You see the kids buggin’ you, he puts his hands on you, you pick up the nearest rock or whatever you can get your hands and you lay him out.
Interviewer: So you consider yourself lucky.
Interviewer: But you have to have talent to meet the luck, right?
Somebody hands you the ball and you run. So ambition was a dirty word to me because it felt like you were working for some gain or material…
Evan: He’s widely regarded as one of the world’s biggest film stars. He rose to prominence in his role in a 1980’s tv series, 21 Jump Street where he quickly became a teen idol.
He was listed in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid actor earning over 75 million dollars.
He’s Johnny Depp and here’s my take on his top ten rules of success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. And you guys know the drill, if you hear something that Johnny says that really inspires you please leave it in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well. Enjoy.
Rule #1: Celebrate Every Moments
If we could celebrate every breath that we take, because nothing’s a guarantee. If we can celebrate the breath and the exhale, which is, being alive, without you know, “Oh my car won’t start. Oh geeze, you know,” “the cat dropped dead.” “I think I need a lobotomy.”
I mean, there are things that are very very important in life that we, we just, we don’t think about, you know? And one of the most worrisome things that I went through for years, you’re freaked out about your past, you’re worried, you’re scared to death of the future, and that’s all you’re thinking about. And the now doesn’t exist. You know? And I think that’s a grave mistake that we make.
Rule #2: Keep Moving Forward
One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten in my life was from my mom, you know, when I was a little kid. There was a kid that was bugging me, you know, in school. She said, “Okay, I’m going to tell you what to do.” She said, “The kid’s bugging you, he puts his hands on you,” “you pick up the nearest rock, or whatever you can get” “your hands on, and you lay him out.” And I did. And I felt better. And it worked.
“I promised myself that I would continue to move forward, and do my best not to compromise in any way whatsoever, you know, not allow anyone to put their hands on me, and affect me in that way.” – Johnny Depp
So, for me, you know, that was a great lesson, cause someone had invaded my space, invaded my being, you know, and doing something against me that I didn’t want to be done, so I took control of the situation, and I ran with it. And, um, many years later, after being, you know, turned into a product, you know, by a very huge corporation, that had their hands all over me, and I couldn’t escape it, you know.
I promised myself that I would continue to move forward, and do my best not to compromise in any way whatsoever, you know, not allow anyone to put their hands on me, and affect me in that way. So, that’s the best advice I think I can give, is just to keep moving forward, and don’t give a shit about what anybody thinks, just keep moving forward, and do what you have to do, for you.
Rule #3: Be Hungry
Interviewer: Paul Newman told me that any successful person, in any field, who in discussing their career, doesn’t use the word “luck” is a liar.
Oh, yeah, he’s absolutely right, yeah.
“I maintain the hunger, but not an ambition” – Johnny Depp
Interviewer: So you consider yourself lucky.
Very lucky, yeah.
Interviewer: But you have to have talent to meet the luck, right?
If somebody hands you the ball, and you run, you know, and if you get hit, you get hit. Or maybe you make it through, you never know. But I just know that somebody handed me the ball at a certain point, and I was hungry enough to keep running.
And I’m still running. I maintain the hunger, but not an ambition. You know, I’m very happy to explore all possibilities of a character, and really dive in to the role, I mean, to the point of where Disney wanted to fire me.
Interviewer: They wanted to fire you from Pirates?
They couldn’t understand what I was doing. They didn’t understand the character. They were actually contemplating subtitling the film, you know.
Rule #4: Be Passionate
Interviewer: And you went to play music when you quit school, you didn’t go to become an actor.
I had already started playing the guitar at the age of 12, I felt a passion for, yeah, it was the first real passion that I had. And I can safely say because I felt then that the word ambition has become dirty. You know?
