:

The most important thing that an actor needs to do is not to act, but to react. That's what it is all about, and you do one of the most difficult things in the world, which is to just be--to be in the state of being.

Johnny Depp's acting advice isn't a new concept, but it's something that no doubt puzzles countless performers-- whether they're successful or not. In order to properly inhabit a scene, you must live in the character and react as they would to various stimuli. Rather than being in your own head about your scenes, you have to be able to live in the moment and respond to the script's action.

"Acting is reacting", as Johnny Depp told Modern Luxury in their May issue, is one of the quintessential acting class cliches. While performers can typically get caught up in what they should do or need to do, it's more important to truly inhabit the character and be present emotionally. Of course, this is easier said than done-- especially on a film set.

While movie scenes may look intimate, the truth is they're each shot over and over again from a variety of angles, and the actors are surrounded by lights, cameras, and crew members. This obviously creates a natural sense of falseness, which can negatively affect acting performances. Somehow Depp is able to truly focus on camera, despite the various distractions in his periphery. It's likely for this reason that he's so consistently worked for the past few decades, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

While Johnny Depp recently stepped back into the drunken boots of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, he's got another major franchise to star in as well. The big twist of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the reveal of Johnny Depp as the villainous Grindelwald, and he's set to get his proper introduction in the sequel. While some have taken umbrage with his casting in the wake of allegations made by ex Amber Heard, J.K. Rowling herself defended Depp's inclusion.

You can catch Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on November 16, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.