When the decade began, Johnny Depp wasn’t the Johnny Depp of today—one of Entertainment Weekly’s 15 Entertainers of the Decade.
Yes, he was a talented and critically acclaimed actor. But he wasn’t yet a surefire box-office draw. Then, in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl happened. Capt. Jack Sparrow was one of those without-a-net performances, so singular and subversive that it’s hard to believe Depp got away with it. An added bonus was that the actor, now 46, was able to sink his soul into a blockbuster character without selling it. And no one was more baffled by his and the movie’s success — the first of the three Pirates films eventually raked in $305 million — than Depp himself.
When he sat down with EW in 2003, Depp said, “All I can say is for a guy like me who’s been dangling in this business for the last 20 years, to finally have something hit, it’s unexpected and very touching.” Now, in EW’s Best of the Decade issue, Depp shares something else unexpected and very touching: an extensive, uncharacteristically revealing list of his pop-culture essentials, including movies, books, and music. For instance, what are the man behind Capt. Jack’s two favorite albums by, who else, the Rolling Stones?
“Almost impossible to pick one LP, even more difficult to name just two, as they are all glorious, ” says Depp of Sticky Fingers and Tattoo You. “But these efforts have successfully soundtracked many a riotous late night out, slurping up the city, in another life.”
To find out the rest of Depp’s essentials, our complete list of Entertainers of the Decade, plus the decade’s 100 best movies, songs, TV shows and more, pick up the Best of the Decade issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands December 4.