Because ambition somehow implies that there is.. I know. I know, I know. Cry. I’ll probably be crying in about 10 minutes. So ambition’s a dirty word to me, because it felt like you were working for some gain, or some material, or some status, or, so I literally don’t remember going through puberty, because I locked myself in a room at the age of 12, 12-13, and just played the guitar, and learned things off records, and taught myself how to play. And it was my life. And it was the only solace, it was the only sanctuary, it was the only security, it was my first love.
Rule #5: Define Success For Yourself
Interviewer: At the end of our session yesterday, you said, “Thank you to Scott for reviving my career,”
“Every character that you play as long as you’ve reached that, you’ve arrived at that place where you believe is the right place to be for the character and if you feel you’ve done service to the director, to yourself, to the author, then to me, that’s a success. ” – Johnny Depp
Interviewer: And I don’t know if that’s in jest, because I’ve never had the impression that you, you’re desperate for Box Office.
I’m begging for it. It’s been the thrust of my interest since day one, since I was about 19. Yeah, that’s all I care about. 20 years of failures will do that to you.
Interviewer: But, on a different level, why do you say that, and how do you feel when you choose a role that ends up satisfying you that this one clearly did.
Well, you know, for me, with every character that you play as long as you’ve reached that, you’ve arrived at that place where you believe is the right place to be for the character and if you feel you’ve done service to the director, to yourself, to the author, then to me, that’s a success. Box Office is kind of, that’s something else, that’s certainly none of my business. Once I’m wrapped on a film, it’s just to say good bye to the character, and then move forward.
Rule #6: Stay Authentic
How ironic is it that, you know,
Interviewer: You were pumping gas.
I was pumping gas, most definitely. Printing T-shirts, and selling ink pens, and you know, anything and everything. Yeah, and then the fact that you have a 20 year career of failures, and then you do a Pirate movie, and that buys you an island, the irony of that is pretty…
Interviewer: Do you think about the times when things weren’t so good a lot?
Yeah, yeah. But I, you know, there was a guy that I worked with many years ago, and we were talking about success and money, and all that stuff, and he told me this one thing, he said, “Money doesn’t change anybody. Money reveals them.” Same thing with success. And I believe that wholeheartedly, I think I’ve been revealed, I don’t think I haven’t changed, I’m still exactly the same guy that used to pump gas. I’m still the guy that was a mechanic for a minute. I just happen to have a weirder job at the moment.
Rule #7: Be Creative
When I was approaching the character of Willy Wonka, you know, we all grew up with the Gene Wilder version, and it’s fantastic. It’s fantastic. But you know, I mean, why go in that direction. It’s been done. Why repeat. Why? So I found my own version. And, my version was, I kept thinking of children’s television hosts that scared me.
Because they’re unpredictable, and they have that very everything was okay. And it wasn’t okay. But so, I used these children television hosts sort of ideas and then the other ingredient that I thought was what really found the character, I thought of George W. Bush. If he were incredibly stoned. But like not just uncomfortably stoned. Past what could have been the uncomfortable paranoia stage where he just sort of doesn’t know what he’s saying.
Interviewer: Okay, Mad Hatter. Who is you’re Mad Hatter?
Um, the Mad Hatter was basically a kind of a this is real weird. So my kids had a tutor. We were on the road, working you know, so we had this tutor, her name’s Katherine. She’s one of those English people, very proper, but Katherine would talk to you, she had a little bit of a thing in her voice, so I sponged her up as much as I could, because what I loved about her was she would sort of talk to you like this, you know, some people even avert their eyes, they actually close their eyes when they’re looking at you, right? You guys have felt that before? It’s weird. So, I used Katherine, because when she closed her eyes, she’s looking at you, and let you know it was very, very important. (audience laughs) She’ll probably find this out tomorrow and there will be a lawsuit.
Rule #8: Do It For The Right Reason
“Everything that I’ve been lucky enough to do, I did for the right reason.” – Johnny Depp
There were other things that I probably should have done, not from my perspective, I mean from my point of view I did the right things. Every film that I’ve done, I’m happy that I made that choice I don’t have any regrets, whatsoever. But I mean, in terms of sustaining Box Office bank ability, I should have done a few other things that I didn’t do, but I’m glad I didn’t do them.
