I always found it interesting how one life can make a big impact. It’s like adding or removing a character from a story. You can drastically change the outcome. When it comes to celebrities, they impact a lot of people–millions of people–and they don’t always meet those people.
Yes. I’ve been following the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. Yes. I know there’s probably more important things to focus on, but there’s a reason why I’m so dedicated to this trial and if you’ll bear with me, I’d like to explain it. I’d like to tell the story of how Johnny Depp made an impact in my life.
Pirates of the Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl came out in 2003 and I was 9 years old at the time. I didn’t see it in theaters. The first time I saw it was in the living room with my family. We got it through Netflix back when they were sending DVDs through mail. Pirates of the Caribbean instantly became my favorite movie after that and my favorite character was Captain Jack Sparrow. I did what any typical 9 year old does when they become obsessed with a movie: I copied Captain Jack, quoted Captain Jack, had a bunch notebooks, binders, and popcorn tins with his face on it and one Christmas, my brother and I got a bunch of Legos all about Pirates of the Caribbean. When next movies came out, we saw them in theaters.
As big a fan as I was of Captain Jack Sparrow, I didn’t consider myself a fan of Johnny Depp. I never stalked the history of Johnny Depp or looked out for his movies. To my 9 year old butt, Johnny Depp was just the actor who played Captain Jack Sparrow. They weren’t the same person. Yet, people always made that correlation. “Oh! You love (Captain) Jack Sparrow! You must love Johnny Depp!” and then you got my mom showing me all these nice photos of Johnny Depp like the ones from his Dior shoots.
I tried to resist it as long as I could. I got a stubborn streak when it comes to mainstream, “what’s in, what’s out” type stuff. I don’t like following the popular. I don’t like following actors who are just people and not their characters. However, in high school, a friend of mine sent me a “16 personalities test.” You the know the kind where your personality is a bunch of letters in a row? I remember taking it and I remember how scary accurate it was. I couldn’t tell you the personality it gave me, but one thing I specifically remember was at the bottom of the page it listed famous people with the same personality type. One was Shakespeare–which I remember doubting because he’s dead, how would people know? And the other one was Johnny Depp.
The actor who plays Captain Jack Sparrow has the same introverted and quiet personality as me. I can’t say if that was that turning point that made admit to being fan of Johnny Depp, but it certainly helped. I’m not the type of fan who knows exactly when his birthday is, when he started his career, who his family is, all that creepy stalker stuff, etc. etc. etc. I’m the type of fan where if I heard Johnny Depp was in a movie, I’d go see that movie.
Then life happens, you know? I went to college, started focusing on work, writing my book, and being me that Captain Jack Sparrow and Johnny Depp were the furthest things from my mind. I had no idea what he was up to. I didn’t even realize he was in Fantastic Beasts until I recognized him at the end of the film–which made me want to watch the sequels.
At some point, I heard about the domestic abuse allegations against him. I remember thinking: “That doesn’t sound right.” Johnny Depp a domestic abuser? I couldn’t see it. However, I knew that I was bias. I knew I didn’t have all the facts. The media likes to blow things out of proportion. And I had no idea what Johnny Depp does in his personal time. I had no grounds to say what allegations came up were true or not. So, when Disney dropped him as Captain Jack Sparrow–as much as I didn’t like it–I understood why they did it (didn’t agree, just understood). Then Johnny Depp was dropped as Grindlewald. I remember thinking that was a terrible idea. WB shouldn’t have done that and given how Secrets of Dumbledore is the worst faring Harry Potter movie, I believe I was right.
