Johnny Depp Retirement Rumors: Why Fans Shouldn’t Be Alarmed

The actor hinted that he may soon make a career change

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Andrew Cowie / AFP / Getty Images

Johnny Depp poses for pictures on the red carpet for the UK premier of the film 'The Lone Ranger' in Leicester Square, London on Jul. 21, 2013.

Today on BBC Breakfast, an interview with Johnny Depp spun from the topic of The Lone Ranger to nail polish to what sounds like a hint that the actor may be contemplating a career change. Asked whether it’s still “a danger” that he might give up on acting, Depp responded:

At a certain point you start thinking, when you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year, for example, and you realize that you’ve said written words more than you’ve had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as a kind of insane option for a human being. Are there quieter things that I wouldn’t mind doing? You know, yeah. I wouldn’t mind that. I wouldn’t say that I’m dropping out any second but I would say that it’s probably not too far away.

The key idea here: it won’t be any second. Despite hubbub about Depp’s announcement—and the New York Post‘s headlining statement that the actor “plans to quit acting after latest box office bomb“—his fans have reason to moderate their concern.

For one thing, no matter what the actor decides to do in the future, audiences will be seeing his face in months, if not years, to come. He’s already filming next year’s sci-fi drama Transcendence, and has several movies (including Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and the mega-star-packed musical Into the Woods) in pre-production. His reprisal of the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland 2 has also been rumored.

(MORE: Richard Corliss reviews The Lone Ranger)

And, though it’s always possible he could change his mind, there’s further reason to believe Depp won’t disappear from movie screens anytime soon. For one thing, Depp recently gave a big interview to Rolling Stone in which the topic of retirement also came up. Though the piece, released prior to the film, misidentified The Lone Ranger as a likely success, Depp was already talking about giving up acting, saying that he thought about it regularly but had no plans to actually go through with it. Furthermore, he told RS that he gets “antsy” if he’s not working and that he’s looking forward to playing older characters.

There’s also evidence that the topic of slowing down really has been on his mind for a long time, with no actual retirement materializing. He said in 2011 that he would like to play a role like King Lear or Don Quixote prior to retiring (neither has happened yet, nor has any other epic role of that level) and that he wants to do adaptations of the books The Ginger Man and Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (which also haven’t happened yet). And two years before that, he told China Daily that he fantasizes about letting himself go, as an “old man with a beer belly.”

And, finally, there’s the fact that Depp’s not alone in his ambition to quit—and that prior evidence shows that retirement rarely sticks when it comes to stars. Just this March, for example, Idris Elba announced that he was taking a hiatus; his new project The Gunman, also starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, is currently filming.

(MOREJohnny Depp as Tonto: Is The Lone Ranger Racist?)

4 comments
ontehnet
ontehnet

I hope he doesn't retire, Johnny Depp is my FAVORITE actor :( Check out AllArijit's Johnny Depp Best Moments Video on YouTube!

Hoggle
Hoggle

"Are there quieter things that I wouldn't mind doing? Yeah, I wouldn't mind that," Depp told the BBC in a new interview. "I wouldn't say that I'm dropping out any second, but I would say that's probably not too far away."

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Depp, who recently appeared as Tonto in The Lone Ranger, says his hectic acting schedule has started to overpower his normal life. "At a certain point, you start thinking, and when you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year, for example, you realize that you've said written words more than you've actually had a chance to say your own words," he says. "You start thinking about that as a kind of insane option for a human being."

Back in June, Depp expressed similar concerns to Rolling Stone in his cover profile. "I think while I've got the opportunity and the desire and the creative spark to do the things that I can do right now, I should do them," Depp said. "And then, at a certain point, just take it down to the bare minimum and concentrate on, I guess, living life. Really living life. And going somewhere where you don't have to be on the run, or sneak in through the kitchen or the underground labyrinth of the hotel. At a certain point, when you get old enough or get a few brain cells back, you realize that, on some level, you lived a life of a fugitive."

Aka not retiring but slowing down the amount of work.

NillNewt
NillNewt

Will the lone pirate with scissorshands stay in a sleepy hollow for ages? I doubt it.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

the main reason fans shouldn't be alarmed is that you won't be missing out. his choice in movies has gone severely downhill as of late