The 7 Greatest (True) Johnny Depp Stories Ever Told

Johnny Depp is a bad*ss. Here are some of the greatest things he's ever done (off-screen). Some of these Johnny Depp stories are hard to believe but most have indisputable proof; they are all amazing and sound exactly like the kind of awesome thing the most lavish, eccentric celebrities (that we actually like) would do. From surprising a little girl at her school to stopping a mugging with a single look to saving a horse he rode in a movie, here are the greatest (true) Johnny Depp stories.

Photo: Denis Makarenko /

  • He Surprised A Jack Sparrow Fan At Her School After Receiving Her Letter

    He Surprised A Jack Sparrow Fan At Her School After Receiving Her Letter
    Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Celebrities receive tons of fan mail every day, and after being famous for decades like Depp, most people would be pretty jaded or out of touch with their fans by now. But when nine-year-old Beatrice Delap wrote "Captain Jack Sparrow" a letter asking him to help her and her other classmates stage a "mutiny" against their teachers, she was smart enough to give him the name of her school and signed it "Beatrice Delap, aged nine, a budding pirate."

    Since he was in the area filming Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Depp decided to visit the school while still in full costume. Without warning to the school, the kids, or the teachers, Depp arrived at her school in full Jack Sparrow character and dress. Everyone was surprised, and no one had any idea why he was there – except for Beatrice.

    Depp asked for Beatrice and when she came forward, he whispered to her, "Maybe we shouldn't mutiny today 'cos there are police outside monitoring me." He gave Beatrice a hug, joked with the whole classroom about eating lots of candy and not brushing their teeth, never breaking character, and asked for a big round of applause for Beatrice. He then strutted out of the room and back into their imaginations.

  • He Stopped A Mugging With A Single Look

    On May 2, 2010, a man approached Stephen Jones holding a bottle in his hand and demanded the British singer's wallet. Depp just happened to be with Jones as the two had just finished a recording session together in Los Angeles. As soon as Depp saw the mugger, he stepped right in to his defense.

    Depp looked at the guy, using a stern gaze, and told him to back off. After a few seconds, when the mugger looked at Depp, he said, "I ain't stealing from Captain Jack." The thug put down his bottle and all was well.

    Depp gave him a few bucks and sent him on his way.

  • He Was Good Friends With Hunter S. Thompson

    He Was Good Friends With Hunter S. Thompson
    Video: YouTube

    One of the most memorable names in 20th century pop culture, Hunter S. Thompson (famed author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, creator of "Gonzo journalism," drug addict, and all-around anti-authority bad*ss) had a lot of friends in his later years (John Cusack, Bill Murray, Gary Busey, John Kerry, William F. Buckley, and more), but when it came to his death, few were as giving and dedicated as Johnny Depp.

    Depp financed Hunter S. Thompson's funeral entirely, and even fulfilled what were his buddy's pretty specific dying wishes.

  • He Once Wrecked A Hotel Room And His Own Billboard

    He Once Wrecked A Hotel Room And His Own Billboard
    Photo: 21 Jump Street / 20th Television

    In 1994, Depp was staying at a fancy New York hotel and completely wrecked his room. Like, furniture everywhere, broken glass, the works. Roger Daltrey (lead singer of The Who) was staying in the room next door and complained of the noise Depp was making.

    When police arrived at the scene, there was a smashed glass coffee table and other destroyed, mangled furniture in the $1,200-a-night suite. Depp, however, claimed that an armadillo leaped out of his closet and had done the damage. Yes, an armadillo. The alleged creature was never found.

    Another time, a security guard caught him vandalizing a 21 Jump Street billboard and was about to report him until he saw that it was the actor himself, defacing his own, well, face. Depp apparently didn't agree with the message that the billboard, featuring his own image, was communicating to children.

    The billboard featured Depp holding a gun with the slogan "Other Kids Pack Lunch" underneath it. He saw that and didn't like it, so he and his buddy decided to paint over it with some brushes and rollers. They ended up painting over the gun and turning Johnny into Groucho Marx.

    When the guard recognized who Depp was - and whose face Depp was painting on - he told him to hurry up and finish and left Depp and his friend alone.

  • He Saved Ichabod Crane's Horse

    He Saved Ichabod Crane's Horse
    Photo: Sleepy Hollow / Paramount Pictures

    When Depp took on the role of Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, he rode a horse who played the character "Gunpowder." After production, the one-eyed horse was to be destroyed, until Depp, upon hearing this news, adopted the horse, named Goldeneye, thereby saving him from the glue factory.

    Further proving his commitment to his loved ones, Depp donated the fee he earned for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus to Heath Ledger's daughter after his untimely death. After hearing Depp's idea, Jude Law and Colin Farrell did the same.

  • He Bought Over $62,000 Worth Of Jackets For The 'Pirates' Crew

    He Bought Over $62,000 Worth Of Jackets For The 'Pirates' Crew
    Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    On a rainy day on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Depp reportedly spent about $64,200 on warm jackets for all 500 of the crew members.

    Depp has also been very public about his love affair with wine, even sporting his famous tattoo "Wino Forever" (although it once said "Winona Forever" when the actor was dating fellow celebrity Winona Ryder). He is so enthusiastic for good wine, in fact, that he even flies crates of them to wherever he's filming for himself, the cast, and the entire film crew.

    He did this on the set of Public Enemies where he had ten crates of his homegrown wine (Yes, Depp even owns his own vineyard) flown in from France to keep him and the rest of the crew going.