Why does Johnny Depp continue to make Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Is it for love of the character, or the desire to tell more stories in that world? Well … “Basically, if they’re going to pay me the stupid money right now, I’m going to take it,” Depp admits in the new issue of Vanity Fair. “I have to. I mean, it’s not for me. Do you know what I mean? At this point, it’s for my kids. It’s ridiculous, yeah, yeah. But ultimately is it for me? No. No. It’s for the kids.”
Depp is ever mum on the size of his Pirates ransom, but a report this summer cited his total take in the $300 million range, due to a gross-profit-sharing deal brokered with Disney. The four-film franchise has tallied $3.7 billion to date in worldwide receipts.
Nick Tosches, Depp friend of a decade and writer of this month’s cover profile, says he’s “the same old Johnny” who pumped gas to make ends meet and for a period attended Scientology study groups because they paid $3 per meeting. “I went to a bunch, man. It was so great, it was so fantastic,” Depp says.
Photo: the Vanity Fair spread, with photography by Terry Richardson