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Johnny Depp Shares How He Outperformed Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Michael Jackson for ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Key Points: 

  • Johnny Depp opened up about landing the iconic role of Edward Scissorhands in the 1990 film
  • He surprisingly beat out major stars like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and even Michael Jackson for the part
  • Depp initially had imposter syndrome and didn’t think Tim Burton would cast him

Despite feeling like an imposter at first, Johnny Depp managed to outperform some of Hollywood’s biggest names to land the lead role in the cult classic Edward Scissorhands in 1990.

How Johnny Depp Landed the Coveted ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Role

Johnny Depp in Ellen
Johnny Depp in Ellen

According to Deadline, Johnny Depp shared that he was up against actors like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and even music legend Michael Jackson for the titular role in Tim Burton’s gothic fantasy film. The actor admitted he had to “fight” against being pigeonholed as a teen idol from his 21 Jump Street days.

Depp felt the script for Edward Scissorhands “passed through everything, anything, solid and went to the very core of whatever I am.” However, given Burton’s rising star status and Hollywood’s interest, Depp didn’t think he stood a chance. “He’s never going to cast me when everyone in Hollywood is after the part,” Depp recalled thinking.

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Johnny Depp’s Journey to Become the Beloved ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl

The actor almost didn’t even go to the audition, planning to cancel the meeting until his agent convinced him otherwise. Depp remembered, “It was weird because there’s always that bastard in your skull that goes ‘Come on, man. You’re a TV actor guy.'”

Ultimately, Depp “finally gave in” and met with Burton, who cast him in the role that earned him his first Golden Globe nomination. The two would go on to collaborate on several other films, including Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, and Sweeney Todd.

READ MORE: Guide to ‘The Boys’ Season 4 Cast and Characters

The untitled Tim Burton docuseries, featuring Depp’s revelation, premiered on Monday, June 10, 2024, at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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