We've all heard the stories of how Disney execs were worried by Johnny Depp's performance in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie—that they felt his mumbling, Keith Richards-inspired delivery wouldn't be accepted by audiences. It turns out that was the least of Disney's worries about Captain Jack Sparrow.
According to Depp in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Disney also worried about the character's sexuality:
"I think it was Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time, who was quoted as saying, 'He's ruining the movie.' It was that extreme—memos, and paper trails, and madness, and phone calls, and agents, and lawyers, and people screaming, and me getting phone calls direct from, you know, upper-echelon Disney-ites, going, 'What's wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?"
Depp's answer to being asked about Sparrow's sexuality didn't go over too well:
"I actually told this woman who was the Disney-ite that called me about all that stuff, and asked me the questions, I said to her, 'But didn't you know that all my characters are gay?' Which really made her nervous."
But the film's phenomenal performance at the box office killed any concerns about Depp's performance on the screen, which calmed Disney down.
As usual, money talks.