Johnny Depp: I Almost Got Fired From Pirates of the Caribbean

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Johnny Depp says that he almost got fired from 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Peter Mountain/Disney


Arghhh you serious? Johnny Depp says he almost got fired from his 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean role for how he portrayed his Jack Sparrow character. The Black Mass actor revealed the close call while attending the AFI Festival in L.A. on Monday, Nov. 9.

“They wanted to fire me,” Depp, 52, said at a panel, via Moviefone. “I fully expected to be fired, and I got a call from the upper echelon at Disney who were courageous enough to ask me, ‘What the f–k are you doing?'”

Amused, Depp recalled how producers of the now-blockbuster franchise hated how he appeared to slur his words and mumble on-screen. (The actor previously said that he was inspired by Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards and the cartoon character Pepé Le Pew while on set.)

Johnny and Penelope in Pirates
Captain Jack (JOHNNY DEPP) and Angelica (PENELOPE CRUZ) make their watery way through the jungle in search of the Fountain of Youth in “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES”.<br /> Peter Mountain/Disney

“The questions came up, ‘Is [the performance] drunk? Is it gay?’ All I could say was, because they set me up with a great line, I said, ‘Well, don’t you know all my characters are gay?'” Depp said on Monday, laughing. “I really expected to be fired, but I wasn’t for some reason. They were actually gonna put subtitles under my character. They couldn’t understand Captain Jack.”

Luckily, audiences fell for Sparrow anyway. Depp went on to play the mischievous pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters in 2017.

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