John Christopher Depp II, better known as Johnny Depp, has long been one of the most bankable Hollywood actors and is known for his high net worth and spending on expensive things.
Though internationally renowned for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp’s oeuvre is wider and deeper, comprising fine cinematic marvels that may also appeal to moviegoers who have a taste in unconventional films.
Though troubles in his personal life have made him a controversial figure, Depp’s professional world, marked by several milestones over the three decades of his career, usually has critics in agreement with his dependability, acting prowess and phenomenal range.
All about Johnny Depp: His movies, earnings and things he owns
Early career of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp began his career with the hit film A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. He played the role of a teenager who is eaten by his own bed. His rise to fame started with the 1987 TV series 21 Jump Street, in which he played undercover police officer Tom Hanson.
Though the show was a success, Depp left the series in 1990 to appear in two movies that instantly underlined his versatility on screen: Cry-Baby by John Waters and Edward Scissorhands by Tim Burton. The latter film was particularly noteworthy. It is the first movie where Depp’s ability to undergo drastic transformations for roles can be seen.
Depp’s long association with the maverick director began with Edward Scissorhands. He subsequently appeared in other Burton films, including Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999) and the animated tale Corpse Bride (2005).
He also delivered one of his most acclaimed performances playing in Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), playing Willy Wonka — a role essayed by Timothée Chalamet in 2023’s film Wonka.
Throughout the 1990s, Depp played lead roles in several critical commercially successful movies across genres such as the coming-of-age drama What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) with Leonardo DiCaprio, the western Dead Man (1995), political thriller Nick of Time (1995), crime film Donnie Brasco (1997) with Al Pacino, and black comedy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). Depp played dimensionally different characters in all the films.
Fame with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise
Johnny Depp will forever be known for making 18th-century Caribbean pirates look cool through his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, a pirate with a highly complex personality who has deceitful tendencies and uses his wits to get what he wants.
Depp first appeared as Sparrow, the protagonist of the film series, in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. His performance, which he modelled after Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones music band and Looney Tunes character Pepé Le Pew, instantly turned Jack Sparrow into a cultural icon and earned Depp his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination.
He went on to reprise the fan-favourite role in the next four instalments: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
In all, the five films have grossed USD 4.5 billion at the worldwide box office, with Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides grossing just over USD 1 billion each.
To date, it is the only film franchise in which Depp has played the lead role and the only one in which he has appeared in more than two movies.
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Other major works in cinema
In between the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Depp continued surprising critics and fans with his eclectic choice of roles.
In the first decade of the 2000s, he played CIA agent Sands in Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and bank robber John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009). During this period, he also played Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie in the biographical film Finding Neverland (2004) and the titular serial killer in Tim Burton’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). The two roles earned him his second and third Best Actor Oscar nod, respectively.
In the following decade, he played author Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011), a Comanche Indian in The Lone Ranger (2013), the Big Bad Wolf in Into the Woods (2014), American mobster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass (2015) and a mysterious gangster in Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express.
He also played the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). Alice in Wonderland went on to earn over USD 1 billion worldwide, making it the third-highest-grossing movie of Johnny Depp after the two Pirates of the Caribbean films.
His later movie roles include portraying the eponymous dark wizard in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), after making a brief appearance as the character in the first film of the Harry Potter universe two years ago. He then played the dictatorial Colonel Joll in Waiting for the Barbarians (2019), photojournalist W. Eugene Smith in the biographical film Minamata (2020) and King Louis XV of France in Jeanne du Barry (2023).
Johnny Depp’s music and artwork collection
Johnny Depp started his career in entertainment not as an actor but as a singer. He was only 17 when he became a guitarist with the punk rock group The Kids in Florida, US, which performed as a supporting act at music concerts by icons such as Talking Heads, Ramones and Iggy Pop.
He has played the guitar for Oasis tracks “Fade Away” and “Fade In-Out”, the drums on Marilyn Manson’s cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” and did the backing vocals for Aerosmith on “Freedom Fighter.”
In movies, he played the guitar for some of the Oscar-nominated soundtrack pieces of his film Chocolat (2000) and composed “Sands Theme” in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He also co-wrote a track and played the guitar in The Rum Diary.
Depp is the founding member of the supergroup Hollywood Vampires, which has Alice Cooper and Joe Perry as key members.
In mid-2022, he released the 13-track album, 18, with English rock icon Jeff Beck, who passed away in January 2023. While the album mostly has cover renditions, Depp wrote two original songs, including a tribute to Hollywood legend and inventor Hedy Lamarr, titled “This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr.”
