May 9th, 2012
02:32 PM ET
Johnny Depp has made a career out of playing quirky characters - there’s Edward Scissorhands, the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow and now the vampire Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows.”
But it turns out the inspiration behind one of his most memorable roles - Willy Wonka in 2005’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” - came from someone who once occupied the Oval Office.
The actor spilled the beans on "Ellen" Tuesday, saying his zany character in the remake of the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” was actually modeled, in part, after former President Bush. (In the clip, Depp didn't specify whether it was the senior George Bush or his son George W., although many assume the latter.)
“Certain ingredients you add to these characters,” Depp revealed on the talk show. “Willy Wonka, for example, I imagined what George Bush would be like … incredibly stoned. And thus was born my version of Willy Wonka."
Depp also said that having a strange sense of humor in general helps bring all the characters he plays to life.
"Anywhere that you can find a moment of irreverence or absurdity, I’ll stick it right in there,” he said. “Sometimes to the dismay of the director and certainly, the studio."
Wonder how often he's pulled that on his frequent collaborator (and "Dark Shadows" director) Tim Burton?
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.