Actor Playing Johnny Depp Talks ‘Intense’ Prep and Explains Why He Was Interested In Playing The Pirates Star

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s long legal battle has captured the attention of the public for years, especially once their defamation case went to trial in Virginia. Fans dissected every moment of the proceedings, before sharing their thoughts of the situation  online during and following the verdict. A streaming movie has already been shot centered around the case, titled Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial. And the actor playing Depp recently spoke about “intense” prep and explained why he was interested in playing the Pirates star.

The explosive defamation trial broke the internet countless times as it was playing out in court, with fans watching the proceedings from their TV, and even showing up in droves outside the courthouse. Given this level of interest, perhaps it should be no surprise that a movie was already made about the trial. Actor Mark Hapka is playing Johnny Depp, and recently spoke to People about why that role appealed to him. As he put it,

I felt sad watching the social media response to the trial because I felt like these are two very real human beings, which is why I was interested in the film when I was first approached about it. Because I think as artists, any form of artists, all you can hope to do is bring understanding and compassion to places where there maybe wasn't before.

Well, there you have it. It looks like rather than being someone who followed every development of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial, Mark Hapka was actually a bit dismayed when watching just how viral it all went. Specifically because he thought about the two actual human beings who were at the center of the drama, and whose personal life was being picked apart by strangers. Sounds like a good jumping off point to try and bring something real and human to Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial.

Later in that same interview with People, Hapka explained the process that went behind finding his version of Johnny Depp for the Tubi movie. After all, the Edward Scissorhands star is a well-known celebrity who has been in the public eye for decades. The Hot Take actor opened up about his research, saying:

I think I spent all day and every night watching trial footage and interviews and reading things that he had said or written. And I think I still have their arguments that are famous from the trial full length on my phone. And I would just drive around at night, when L.A. is kind of sleeping, and just listen to them over and over and over and over and over again.

Talk about a lot of work. But given the public’s ongoing interest in all the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, smart money says plenty of folks are going to be tuning into Tubi to see a fictionalized version of the trial. And as such, Mark Hapka did a ton of prep work to prepare and nail Depp’s unique speaking cadence. As a reminder, can check out the trailer for Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial below:

Luckily for the public, fans will be able to judge the performances by the actors in Hot Take shortly, as the movie is currently streaming now on Tubi. And as folks continue waiting to see how the appeal process will shake out for the pair of actors, the Depp/Heard movie might help to buoy interest in the ongoing saga. 

Johnny Depp is currently filming his first post-trial movie, and recently picked up a directing gig as well. As for Amber Heard, she’ll appear in Aquaman 2. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.