Movies Reviews

Why Johnny Depp Deserves an Oscar

Winning the Oscar (otherwise known as Academy Awards) is one of the highest accolades an actor can strive for.

If an actor gets an Oscar, people will think twice before they question their talent or professionalism. It’s like a free ticket to engraving your name in history. The more nominated an actor is, and the more awards they receive, the more they are respected in the industry. However, if we look at the names that made some of the most interesting performances in the history of cinema that are not on the list of Oscar winners, we might want to readjust how seriously we approach this designation.

Not receiving an Oscar can be the result of many things, but it doesn’t have to mean that the actor is not talented. Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, started his career early on, appearing in huge hits like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Titanic, but the actor didn’t win his first Academy Award until 2016. Viewers could even argue that each one of his performances deserves its own Oscar.


And so is the case for Johnny Depp, one of Hollywood’s most talented and beloved actors of all time. It still comes as a surprise to many fans that he actually still hasn’t received an Academy Award. Here’s why Johnny Depp deserves to finally win an Oscar.

Related: Oscars 2023: Why the Best Actress Race Was One of the Most Controversial in Academy Awards History

Depp Has Undeniable Talent

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

If the Oscar is given to the best-performing actor of a certain year, Depp should have several statuettes by now. Depp is a multi-talented star, adding talented musician and an incredible painter to his already impressive acting resume. A prodigal son whose talents were discovered and put to use, the great Nicolas Cage was the one to encourage Depp to take on acting. One of his first successes in the industry was his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, an American coming-of-age drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, following a young Gilbert who lives with his obese, depressed mother and his siblings. Depp’s talent is completely tangible through his performance in this movie, where he tries to balance his youthful dreams and hopes with his responsibility towards his mother and his mentally disabled brother.

However, it was not until his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl that he was finally nominated for the first time for the Academy Award. The Disney fantasy was an immediate box office success, reaching $654.3 million following its 2003 release. The story follows pirate Jack Sparrow (Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they attempt to save Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), who was kidnaped by the cursed crew. This particular performance established the genius of Depp and drew the picture of his talent very clearly in the minds of viewers and cinema fans. He acted the role with everything he had: his voice, his facial expressions, his funny body gestures, and his emotions. Although the movie falls under the genres of fantasy and adventure, the viewers’ attachment to the character of Jack Sparrow reminded us of the kind of influence that characters in drama movies have. His talent alone was able to hook millions of fans without having to resort to dramatic effects, and complex dialogue.

Depp is Deserving (But Not Dying for) an Oscar

Edward Scissorhands
20th Century Studios

Usually, when someone rises above the competition, it means that they are confident in their talent and what they bring to the table. Depp has always been different, not only in his clothing style but in his views and beliefs. In 2005, he told Vanity Fair that he doesn’t “want to win one of those things, ever” in reference to an Oscar, because it would mean that he was in competition with someone. Competition can be a great motivation for some, but others, only need to be in competition with themselves in order to move forward. Depp thinks competition is a negative form of motivation and refuses to enter the race. His high-self esteem does not allow him to measure his success by how heavy his trophy case is.

A talented actor is not just a great performance; they must have views of their own, be influential, and command respect. It is usually the ones who don’t seek awards that deserve it the most.

Related: Johnny Depp’s 10 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time

Depp Has an Impressive Acting Resumé

Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Warner Bros. Pictures

Depp has an honorable film career history. He has played a variety of different roles and was believable in almost every single one of them; he is an actor that doesn’t have a profile. You could fit him in drama, action, romance, and in fantasy, and he would still give you a groundbreaking performance.

One of the best is his titular role in Edward Scissorhands, which was a success both for the critics and financially. He played the role of a soft, and timid creation of a scientist, and his journey towards finding real connection and love. Although the character doesn’t get to say many lines, Depp is wonderfully successful in communicating his feelings, aspirations, and deepest needs for acceptance. This performance is just another reason why there should be a golden statuette in Depp’s hand by now.

He played The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland with equal ease; with that amount of makeup on their face, only a handful of actors could pull off a fictional tea party quite as Depp did. He has also performed incredibly well in movies like Donnie Brasco, Finding Neverland, Ed Wood, and Black Mass.

Depp’s fans might be outraged by this apparent lack of recognition, however, one must always hope that his Oscar is only being saved up for his next performance.

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