Johnny Depp Reveals He Beat Out Odds Against Big Names Like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise To Land Role In Edward Scissorhands

Johnny Depp reveals he beat out major stars like Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise for his breakout role in Edward Scissorhands.

Published on Jun 12, 2024  |  10:49 AM IST |  47.2K
Johnny Depp (Movieclips/Youtube)

Johnny Depp has beat out some of the biggest names in film and music for his breakout role in Edward Scissorhands. The 61-year-old actor revealed that he outshined Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and even Michael Jackson for the iconic role in Tim Burton’s 1990 gothic fantasy. Depp shared with director Tara Wood that Cruise was very close to playing Edward Scissorhands, per People.

Johnny Depp reveals the importance of Edward's role to him 


Johnny Depp ultimately landed the role of Edward, a loving outcast with scissors for hands, created by a scientist played by Vincent Price. When his creator dies, a local woman, played by Dianne Wiest, takes Edward into her suburban home, where he falls in love with her daughter, played by Winona Ryder, and faces ostracism from the townspeople.

Depp explained to Deadline that Burton and Caroline Thompson’s script deeply resonated with him, describing the writing and character as beautiful. He felt a strong connection to Edward, stating, "The writing was beautiful. The character was beautiful. What I suppose [attracted] me emotionally was that Edward was me. It’s exactly what I should be doing.”

Coming off his stint on 21 Jump Street from 1987 to 1990, Depp felt pigeonholed as a teen idol and wanted to break away from that image. His role in John Waters’ 1990 cult classic Cry-Baby was his first step in a new direction.


However, with Burton’s rising fame from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and Beetlejuice (1988), Depp doubted he would be cast. Hollywood’s interest in the project made him think, “He’s never going to cast me when everyone in Hollywood is after the part,” per Deadline.

Johnny Depp almost backed out of the Edward Scissorhands film


Depp recalled, “Tim’s really juggling because he’s getting hit by his agent, the studio, everybody." He even considered canceling the "meeting," thinking, “I’m just a TV actor.” But after his agent insisted, he met with Burton and eventually got the part, which earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.

Depp has since worked with Burton on several films, including Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Dark Shadows (2012).

The untitled Tim Burton docuseries, where Depp discusses these experiences, premieres Monday, June 10 at the Tribeca Film Festival.


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