Johnny Depp Beat Tom Hanks Michael Jackson for Edward Scissorhands

Johnny Depp Beat Tom Hanks Michael Jackson for Edward Scissorhands

Johnny Depp’s journey to becoming Edward Scissorhands is a tale of overcoming self-doubt and beating out some of Hollywood’s biggest names. In a recent interview for an untitled docuseries about Tim Burton, Depp revealed that he was up against heavyweights like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and even Michael Jackson for the iconic role in Burton’s 1990 gothic fantasy film.

Depp shared that Tom Cruise was particularly close to landing the part, saying, “He was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands — true story.” This revelation adds a fascinating layer to the film’s history, considering the diverse talents vying for the role.

At the time, Depp was struggling with his image as a teen idol, thanks to his role in the TV series “21 Jump Street.” He felt “pigeonholed” and was desperate to break free from that mold. His role in John Waters’ 1990 cult classic “Cry-Baby” was a deliberate move to distance himself from his heartthrob persona. “It was the first solid step in the direction I wanted to go,” Depp explained.

Despite his desire to take on more challenging roles, Depp initially doubted he would be cast as Edward Scissorhands. Burton was a rising star, having directed hits like “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and “Beetlejuice,” and the project had garnered significant interest in Hollywood. Depp recalled thinking, “He’s never going to cast me when everyone in Hollywood is after the part.”

The actor even considered canceling his meeting with Burton. “Tim’s really juggling because he’s getting hit by his agent, the studio, everybody. So I called my agent after reading the script and said, ‘Please cancel the meeting, I’m not going,’” Depp recounted. His agent’s response was blunt: “Are you f***ing nuts?”

Depp eventually met with Burton, and the rest is history. The role of Edward Scissorhands became a defining moment in his career, earning him his first Golden Globe nomination and marking the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with Burton. The two would go on to work together on several films, including “Ed Wood,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Corpse Bride,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Dark Shadows.”

Reflecting on the role, Depp said that Burton and Caroline Thompson’s script “passed through everything, anything, solid and went to the very core of whatever I am. The writing was beautiful. The character was beautiful. What I suppose [attracted] me emotionally was that Edward was me. It’s exactly what I should be doing.”

The untitled Tim Burton docuseries, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, delves into these behind-the-scenes stories, offering fans a deeper understanding of the creative process and the challenges faced by those involved. It highlights the serendipitous nature of casting and how a single role can change the trajectory of an actor’s career.

Depp’s portrayal of Edward Scissorhands, a loving outcast with scissors for hands, resonated deeply with audiences and critics alike. The character’s journey, from being created by a scientist (played by Vincent Price) to being taken in by a suburban family and falling in love with their daughter (played by Winona Ryder), is a poignant tale of love and acceptance.

The film’s success solidified Depp’s status as a versatile actor capable of taking on complex and unconventional roles. It also cemented his partnership with Burton, a collaboration that has produced some of the most memorable films in modern cinema.

As Depp looks back on his career, it’s clear that landing the role of Edward Scissorhands was a pivotal moment. It allowed him to break free from the constraints of his teen idol image and explore a wide range of characters. His journey serves as a reminder that sometimes, taking a chance and stepping out of one’s comfort zone can lead to extraordinary opportunities.

The docuseries not only celebrates Burton’s unique vision but also pays tribute to the actors who brought his characters to life. For Depp, it was a chance to reflect on a role that changed his life and to share the untold stories behind one of his most beloved performances.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top