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Jack Sparrow vs. Edward Scissorhands: Which Was Johnny Depp’s Best Role?

With Johnny Depp’s 59th birthday approaching, what better way to honor the erstwhile youth icon than to pick his best role? Since the 1980s, Johnny has played a bunch of interesting characters, but his most famous performances are undoubtedly the title character in “Edward Scissorhands” and Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The actor is well-known for both parts, but let’s see which one is, by a razor-thin margin, superior to the other:

1. Jack Sparrow: He is the most original, inventive character of all time.

Jack Sparrow with his jar of dirt.
Captain Jack Sparrow with his jar of dirt.

Pirate of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow is what Johnny Depp’s talent has made him. Johnny’s insistence not to walk the beaten path has resulted in him being among the most unique, clever, pleasantly unusual, surprising, and hilarious characters in film history. He’s utterly self-serving, yet in a hurry, he comes through gloriously. Captain Jack may act as though he doesn’t care about anything else except himself, but when it boils down to it, he does have a good soul.

2. Edward Scissorhands: He speaks little, but expresses so much.

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands.
Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands.

One of the things that makes Depp’s Edward so striking is how little he speaks all through the film. Edward is shown to communicate through his artwork, mannerisms, and scissors, except for a few sentences. When he is at peace, he creates, when he is unhappy, he ruins by accident, and when he is mad, he destroys intentionally. His mask-like face expresses minimal emotion, yet the shifts are enough to insinuate what he is thinking at the moment. To convey feelings in such a forceful and unique way is iconic in itself.

3. Jack Sparrow: He has undeniably interesting good looks.

Captain Jack Sparrow in his costume.
Captain Jack Sparrow in his costume.
With Jack Sparrow’s dreadlocks, eclectic mix of strange objects hanging down from his hair and belt, kohl-rimmed eyes, ringed fingers, and metallic teeth, it’s difficult to imagine just how surprising a vision he was, almost 20 years ago, when the first movie premiered. Furthermore, his manner of speaking and conducting himself was curiously unconventional. And even with all of these eccentricities, the character is endearing. You know the type of person who is jerk but you can’t seem to want to smack them? That’s Jack Sparrow for you. 

4. Edward Scissorhands: He’s a monster people sympathize with.

Edward Scissorhands hugging Kim.
Edward Scissorhands hugging Kim.

Many individuals find it easy to empathize with the monsters they see on television. Edward most clearly fits into this stereotype as a misinterpreted man-made Frankenstein monster. However, while other popular villain protagonists have some companions, Edward is left alone. It all comes full circle, bringing him back to where he was at the beginning of the film, but this time he is at peace.

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5. Jack Sparrow: He is the most underrated, brave genius in movie history.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Most people are unaware of how intelligent of a character Jack Sparrow is. They have no idea how courageous and clever the daring pirate is. People think of Jack Sparrow as a freewheeling eccentric who gets extraordinarily lucky all the time, yet this is far from the truth. All that he does, everything he achieves, is flawlessly executed throughout. He is not just wiser than he appears, but he is also very brave. His heroism and capacity to face his phobias are the results of his strengths, not of his recklessness or eagerness to die.

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