In the early 90s, Johnny Depp wanted a new image and grabbed a role that Tom Cruise was supposed to play

Johnny Depp is one of the most famous actors of his generation. But he himself had little confidence in himself, especially in the early days, which is why he was surprised when he was able to land a coveted role.

What role is it? Johnny Depp has played many different roles throughout his career, just think of Captain Jack Sparrow, the Mad Hatter or Willy Wonka. They are often strange, eccentric characters.

Depp played some of them in the films of Tim Burton, with whom he has worked eight times. The stories that the director devotes himself to often tell of outsiders with a tendency toward eccentricity – perfect for Johnny Depp.

One of his best-known roles is that of the title character in Edward Scissorhands. The film dates from 1990 and tells the story of Edward, a human who was put together by a scientist and who has scissors instead of hands.

The film is a successful mix of tragicomedy and fantasy and was well received by audiences. On IMDb it has a rating of 7.9 from 526,020 reviews.

Today it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Johnny Depp in the lead role. But other actors were originally considered for the role.

Trailer for the Tim Burton classic “Edward Scissorhands”

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Johnny Depp prevailed against big names

Who should play Edward? Several big Hollywood stars were in the running for the role. According to, Depp says that Tom Cruise was close to getting the role. Tom Hanks and even the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, also applied for the role.

Johnny Depp received the script and read it. He was immediately enthusiastic and says today that it was exactly what he was:

The writing was beautiful. The character was beautiful. I think what attracted me emotionally was that Edward was me. It’s exactly what I was meant to do.

Johnny Depp via

At the beginning of the 90s, Depp had the image of a teen idol, and he wanted to change that. The dark role of Edwards seemed to be the perfect fit for that. However, there was a problem for him:

Tim Burton was on his way to becoming a star director. He had made Beetlejuice and Batman and had enjoyed success with them, even if the film about DC’s dark avengers was not understood by everyone. Then Edward Scissorhands was on his agenda. Johnny Depp thought that Burton would definitely not cast him if “everyone in Hollywood was after the role.”

Depp also had little confidence in his own abilities and even wanted to cancel the meeting with Burton. His agent is said to have asked in confusion: “Are you crazy?”

How did the story end? In the end, Depp was convinced to give the meeting a chance. Apparently, it went so well that Tim Burton agreed to give him the role.

It was worth it: The film was shot and Johnny Depp experienced his first really big success. He received a Golden Globe nomination and made seven more films with Tim Burton in the following years. One of them was Ed Wood, a relatively unknown film by the director, which nevertheless won several Oscars.

We can only speculate what the film would have looked like with Tom Cruise or Michael Jackson in the lead role. Ultimately, however, the character and Johnny Depp were a perfect match and gave the actor the opportunity to live out his eccentric nature on screen. Do you fancy watching films with him? On MeinMMO we have 7 spooky tips for you – recommended not just for Halloween.