Throughout his entire career, Johnny Depp was always regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation and a leading light of independent cinema, but he was never the guy that studios turned to when it came to casting major roles in big budget blockbusters.
Of course, that all changed following the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, with the star assuaging any and all doubts that the Disney brass had over his performance by landing the first Academy Award nomination of his career when his turn as Jack Sparrow scored a Best Actor nod, and the character was an icon long before the credits had even rolled.
It also made Depp into the biggest movie star on the planet, as well as the highest-paid. Prior to the success of the swashbuckling blockbuster, the single largest paycheck he’d ever received for starring in a film was $5 million. After that, he pocketed at least $18 million for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist, The Lone Ranger, The Rum Diary, Transcendence, Into the Woods and Mortdecai, and that’s without even mentioning the hundreds upon hundreds of millions he netted for his back end and profit participation clauses for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
During his public court testimony as part of a recent hearing opposite Amber Heard, though, the 57 year-old revealed that some poor financial mismanagement had seen him lose an absolute fortune, explaining:
“It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money. Since Pirates 2 and 3, I had, and this is ludicrous to have to state, it’s quite embarrassing, apparently I had made $650 million, and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650 million, but I was $100 million in the hole because they had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years.”
Earning over $650 million and still ending up in the red to the tune of $100 million is astonishing to think about, so it’s no wonder Johnny Depp is keen to put his legal woes behind him and focus on his work to start getting some of those lost earnings back.