Because it wouldn’t have been you.
Yeah, but it would have been for the wrong reason. Everything that I’ve been lucky enough to do, I did for the right reason.
Rule #9: Make People Smile
“I think probably the best benefit of my job is to help. To make people smile” – Johnny Depp
You have to realize that whatever your day is, whatever you’re doing, whatever your job is, whatever people think of you or project you to be, none of it matters, really, until you look round, and see people who are in need. And I think probably the best benefit of my job is to help. To make people smile, who otherwise wouldn’t or couldn’t have a smile on their face. So yeah, that’s my idea.
Rule #10: Praise Others
I saw Crazy Heart, and I saw Jeff Bridges who is obviously a brilliant brilliant actor, and is capable of so much. But what I saw of Jeff Bridges was so brave, and so and the only way that one can arrive at that arena, is because you have a director who’s brave.
And is open to, like I said, the idea of chance. And Scott and I talked about working together, I was desperate to work with the guy, and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, I’ve never experienced a director like this.
He doesn’t allow the audience to feel the camera, to notice the camera, he makes the camera breath, as if it’s another person.
You never really even notice these fancy kind of shots. He would do huge, huge scenes with a lot of people in the water, and it was so freeing, so magnificent to play that, because you have this extended period of time where it’s almost like you’ve got seven minutes of play almost.
It blew me away. I’m thinking, “This is this guy’s “third film. It’s his third film. And he’s a master, “like he’s a master.” Truly, and if phone books still existed, I would film the phone book with the man.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed. I made this video because wholistic_Nagef asked me to, so if there’s a famous entrepreneur you want me to profile next, leave in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
And also really love to know what did Johnny say that really left a mark on you, what was the biggest lesson that you took from this that you will immediately apply to your life or business? Leave it in the comments, and I’m going to join in the discussion.
Finally, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Jennifer Price. Jennifer, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book and posting it on Facebook, I really really appreciate it.
So thank you guys again for watching, I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see you soon.
Embrace Your Inner Madness
Man: This is either Madness or brilliant.
It’s remarkable how much those two tend to coincide.
There’s crazy, there’s insanity, there’s delirium, there’s, I’m mean, but it’s, to me, it’s only madness and maybe a touch of insanity that, that one can access. And, to be aware of it growing up doesn’t, it didn’t feel particularly great. But, I think it’s led me somehow, to where I am today.
I’m not saying that I’m completely mad, although, I’ve been accused of that many times over the years, but, I don’t know. I hope that people will, if they do have that tendency, that they can find a way to embrace it, and use it to their, not advantage, let’s say, in a, even in a creative sense. Use it in a creative sense if you can, but, use that to find your way to be able to stand on solid ground.
Pave Your Way
“I’m happy with the process, is what I’m interested in. The process of creating. The process of exploring. The process of breaking formula. ” – Johnny Depp
Interviewer: You’ve never seen any of your films ever.
I tried to see one once. Because the director asked me to. My wife, Amber, can attest to this because her elbow was very busy that night. And I was sitting next to her, and the Director’s wife is here, the Director’s here, I fell asleep 35 times. (audience laughs) And I got this. “Wake up.”
Interviewer: But part of the reason is being in the moment, when you’re acting, and after, you don’t want to…
I feel the experience. I’m happy with the process, is what I’m interested in. The process of creating. The process of exploring. The process of breaking formula. The process of dropping the bottom out of a scene, because people can get stale. And I feel that’s the wrong place to be. So, I’m interested in, and always have been interested in, trying to avoid what was expected. And Edward Scissorhands was certainly the first real opportunity for me to feel like I was standing on firm ground. Cry Baby was important. Edward Scissorhands was the first time that I felt Okay. I’m solid. I can start hacking through, paving my way.