In August 2022, around a month after the album’s release, he made a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) digitally projected on the screen as the channel’s Moon Man astronaut.
The multi-talented Depp is also an artist. In July 2022, he earned USD 3.6 million by selling around 780 prints of his artwork within hours of their debut at a gallery in London.
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Titled Friends & Heroes, the collection featured Depp’s portraits of his inspirations: Bob Dylan, Al Pacino, Keith Richards and Elizabeth Taylor. Demand was so high that the gallery’s website crashed.
In July 2023, Artnet reported that he is now ready with his second collection, Friends & Heroes II, featuring portraits of Heath Ledger, Bob Marley, River Phoenix and Hunter S. Thompson.
Johnny Depp’s salary and other earnings from movies
The total earnings of all his movies combined come to a worldwide gross of around USD 10.6 billion. Because of his back-end contract clauses, or share in profits, Depp has earned millions of dollars over his actual salary from the box office performance of his movies, especially since the 2000s.
Guinness Book of Records named him the world’s highest-paid actor in 2012, with earnings of USD 75 million in the year prior.
A year before that, Vanity Fair reported that Depp was the highest-earning actor of 2010, with a total estimated income of USD 100 million. Around USD 95 million of the income came from three of his movies.
The report said that he earned USD 40 million as back-end income from the performance of Alice in Wonderland, USD 35 million as upfront salary for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and USD 20 million as salary for The Tourist.
Depp was drawing a fine salary even earlier in his career. He was paid USD 45,000 per episode for 21 Jump Street. Given that he appeared in 82 episodes and assuming there was no change in his contract, he would have made around USD 3.7 million from the series alone.
As Depp’s stardom grew, so did his paycheck. By the time he essayed the role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, his salary had reached USD 10 million.
But the biggest boost came from the box office performance of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. His salary jumped 100 per cent to USD 20 million for the following instalment — a figure that reportedly was the same for most of his latter career.
His 20-per cent share as back-end revenue contributed more to Depp’s net worth, with USD 40 million coming from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest alone. Reports suggest that he has earned USD 300 million off the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, including salary and back-end revenue.
One of his most recent information regarding his salary comes from 2020, when Warner Bros. paid Depp his full salary of USD 16 million for the third Fantastic Beasts film, even though he was dropped from it and had shot only one scene before being replaced by Mads Mikkelsen.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this was because the actor “had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast.”
The report said that there was no morality clause in his contract and the technicality was that he was asked to resign and not fired from the film following a UK judge’s ruling against Depp in a defamation trial against the publisher of The Sun.
Johnny Depp’s overall financial health
Legal troubles have continued to haunt Depp, including the infamous trial he brought against his former wife Amber Heard. But that is not the only prominent lawsuit involving Depp. There was one he brought against his long-term management agency in 2017, which resulted in details of his wealth becoming public.
When he lost his case against The Sun, Depp was asked to pay the daily legal fees amounting to USD 840,000.
Yet, no case has attracted so much media attention as the one involving the actor and Heard, with whom he was married from 2015 till Heard filed for divorce in May 2016. The divorce settlement was finalised in August 2016, in which Depp paid Heard USD 7 million, which she pledged to donate to charity.
However, Depp’s career was hit when Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018, describing the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage.
Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard
Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard after she wrote The Washington Post op-ed. Though she didn’t name Depp, it led to his ouster from film projects, such as the third film of the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, in which he was to reprise his role as the main antagonist.
In response to Depp’s USD 50-million lawsuit, Heard counter-sued for USD 100 million.
The highly publicised defamation trial between Depp and Heard, which has been turned into a Netflix documentary and is set for release, ended on 1 June 2022 when the jury unanimously held Heard liable on three counts of defamation and Depp on one count.
Depp was awarded USD 10 million as damages and another USD 5 million (later reduced to USD 350,000) in punitive damages. He was asked to pay Heard USD 2 million in compensatory damages.
Heard revealed on 16 December of the same year that she had settled the case with Depp for USD 1 million. Depp confirmed in June 2023 that he was donating the entire money he received from heard to charity.
His charismatic rock-star image and global fame because of the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films made Johnny Depp a magnet for brands.
His past associations include H&M in the late 1990s and pen maker Mont Blanc in the mid-2000s, among others. He is also one of the few Hollywood actors who appeared in commercials for brands in the international market when he starred opposite Japanese actor-musician Masaharu Fukuyama in a 2017 advertisement for the Japanese beer brand Asahi.
