“No way I can get away with this”: Johnny Depp Was Afraid of Losing His Job in Edwards Scissorhands

Although Johnny Depp thought he would not stay in the role for very long, we cannot imagine anyone else playing Edward Scissorhands.

johnny depp was afraid of losing his job in edwards scissorhands


  • Johnny Depp's iconic performances, including roles in popular franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and acclaimed films like Chocolat, are well-known.
  • However, Depp was initially afraid of being replaced in the movie Edward Scissorhands.
  • In an interview, he revealed that the director, Tim Burton, allowed everyone to rehearse except him
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Johnny Depp has given iconic performances that will live on in our hearts. His decades-long acting career includes roles in popular global franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean and critically acclaimed films such as Chocolat and Finding Neverland. Looking back on his stellar career, it appears that one movie—Edward Scissorhands—was the catalyst for it all, elevating him from a mere teen heartthrob to a serious Hollywood actor in demand.

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But was Tim Burton planning to replace Depp in Edward Scissorhands? Certainly, the actor thought so at the time. Depp stated in a 1999 interview that he was sure that he would be fired from the $86 million fantasy gothic romance film. 


He claimed that Burton gave a lot of artistic latitude to explore various options in Edward Scissorhands, as the director required everyone to rehearse before the movie was filmed. However, he did not rehearse Depp, which added to the actor’s anxiety regarding artistic freedom. As a result, the latter believed he would be replaced for a while. 

Johnny Depp in and as Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp in and as Edward Scissorhands

Also Read: “I’m the alpha vampire”: Johnny Depp’s Cheeky Dig at Robert Pattinson Backfired After His $245 Million Worth Vampire Movie Flopped Badly


Johnny Depp Was Afraid of Being Replaced in Edward Scissorhands

Johnny Depp, the Golden Globe Award-winning actor, discussed his insecurities during his initial collaboration with Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton in an interview with Charlie Rose. The latter would practice with the entire cast during the filming, except Depp, the actor disclosed. He went on to say that nobody knew exactly what he was going to do. In Depp’s words,

“He didn’t know exactly what I was going to do when I walked on the set, the same thing with Ed Wood. In fact, I spent the first two weeks of Ed Wood and Scissorhands and Sleepy Hallow thinking I was going to be fired, that I was going to be replaced. Because, I just thought, ‘There’s no way I can get away with this. But luckily Tim was happy with the stuff, and I didn’t lose my job.”

Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands

Rose found himself in shock at what he was hearing during the interview. Still, Depp said it was true, or at least that was how he felt at the time. Analyzing the interview, which is now over five years old, reveals interesting things about the actor’s mindset at that particular juncture in his career. He continued with the part of his story starring Tom Hanks. 


According to A Nightmare on Elm Street actor,

“… One afternoon while everyone was off rehearsing. There were two young girls at the door, and I thought, Oh, they found me, and maybe they want me to sign something; I don’t know. So, I opened the door and said, How do you do? and they said, Hi. Is Tom Hanks here?..And I was convinced that Hanks would be replacing me. I was convinced. It was one of the most frightening moments in my career.”

Also Read: The Legendary American Star Johnny Depp Hates For ‘Right-Wing, Radical’ Views: “This kinds of sounds anti-American, but…”


Tim Burton Was Impressed By Johnny Depp’s ‘Strength and Stamina’

Johnny Depp's Edwards Scissorhands
Johnny Depp’s Edwards Scissorhands

This was the first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton on Edward Scissorhands, while other prominent actors, such as Tom Cruise, were considered for the role. However, there was something about Depp that appealed to Burton. The latter explained to the New York Times how the Platoon actor struck the right chord.

“Here was a guy who was perceived as this thing — this Tiger Beat teen idol. But just meeting him, I could tell, without knowing the guy, he wasn’t that as a person. Very simply, he fit the profile of the character.. I was impressed by his strength and stamina.”

It turned out that there were other hidden mysteries in the Edward Scissorhands set besides Depp’s fear of losing his job. His co-star, Winona Ryder was initially nervous about working with the actor because she was so focused on making an impression on him.


According to Winona Ryder The Biography (via Micky.com.au), Ryder acknowledged:

“Working with Johnny turned out to be great, but I was scared and nervous about it. I mean, if there’s one person that I want to impress with my acting, it’s him..”

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in 20th Century Fox's Edwards Scissorhands
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in 20th Century Fox’s Edwards Scissorhands

Remaining in the role of Edward Scissorhands was certainly a good thing for Depp because the movie went on to become a global hit and delight audiences. It was a financial success, making over four times its $20 million budget after receiving favorable reviews from critics.


Edward Scissorhands is streaming on Max.

Also Read: “You miss being that person”: Johnny Depp Missed Being Jack Sparrow So Much All He Wanted Was a Pirates Sequel


Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1000 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.