Johnny Depp Reveals Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise Among A-List Competitors for 'Edward Scissorhands' Role
Twentieth Century Fox/Cover Images/Robert Smith/Eyepix

Depp's iconic performance in Tim Burton's 'Edward Scissorhands' was a testament to his determination and talent, as he outshone some of Hollywood's biggest names to land the role.

AceShowbiz - Johnny Depp's portrayal of Edward Scissorhands in Tim Burton's 1990 gothic fantasy of the same name is not only a pinnacle role in Depp's career but also a remarkable story of triumph against Hollywood's competitive casting process. Depp, now a seasoned actor, revealed that he had to outshine some of the biggest names in film and music, including Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson, to land this defining character.

Depp, reminiscing for an untitled docuseries about Burton, divulged that the competition was incredibly fierce. "Tom Cruise was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands-true story," Depp recounted. He highlighted the pressure Burton faced from various quarters of Hollywood who were vying for this coveted role. Ultimately, Depp's perseverance and connection with the character propelled him to success.

The actor, known for his stint on the TV show "21 Jump Street", felt boxed in as a teen idol and yearned to redefine his image. He explained that starring in John Waters' 1990 satire "Cry-Baby" was a pivotal moment for him, "It was the first solid step in the direction I wanted to go." Depp even claimed he spent the latter years of "21 Jump Street" trying to get fired, understanding how crucial it was to break free from his typecast persona.

Burton's script, co-written with Caroline Thompson, spoke to Depp on a profound level. "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," Depp said, reflecting on the elements that drew him to the role despite his initial doubts about being cast amidst such formidable competition.

As Depp recalled, after reading the script, he almost sabotaged his chances due to self-doubt, asking his agent to cancel the meeting with Burton. But encouragement from his agent and a final decision to face his fears led to the historic collaboration. Burton and Depp's partnership did not stop with "Edward Scissorhands". The duo went on to create several more cinematic masterpieces including "Ed Wood" (1994), "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005) and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007).

The upcoming docuseries about Tim Burton, premiering at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival, promises to dive deep into these stories, offering new insights into one of Hollywood’s most enchanting partnerships and the magic they created on-screen. To young audiences, Depp’s journey underscores the power of perseverance and the importance of staying true to oneself amidst the pressures of stardom.

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