Following Heard’s op-ed, Depp was reportedly dropped by companies and studios. Among them was Disney, which cut ties with the actor immediately and said that he will not return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
However, luxury fashion and cosmetic brand Dior remained with Depp throughout the controversial period. Depp has been the face of Dior Sauvage perfume since 2015 and was reportedly paid USD 5 million to appear in its commercials. Multiple reports said that Dior Sauvage recorded very high sales during the Depp vs Heard trial.
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In fact, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of Dior’s parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and one of the richest people in the world, said on 26 January 2023 that Dior Sauvage was “a leader in perfume sales” over the course of the year, “achieving remarkable success” that was “driven by the image of Johnny Depp.”
In May 2023, Dior extended its partnership with Depp by signing him for a three-year deal upwards of USD 20 million. As such, it eclipsed all previous records to become the biggest men’s fragrance deal ever.
The actual net worth of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is known for his extravagant spending. Much of the details regarding his net worth and spending were revealed when the actor filed a USD 25-million lawsuit against his former business managers, The Management Group (TMG), in 2017.
He accused the firm of taking an unauthorised USD 28 million contingent fee and loaning USD 10 million to third parties without his permission. The lawsuit was settled in 2018, but by then, details of his wealth had been revealed in counterclaims brought by the agency.
The agency, which represented Depp for 17 years until that time, revealed in their defence that the actor led an “ultra-extravagant lifestyle that knowingly cost Depp in excess of USD 2 million per month to maintain, which he simply could not afford.”
According to a July 2018 report by The Hollywood Reporter, it was revealed that he allegedly spent USD 30,000 a month for wine, USD 500,000 in rental fees for warehouses where he kept his collectables, and USD 200,000 for a private jet, among others.
Joel Mandel, the co-founder of the agency, reportedly revealed that Depp made over USD 650 million in the years he was represented by The Management Group.
The Guardian reported in 2020, during his case against The Sun, Depp accused his agency of stealing from him and told the court that he lost USD 650 million and owed USD 100 million in taxes.
Several reports now suggest that Depp’s current net worth is USD 150 million.
Expensive things that Johnny Depp owns
Houses, mansions and islands
Johnny Depp has possibly spent way more on real estate than anyone else among his peers. Much of the details was revealed during the lawsuit he brought against his former business management agency, TMG.
His property portfolio is an estimated USD 100 million and comprises historic mansions, a private island and an entire French village. The countersuit by TMG revealed that he spent USD 75 million buying or updating 14 residences at the time they were his agency.
West Hollywood residence
His primary residence is on North Sweetzer Avenue in West Hollywood. This is where TMG executives used to meet him more frequently. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the modernist mansion, No.1480, was once owned by music producer Berry Gordy.
The house, which Depp purchased in 1995 or 1996, has a painting by Banksy, which the British artist created for Depp. It also houses several of Depp’s classic guitars collection. The mansion has eight bedrooms and serves as a recording studio. According to New York Post, the mansion looks like a Bavarian castle with towers and turrets.
Other reports suggest that No.1480 is the main house of what is actually a property spanning five plots. The total area of the property is around 10,000 square metres. It is believed that the combined number of bedrooms on the property is somewhere between 35 to 40. Depp is believed to have paid USD 2.3 million for the main house and USD 19 million for the entire property.
Los Angeles penthouses
Between 2007 and 2008, Depp purchased five penthouses in Los Angeles’ Eastern Columbia Building. The penthouses, situated next to each other, in the world-renowned Art Deco landmark were bought for USD 7.2 million.
This is where Depp lived for most of his marriage to Heard. He used one of the five units as his art studio and another as a guest suite. The actor sold more than one of the penthouses for USD 12.78 million following their divorce. But it is not clear if he sold two of them or all five.
In all, the penthouse collection came with nine bedrooms and covered an area of 1,070 square metres. Each of them offered unparalleled views of downtown LA.
Horse ranch in Kentucky
Depp also owned a horse ranch in his home state of Kentucky. Measuring 165,921 square metres, the ranch, located at 5493 Versailles Road in Lexington, was bought by him for USD 950,000 in 1995. Its 552-square-metre main house contained six bedrooms.
Depp sold it six years later for USD 1 million before re-purchasing it as a gift for his mother, Betty Sue, in 2005 for USD 2 million. Betty lived on the ranch till her death in 2016. Four years later, her son sold the property for around USD 1.3 million.
Village in Côte d’Azur
Located around 27 km from the yacht paradise of Saint-Tropez in the Côte d’Azur region of Southern France is a nondescript village called Plan De La Tour. In 2001, Depp bought the entire 150,000 square metres of the area with his then-partner Vanessa Paradis. The exact amount they paid is not known, but Depp spent another USD 10 million on a complete renovation of the village.
