Skip to content

9 Incredible Johnny Depp Characters

Our guide to the good, the bad and the strange roles the award-winning actor has portrayed

  • Depp-O-Meter, Actor, Johnny Depp
    Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

    Master of Disguise

    En español | Johnny Depp has played heroes and criminals alike. Next up, the 52-year-old portrays mobster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass, out on Sept. 18. Take a look at nine of his most memorable roles and how they fall along the hero-to-villain spectrum.

    1 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Finding Neverland
    Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection


    Sir James Matthew Barrie, Finding Neverland
    In the role of Peter Pan author Barrie, Depp sweetly plays father figure to three children who inspired the famous story.

    2 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Edward Scissorhands
    Courtesy Everett Collection

    Eerily Childlike

    Edward Scissorhands, Edward Scissorhands
    Sure, he may be a little creepy looking — and his hands wouldn’t be TSA-approved — but Edward is entirely pure of heart.

    3 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Impishly Sweet

    Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Wonka’s pretty weird, and it sort of seems like he’s taking out children one by one in dastardly ways — but his intentions are good.

    4 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Alice in Wonderland
    Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

    Kindly Cuckoo

    Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland
    The Mad Hatter’s actually a really nice guy; he’s just a little crazy.

    5 of 12
  • A middle aged caucasian couple look at a map outdoors with text that reads keep life fun and your calendar full.

    AARP Offer

    Sign up for the AARP Lifestyle Newsletter to find out about new movies, great games and travel ideas each month. By joining AARP today, you can also save on movie tickets, restaurants, airfare, hotels and more and have even more fun!

    6 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Pirates of the Caribbean
    Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection


    Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean
    Sparrow spends a great deal of these films acting in his own self-interest, yet somehow he always ends up doing the right thing.

    7 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Donnie Brasco
    Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Noble but Tempted

    Donnie Brasco, Donnie Brasco
    This undercover cop gets a little too deep into his fake Mafia life.  

    8 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Blow
    Courtesy Everett Collection


    George Jung, Blow
    He’s a drug kingpin who introduced America to cocaine — whose street name is the film’s title.  

    9 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Sweeney Todd
    DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Pure Evil

    Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    His haircuts and shaves end with a slit throat — and then his deceased patrons end up in meat pies.

    10 of 12
  • Depp-O-Meter, Black Mass
    Courtesy of Warner Brothers


    Whitey Bulger, Black Mass
    Depp’s latest character is considered one of the most infamous violent criminals.

    11 of 12
  • Entertainment End-Slide
    12 of 12