In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversations with actor Johnny Depp from the January 1996 and May 2004 issues.
“That demon has visited me. He’s my best pal. He says, ‘Look, make two movies that are obvious commercial vehicles, blockbusters, and you’ll have the freedom to do smaller independent or experimental films. You can build an audience and bring it into that new world—open some minds.’ I’ve thought that, but I don’t believe it. I would feel untrue to myself, untrue to the people who appreciate the choices I’ve made. For me the career thing has to be a little purer, more organic.”
“You can’t be normal, not with people hitting you up at any given moment with bizarre requests. You can’t just hang out and have a cup of coffee and pick your nose or [reaching for his crotch] adjust your package, you know?”
“Fidelity is important as long as it’s pure. But the moment it goes against your insides—if you want to be somewhere else, if she wants to dabble—then you need to make a change. I’m not sure any human being is made to be with one person forever and ever, amen.”
“If I’m considered bankable this week, that’s great. Next week I’ll be totally off. I’m used to that. I’ve never had an allergy to the idea of commercial success. When you put a movie out and it’s successful, that’s great. I just wanted to get there in the right way, in a way that’s not too compromising or demeaning or ugly.”
“I don’t regret any of the things I didn’t do, and I certainly don’t regret any of the things I did do, down to the dumbest. Everything happened the way it should happen, even ridiculous things that I did in the beginning. I don’t regret any of it.”
“I do have an affinity for damaged people, in life, in roles. I don’t know why. We’re all damaged in our own way. Nobody’s perfect. I think we are all somewhat screwy, every single one of us.”
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*Or read the interview with access to all Playboy interviews on iPlayboy.*