These abuse allegations must have bothered me more than I realized, because I ended up having a dream about him. I mean, it makes sense. The only actor I was a fan of as a child was now labeled an abuser. Anyone would take that hard. When it comes to dreams, everyone has different thoughts and there’s still a lot of study going into them–I’m certainly not an expert, but I can tell you what was in my dream. I was–for some unknown reason–working backstage on a Broadway production. My job was to help with costumes and whatnot. I remember standing in a red room in a slender, plain dress and getting degraded by this fancy, older lady actress in a ruby gemstone dress. I have no idea who she was. I just know when she left the room, I was feeling pretty ugly, meek, and worthless. Then, this gentleman walks in and I’m utterly speechless as I recognize Johnny Depp. I remember thinking “This is a person I have to be careful of because people lay claim that he’s an abuser,” but I wasn’t about to walk away from him. He smiled at me. Talked with me. Told me the gown I was wearing looked good on me. It wasn’t a very long conversation, but when he walked away, I remember thinking: “that man is an abuser? Really?! That man? There’s no way!” I know it was just a dream. I didn’t actually meet the real Johnny Depp, but it made me believe in him just a little bit more.
At one point, I heard that Johnny Depp was suing Amber Heard (and I’d like to make it known that I had no idea who Amber Heard was until social media said she was the leading female in Aquaman after Aquaman came out) and the trial was going to be broadcast live. I didn’t pay attention to the dates, I was going to stay out of it, but–of course–some of my friends on Facebook were posting #JusticeforJohnnyDepp. I remember seeing a picture of Johnny Depp wearing a mask over his mouth that said: “Believe all Women” and the post relating to it mentioned a UK trial. That picture definitely bothered me.
So that did it. I was curious. I started looking up articles about what was going on between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and I discovered that this current trial was about an op-ed in 2018 that Amber Heard wrote. Reading about it led me to posting “The Power of Words” on April 20th. Eventually, found the trial live on Youtube. I think it was day 3 or day 4 when I started watching it. I was completely lost in what was going on, but then Johnny Depp took the stand.
It really hit me as I watched him tell his story. He stuttered over his words because he wanted to find the right ones. He was slow in explaining to make sure he knew what he was saying. He admitted to being a painter, a drawer, a writer, an overall creative soul. Like me.
I was reminded of that personality test I took in high school. The one that claimed I had the same personality type as Johnny Depp and seeing him on the stand made me believe it was right. No, we don’t have the same background, but we both escape to creative arts and get inside our heads when stress arises. I could relate to the reactions he said he had while facing different things. We’re both introverts and introverts don’t like to speak up or have the spotlight.
I was going through a rough time before the trial started. I left a job because I felt betrayed by it. The people there turned against me and my manager wouldn’t hear my side of the story. I got out of there because I felt if I didn’t, I would get fired for doing nothing wrong except being too quiet. I started blaming myself. If I hadn’t been so quiet, if I would’ve just spoke my side of the story and not let others drown me out. If I would’ve fought harder, things wouldn’t have turned out the way that they did. But, I didn’t fight. I didn’t speak up because I didn’t think I could. I’m the quiet one. The introvert. Who’s ever going to take the time to listen to me stumble to get my story out there? To wait for me to organize my thoughts just to say one sentence? It’s not possible in the world we live in today. You have to know what to say in the moment. Be willing to talk over and cut off others and I blamed my personality for me being unable to do that. I didn’t believe I could ever do that.
Then Johnny Depp took the stand.
I cried about it a couple times and it still sticks with me. Johnny Depp, an introvert, a “quiet one,” is taking a stand to tell his side of the story and he’s doing it live in front of the entire world. He took his time and stuttered on the stand. He fought back against cross examiner and even spoke over him and cut him off. I loved every bit of sass Johnny gave Mr. Rottenborn. Every day the trial takes court, the more truth comes out. The more the truth comes out, the more people are supporting him. He’s got millions standing in his corner. A “quiet one” has the support of people across the globe, because he was brave enough to tell his story. So, yeah. I support him 100%.
Thank you, Johnny Depp, for proving that the “quiet one” can have a voice. That it’s possible for an introvert to fight for truth and not be limited by our personality. Thank you for proving me wrong. I may not be at that point now, but someday. I now believe it’s possible for me to have a voice. To get my truth out there. Personality isn’t an inhibiter.
Thank you for proving that, Johnny.