Johnny Depp – A Retrospective Book Review

johnny_depp-a_retrospectiveYes, you read it correctly, Johnny Depp is turning 50! How old do you feel now? My first memory of Johnny Depp is from A Nightmare on Elm Street where makes the mistake of falling asleep and is sucked into his own mattress and summarily spewed back out in a gigantic geyser of blood. Nice.

Admittedly, this movie came out in 1985, so my parents clearly had a worrying disregard for film certificates. Depp later graced my bedroom walls on many TV Hits Magazine posters as he moved from serial killer fodder to TV sex symbol in 21 Jump Street.

And that’s where it gets interesting. From wannabe rocker to Tim Burton muse, Johnny Depp – A Retrospective charts Depp’s unconventional rise to stardom. He has admittedly gone out of his way to choose unconventional roles that he finds interesting. A string of high profile romances with the likes of Winona Ryder and Kate Moss can cause you to forget he also had his share of tabloid scandal (River Phoenix overdosed and died outside his nightclub, The Viper Room, in 1993).

The actual book itself is about the same size and weight of the average coffee table. And although there is nothing particularly new or revelatory in it the sense of nostalgia it creates as you take a stroll through your movie viewing past is refreshing. You forget that Depp is actually a great actor who essayed some truly exceptional characters (Edward Scissorhands, Gilbert Grape and Ed Wood to name a few), not the walking Keith Richards parody that most kids will ultimately remember him for in years to come.

This book is a must for the Johnny Depp fans and also those of us old enough to remember him at the start of his career, just to remind ourselves how far he’s come and some of the great films he’s given us.

★★★1/2

Vikki Mysercough

Amazon: Buy Johnny Depp: A Retrospective