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©AP / Johnny Depp
© AP / Johnny Depp
Depp at 50: Just happy to still be around

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- It may be difficult to separate Johnny Depp from his Jack Sparrow "Pirates" character, but the actor recalls a time before the boozy buccaneer became a household name.

"The films that I did prior to 'Pirates,' ... not everything, but a lot of it, was sort of by industry standards, not blockbuster stuff. So I wasn't ever blockbuster material," said Depp in a recent interview.

But that's not to say he didn't have fun during those years.

"I've been lucky enough to be involved in some very small and different independent films throughout my career, and I've been able to be involved in, you know, a couple of films that shocked everybody, especially me," he said.

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Since 2003, Depp has played the flamboyant captain in four hugely successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, with a fifth installment slated for 2015.

At age 50, he is still one the hottest names in Hollywood and is about ready to launch another big-budget summer flick, "The Lone Ranger."

"The only thing I can equate it with is luck. There's no other reason," he said of his career longevity. "The fact that I was able to survive through that 15 years of just bouncing around doing (indie) movies and now still to end up here is amazing."

The Golden Globe-winning actor plays the famed Native American character Tonto in the upcoming Disney reboot of "The Lone Ranger," which is opening Wednesday. He said his children, Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11, can't wait to see it.

"They're pretty excited about this one," Depp said while promoting the film in Santa Fe, N.M., where part of the movie was filmed. "You know, of course, they thought it was insane when they watched me play Tonto, but now they're looking forward to this one."

Despite his success, Depp recognizes that life on Hollywood's A-list can be fleeting.

"I certainly wouldn't expect that it is one of those things that is going to stick around forever and ever," he said. "The clock ticks, the time's up and the next guy steps in or whatever, and that's how it goes."

When he's not busy making films, Depp said music continues to be his main inspiration. Writing, playing guitar and one-off performances with artists like Keith Richards, Aerosmith, Black Keys, Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson keep his creative juices flowing.

Depp says that in the last couple of years, he's had "sort of a rebirth of my relationship with music. So I've been playing more and writing more and it's led to invitations to play with people."

Depp, who celebrated his milestone birthday June 9, refuses to take a single day for granted.

"Just to be here still is pretty amazing," he said. "Every day should be some sort of celebration."

26Comments
Jul 3, 2013 2:02AM
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Baby, 50 ain't never looked so damn good!!!

Jul 3, 2013 1:30AM
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Good for you Johnny, keep up the excellent work.
Jul 3, 2013 2:01AM
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baloney, johnny depp has always been a household name in my home, ever since 21 jump street when i plastered my walls with his posters.  people actually have asked me if he was my brother because we look so much alike.  i love his talent, i love his look.  he has always been a blockbuster to his very first fans.

Jul 3, 2013 3:34AM
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A little known fact is that the interviewer is also a character played by Johnny Depp.

Jul 3, 2013 4:28AM
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Johnny Depp is on of the best actors on this planet!! He is great in everything he does. 
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