Originally raised in the 19th century, Plan De La Tour has several buildings that are over 200 years old. Depp’s renovation reportedly helped preserve the original nature of the buildings and the roads, while adding new elements or converting some parts for different purposes. The village has its original church intact besides a main house and six guest houses. Depp also opened his private restaurant, Chez Marceline, in one of the buildings.
Located on a hilltop, the village is perhaps one of the most picturesque private properties owned by a celebrity. Depp has tried to sell the property multiple times in the past, at prices ranging from USD 27 million to USD 63 million, but it remains unsold. The actor still has the village in his possession.
English mansion in Somerset
In 2014, Depp bought a USD 16 million estate with a mansion in Somerset. This is where he spent his time following the end of the defamation lawsuit he brought against Heard.
The mansion is located near Quantock Hills in Kingston St. Mary. It is around 150 years old and sits on a property measuring 3.4 sq km, making it the largest property Depp owns and one of the largest owned by any celebrity in the world.
Depp bought the property for USD 2.5 million and spent an additional USD 5 million. The mansion has 12 bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It has an onsite dairy farm.
In March 2023, Johnny told the local magazine Somerset Life that his decision to stay on the property was fuelled by his love for “places with character” and the privacy that Somerset offers.
“I can just be me — and that’s nice. I can go into shops without being surrounded by people wanting selfies. I don’t mind that up to a point, but sometimes it gets a little too crowded,” he said.
A private island in the Bahamas
It is quite fitting that someone who earned global stardom by playing a fictional Caribbean pirate would have a place to stay in the Caribbean. One of Depp’s largest properties is a 182,110-sq-metre private island in the Bahamas.
Named Little Halls Pond Cay Island, the pristine wonderland is surrounded by turquoise blue waters in the protected area of Exuma Land and Sea Park. This is where he married Heard. According to Forbes, the island was bought by Depp in 2004 for USD 3.6 million. The island has its own lagoon surrounded by palm trees, six white sand beaches and a beach house. Depp has reportedly named the beaches after his children and idols, daughter Lily-Rose Depp, Hunter S. Thompson and Marlon Brando.
Depp’s steam-powered private yacht used to be docked in a harbour on the island. He had bought the vessel in 2007 from Turkish shipyard Proteksan Turquoise for USD 10 million. He spent another USD 8 million on its uplift. The yacht, named Amphitrite, was sold to Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling in 2015 for USD 27 million. When it was in his possession, Depp paid USD 350,000 per month on the yacht’s maintenance.
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Cars that Johnny Depp owns
Unlike his properties, details of which are better known, information about the cars owned by Johnny Depp is less so. It is believed that he owns a fleet of luxury wheels and fast cars. Some reports suggest that he has owned over 40 cars so far.
Among the machines are two classic cars: a 1960s Chevrolet Nova muscle version and a 1959 red-and-white Chevrolet Corvette C1.
The Nova was bought by him very early on in his career. Due to the emotional association with it, Depp has reportedly refused to sell the car. On the other hand, the open-top Corvette C1 was a gift from The Rum Diary producer Graham King.
The high-end luxury cars that are still apparently part of his collection are a Rolls-Royce Wraith, a Land Rover Range Rover, a Lincoln Navigator and a BMW 7 Series. Each of these is known for the outstanding level of luxury and comfort offered to occupants. Of course, the Rolls-Royce Wraith is the costliest of them all, with a price tag of USD 550,900 for the basic 2022 model.
Among the fast cars that Depp owns are Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche 911 993 Carrera S and Ferrari 488 Spider. With a top speed of 350 km/h, the Aventador is the fastest of the three.
Depp also reportedly owns an open-top Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet. The car is a costlier and more exclusive version of the open-top S-Class. It was first showcased in 2016 and comes with a price tag of around USD 330,000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Johnny Depp worth USD 900 million?
– No, Johnny Depp does not have a net worth of USD 900 million. But reports say that his net worth was once over USD 650 million.
What is Johnny Depp’s net worth in 2023?
– Johnny Depp’s net worth in 2023 is around USD 150 million.
How much did Amber pay Johnny Depp?
– Amber Heard was ordered to pay USD 10 million to Johnny Depp. They came to a settlement agreement later under which Heard paid USD 1 million.
Did Johnny Depp have to pay money to Amber?
– Yes, Johnny was ordered to pay USD 2 million to Amber Heard.
(Hero image: Courtesy of Valery Hache/AFP; Featured image: Courtesy of Dior Official/@dior/Instagram)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India