Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka inspired by George Bush
May 9th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka inspired by George Bush

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?

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    The Burton – Depp remake lacked quality comedic dialogue. Had Depp's Wonka had NEW and funny sarcastic zingers, the movie would have earned 100 times what it did. Burton should have hired several good comedy writers, for Depp's dialogue alone. Who wrote and approved the "you really should stop mumbling" – "joke" to be said THREE TIMES in the movie? You can't make something completely unfunny – funny – by saying it again two more times. I was and remain embarrassed by this movie because of the Wonka dialogue. This movie should have been directed by someone who knows how to obtain write and use dialogue like Peyton Reed or Jon Favreau. Depp is such a good actor, and I had such high hopes for this movie. If Favreau remade this movie again, I think it would be a real box office smasher. If they can keep redoing Spider Man, why not Wonka? Sincerely Disappointed , Andrew at Subjex Com

    July 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rachel

    Johnny Depp is cute and hot ..and one of the best actor in the world...,he will be fine very soon in his career and in his life too.I love you Johnny as a man and as actor too,so in love with you !

    July 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Betty Dominguez

    I should be excited about meeting Mr. Bush or his wife Mrs. Bush and or his daughters!! and not that I would be using him or them to meet others like YOURSELF, JOHNNY! I take it back, I am thinking your so cute in this picture!!

    May 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Betty Dominguez

    i Haven't read the article yet, but when it comes to you!! who cares for Bush. Let's forget about that for the moment. You as a entertainer are a admired actor, lovable, and your cute and in this picture! WOW! I'm not in fall with you like I think crazy about you. I admire you in the ways that you entertain me. 21 JUMP STREET WAS AWESOMEE!!! I LOVED IT!!
    Whatever you say. Betty D

    May 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr. Hand

    Scissorhands – Robert Smith (The Cure)
    Sparrow – Keith Richards
    Wonka – Michael Jackson
    Barnabus – Jim Carey from Dumb and Dumber crossbred with Bieber.

    May 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Margaret

    Johnny's hot

    May 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Drug Counselor

    Inspired by Gerge Bush ... and a fifth of jack with a few lines of coke for good measure.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron Chaney

    Romney vs. Frankenstein (Obama)

    Put simply, better the devil you don't know. Vote Romney.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. trim dat bush

    I wont even eat a chic out or tap dat butt if she doesnt have that va gina shaved or trimmed real close...Btw I was just deepdickin my girl when she says...make sure u pull it out before u nut..Im like..sure! So rite before i nutted i pulled out and shot my load all in her hair..She was mad cuz she just got her hair done fkn funny. what ever biatch

    May 10, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Underwhelmed

    If he is looking for inspiration for a character in a movie next year, hopefully he can get it from Obama. He can play someone unemployed.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • romney rant

      u think romney will actually beat president obama? the guy who lost to the guy who lost to then candidate obama in 2008? LOL!

      May 10, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. danielwalldammit

    Bush stoned? Is there a difference?

    May 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HG

    I though Bush was high the entire time he was president! I now understand why Depp chose Bush as a character reference for Willy Wonka. Makes perfect sense!!!

    May 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. salleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Johnny Depp is the best actor around and can do no wrong. Songdude, it's movie and wig. Get some education.

    May 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Linda

    Bush acts like he is incredibly stoned, makes sense.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. xjdavid

    It seemed more Michael Jackson-y to me too. And kind of icky. His WW gave me the creeps.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  16. songdude

    I thought he looked like cher in the moive. go back and look at the wigg and get up.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Moe Lester

    I thought he was inspired by Michael Jackson

    May 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.