“Do it while you can”: Johnny Depp Has Regret Not Taking Marlon Brando’s “Frightening” Advice

When Marlon Brando's words of wisdom touched Johnny Depp deeply.

"Do it while you can": Johnny Depp Has Regret Not Taking Marlon Brando's "Frightening" Advice


  • Marlon Brando advised Johnny Depp to study Shakespeare and put his Hollywood career on hold to fulfill his one wish.
  • Depp agreed to follow Brando's advice and take a break from movies to escape and focus on theatres to fulfill the late actor's desire to play Hamlet.
  • Despite his desire, Depp found it challenging to take the risk and venture into the theatrical role because of his fear of failing miserably.
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Willing to put his Hollywood career on hold, Johnny Depp wished to live out late actor Marlon Brando’s desire. Appearing in back-to-back blockbusters, Depp recalled how he was extremely busy with his projects when Brando offered him a piece of advice. 

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Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp

Speaking with The Telegraph, Johnny Depp therefore revealed what Marlon Brando once told him. Sharing the late icon’s words of wisdom, Depp mentioned how the actor asked him to study Shakespeare and perform while there was still time. Thus, the actor has been willing to act per Brando’s advice. 


Also read: Starring in $214M Johnny Depp Movie Made Everyone Treat Christian Bale “Like a freak”

Marlon Brando’s Advice For Johnny Depp

Making back-to-back appearances on the big screen, Johnny Depp turned into a global icon in no time. Following his role in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, the actor became all the more popular among fans and ventured deeper into cryptic roles, like Edward Scissorhands and Willy Wonka. 

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise
Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

However, after making several acclaimed projects, Johnny Depp once expressed his desire to put his Hollywood career on hold so as to live out the dying wish of late movie actor Marlon Brando. Speaking with The Telegraph, the actor recalled how he was advised by the icon to take a break, enjoy life, and study Shakespeare while there was still time. 

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp wanted to fulfill Marlon Brando’s desire

Marlon wanted me to escape movies for a while. Take a year off. Go on. Study Shakespeare.” 

Wishing for Johnny Depp to escape movies for a while and focus on theatres, Marlon Brando offered his piece of advice to the star. And ever since then, although Depp had a successful film career, he deeply wanted to fulfill Brando’s desire. 


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Johnny Depp Wanted to Live Out Marlon Brando’s Desire

Recalling how Marlon Brando wanted to play Hamlet but was too late to play the Shakespearean role, Johnny Depp stated that he didn’t want to miss out on his chance. Especially since several of his colleagues like Keanu Reeves and Ralph Fiennes have played the particular role, even Depp wanted to try out for himself. 


So it’s one of the things that keep ricocheting around in my head. He told me that by the time he had got to the point where he felt he could do Hamlet, it was too late. So he said, ‘Do it now, do it while you can.’” 

Marlon Brando in The Godfather
Marlon Brando advised Depp to take a break from Hollywood and study Shakespeare

Therefore, Johnny Depp had been desperately trying to fulfill the late actor’s desire. However, the actor found it a sort of a challenging risk for his career. But somehow, despite his fear, Depp wanted to take the risk and venture into the theatrical role. 

I would like to do it – although it’s one of the more frightening ideas I’ve had. I think as an actor it is good to feel the fear of failing miserably. I think you should take that risk. Fear is a necessary ingredient in everything I do.” 

Depp wanted to play Hamlet as per Brando’s advice

But if I do Hamlet it will probably be in a small theatre on a small stage and it will have to be very, very soon because I’m getting a little long in the tooth for it.” 

Despite expressing his desire to play Hamlet in 2006, it’s been decades, and yet Johnny Depp never got the opportunity to play the role of Hamlet, as per his fan’s knowledge. Living in the regret of it, the actor still dreams of the role, especially after achieving a great deal of success with his Hollywood career. 


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Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1000 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.