'George Bush stoned' was Depp's Willy Wonka inspiration

Johnny Depp stars as Willy Wonka in 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory'. Photo / Supplied
Johnny Depp stars as Willy Wonka in 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory'. Photo / Supplied

Johnny Depp says thinking of an "incredibly stoned" George W Bush was his main inspiration to play Willy Wonka.

The Dark Shadows actor considered how the former US President might act if he was high when he was thinking about the best way to portray the fictional character in Tim Burton's 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and he loves injecting some "irreverence or absurdity" into his alter-egos.

The 48-year-old actor - who has also played Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow - said: "Certain ingredients you add to these characters - Willy Wonka, for example, I imagined what George Bush would be like...incredible stoned, and thus was born my version of Willy Wonka.

"Scissorhands was a combination, it was the idea of a newborn seeing things for the first time and also a dog that I had and the unconditional love and purity in my dog.

"Anywhere that you can find a moment of irreverence or absurdity, I'll stick it right in there - sometimes to the dismay of the director."

Despite his fondness for absurdity, Johnny insists he would "rather swallow a bag of hair" than dance on camera.

During a discussion about dancing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he explained: "I fear it more than anything in the world. I'd rather swallow a bag of hair."

- Bang! Showbiz

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