Johnny Depp: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

4. Gilbert Grape - What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Though he's overshadowed in every way by Leonardo DiCaprio's stunning, Oscar-nominated performance as Gilbert's mentally challenged brother Arnie, Depp is a perfectly-picked everyman to make this wonderfully affecting story work.

Depp, who was by this point well known for playing youthful drifter-type characters, plays the part to a T, an affable character who nails down the film's earnest yet genuinely emotive tone.

It would have been easy for Depp's titular character to just be seen as a bit of a weirdo, yet Depp digs his heels in and imbues some subtle nuances into the character that make his relationship with his family - or as is often the case, his lack of it - thoroughly engaging.

DiCaprio may have taken the lion's share of the praise, but such a volcanic performance always needs a more sturdy ballast behind it, and that is Depp's superbly-played task here.


Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at]