Johnny Depp: ‘I was very nearly fired from ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean”

Disney execs 'didn't understand' his performance, which he famously based on Keith Richards

Johnny Depp has admitted that he came incredibly close to getting fired from the first Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

Disney executives, the actor recalled in an interview with Reveal, were baffled by his eccentric performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, which he famously based on The Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards.

“They couldn’t understand what I was doing. You know? To the point where Disney wanted to – wanted to fire me. They didn’t understand the character. They were actually contemplating subtitling the film,” Depp said.

Explaining just how narrowly he avoided the axe, Depp said: “I was probably as close to getting fired as anyone could be. I spoke to one of the execs at the time and said, ‘You’re right, you should fire me – but you’ll have to pay me for my time’.”

Depp was vindicated when Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Peal became a huge hit at the box office in 2003 and he earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Sparrow. The film has since spawned three sequels, two of which grossed over $1 billion (£650 million) at cinemas worldwide, and Disney has slated Pirates 5 for a July 2015 release.