Thursday, June 9, 2011

"The Dark Stranger": An Appreciative Editorial

In honor of his birthday, Lesya @ Eternity Of A Dream has created a list of Johnny Depp films she has never seen. Lesya and I are certainly not alone in our belief that Johnny Depp is the greatest actor in recent cinema history. But don't start thinking I'm some kind of groupie - although he may have devilishly good looks and a face that doesn't seem to age, Johnny Depp is the reason why I have become what I am today - a movie lover.

Back in the 90's, when I was 5 or 6 years old, I watched "Edward Scissorhands" for the first time. I don't remember if my parents had it on VHS or if it was playing on cable TV, but the movie never escaped my memory. I'm pretty sure that the film forever solidified my romantic sensibility and my penchant for the dark and odd. Ironically, at the time, my mother was working as an Avon sales representative. She would let me ride along with her as she made her rounds in our neighborhood. The connection I felt to Depp's character was something I had never felt before. The dark stranger in a bright and superficial world - that would become my identity.

The years that followed were, let's say, tumultuous. One of my go-to comforts was watching movies. For a long while, I didn't know who Johnny Depp was. I just knew who Edward was. On a lazy Sunday afternoon while I was staying with my mom, my younger sister and I watched "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." I think this was in '97 or '98. I immediately recognized his face - Edward's face. I made sure to make it through to the credits so that I could finally know his name. Johnny Depp. The dark stranger in a bright and superficial world.

I followed Depp as best as I could. It wasn't an obsession as much as it was a guarantee - I knew he could help me escape. He wasn't my heartthrob as much as he was my hero. Films such as "Donnie Brasco," "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas," "The Ninth Gate," "Sleepy Hollow," "Blow," "From Hell," "Finding Neverland," "Corpse Bride," and "Sweeney Todd" provided me with the little push I needed to fully embrace my movie love.

Now as an adult, my Depp-only days are over. I have branched out a bit, and now that I know what I need, I can rely on myself to find it. The escape is what I am obsessed with. Johnny Depp provided me with the blueprint. I am now going to build a foundation for my true passion. This blog is part of that foundation. Without Edward, without Gilbert - I would still feel like the dark stranger in a bright and superficial world.


  1. I was about the same age when Scissor Hands came out. I had a different reaction...that movie scared the crap out of me! I didn't help that my older cousins would throw me into a dark room and chase e around with scissors claiming to be Edward from the movie. haha. yeah...I got over my fear some time ago but I'll never forget how freaked out I was.

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