May 08, 2012 8:16pm PT by THR Staff
Johnny Depp Explains His 'Willy Wonka' Inspiration: A Stoned George Bush (Video)
As one of the most celebrated actors of his generation, Johnny Depp has embodied countless characters over his career. Most recently, Depp brings the blood-sucking Barnabas Collins back to life in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows remake.
The Depp-Burton duo has already teamed on a variety of memorable projects, including the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – in which Depp embodies a creepy new version of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka.
Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Depp shared his inspiration for the character – and his answer was unexpected, to say the least. “The idea behind Will Wonka, certain ingredients you add to these characters like Willy Wonka for example. I imagined what George Bush would be like incredibly stoned,” he said. “And, thus was born my version of Willy Wonka.”
Depp also looked back on one of his early film roles, Edward Scissorhands, saying that the loveable character was intended to reflect the qualities a newborn baby and a dog’s unconditional love.
See more from the appearance in the video below, in which Depp also says he’d rather “swallow a bag of hair” than dance.