You know, a lot of people tend to give Johnny Depp a bad rap. Perhaps it comes with the territory of fame and fortune, but a lot of the negativity towards this actor is undeserved. Okay, so maybe our generation doesn't have any Bogarts or Stewarts, but we do have actors like DiCaprio and Depp. Few would argue that they match up to the excellence of those that came before them, but that doesn't mean we should be disappointed in the work of the truly great actors of our time. In fact, Depp has shown a range of acting that often can't be found in just one actor. Did you know he's starred in a Western? Well, if you didn't, you'll get your chance to check him out in Dead Man soon.
Dead Man is a western directed by Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Broken Flowers) from the Image via Wikipediamid 90's. It's surprising how few people in the states ever even knew that this film existed. In the movie, Depp plays a man named William Blake, who travels westward looking for employment. When he is unable to find work, he unintentionally becomes an outlaw and travels through the wilderness with his new found indian guide. The ironic and interesting aspect of this is that Depp himself is part Native American. When you consider how few Native Americans have actually ever become well known actors, let alone played starring roles in westerns, his portrayal of William Blake in Dead Man becomes all the more impressive. Of course, Depp has also wowed audiences with such films as “What's Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but one of his most interesting roles just so happens to be one that most audiences aren't familiar with.
If you're one of those who has written off Depp in the past, do yourself a favor and check out Dead Man when it comes to Blu-ray on August 9th, 2011. It's definitely not your typical western, but Depp plays his role to perfection and proves that he is not just a one trick pony. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the film also features a cast filled with other well known actors such as Gary Farmer (Smoke Signals, Adaptation), Michael Wincott (The Crow, Alien Resurrection), Crispin Glover (Back to the Future), and Robert Mitchum (Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear). In other words, there's no reason not to give this flick a shot after over fifteen years of being ignored and forgotten. Don't be so quick to write the guy off unless you can say that you've actually seen some of his finer work.