I guess you can only play Jack Sparrow so many times before asking yourself: what am I doing with my life? That appears to be the position that Johnny Depp finds himself in at the moment as the hard-working actor has recently mentioned the idea of retiring in the next few years.
Speaking first in an interview with Rolling Stone, and then later on BBC Breakfast, Depp discussed the attractions of eventual retirement, citing the sheer amount of public scrutiny that major celebrities deal with on a regular basis.
Here’s what he told Rolling Stone:
I can’t say that I’d want to be doing this for another 10 years … I think while I’ve got the opportunity and the desire and the creative spark to do the things that I can do right now, I should do them. And then, at a certain point, just take it down to the bare minimum and concentrate on, I guess, living life. Really living life. And going somewhere where you don’t have to be on the run, or sneak in through the kitchen or the underground labyrinth of the hotel. At a certain point, when you get old enough or get a few brain cells back, you realize that, on some level, you lived a life of a fugitive.
Fair enough. I can imagine that it would get a bit wearing having to be Johnny Depp all the time. But more convincing for me is Depp’s discussion with BBC Breakfast, when he mentions the amount of other people’s words he’s spoken over the years:
At a certain point you start thinking and you know when you add up the amount of dialogue you say per year, for example, and you realize that you’ve said written words more than you’ve actually had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as a kind of insane option for a human being.
This is not new, of course. Brad Pitt has said that he’s likely going to retire from acting before long to focus on producing. Leonardo DiCaprio would like to take a break too. Depp’s idol Marlon Brando peaced-out of the acting gig, with a few exceptions, for most of the latter part of his life; so did Paul Newman. Everyone deserves a break. Johnny Depp has put together an impressive career that he can easily rest on as one of the finest actors of his generation.
And yet … doesn’t it seem that there’s a lot of complaining from high-profile stars? No one forced Depp into choosing to sell-out for the big bucks. Prior to Pirates of the Caribbean, he was an interesting, quirky actor, playing all sorts of different roles. Now he just seems to be taking on the same kinds of big budget parts he once eschewed. He’s a big star, but there are lots of different routes he could have taken, even post-Pirates. He made the choice to continue on the high-profile, not terribly serious track.
We will not be losing Johnny Depp to the retirement home any time soon, though. He’s wrapped Transcendence, will sing in Into The Woods, and has the crime comedy Mortdecai coming up. Oh, and two sequels, one to Alice In Wonderland and yet another Pirates.
You can check out Depp’s interview with BBC Breakfast below. Do you buy that he’ll retire in the next ten years?