What's It Really Like to Work with Johnny Depp? Actress Julianne Nicholson's Answer Might Surprise You

Johnny Depp and Julianne Nicholson lead
Photo: Mike Lawrie

Actress Julianne Nicholson has starred in films with some seriously sexy leading men: Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ethan Hawke and James Franco, to name just a few. But her teenage dream came true when she got to work with Johnny Depp in Black Mass last year. (Depp is up for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for the role next weekend!)

We sat down with the actress at the Sundance Film Festival, where she was promoting her new movie Sophie and the Rising Sun and she gave us a hint at what Depp is like really behind the scenes—and why he’s still one of the sexiest men alive.

“I have loved Johnny Depp since I was in high school and he was in 21 Jump Street,” Nicholson gushed. “I thought he dropped from heaven. I just couldn’t believe it, his face was everything to me.” We’re pretty sure girls everywhere echoed that feeling when Depp sky-rocked to fame in the 1987 television show.

Julianne Nicholson of 'Sophie and the Rising Sun' poses for a portrait at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Getty Images Portrait Studio Hosted By Eddie Bauer At Village At The Lift on January 23, 2016 in Park City, Utah
Maarten de Boer

What Nicholson couldn’t have imaged then is that she would not only star with Depp later, she would also have one of the most intense and memorable scenes with him in Black Mass, when Depp’s character, notorious Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, confronts and threatens Nicholson’s character, Marianne Connolly, in her bedroom.

“The scene is written so you have an idea of what is going to happen but you never really know until it's playing out. You could feel like an energy and something there which is sort of thrilling,” Nicholson said of the day they filmed it. “He’s so damn sexy that even in all that prosthetics I was still, like, hot for him. I could see him nowhere under there but I was still like, that’s Johnny Depp!”

As for what the actor is really like on-set, Nicholson surprised us. “He is kind of shy actually, which I find so charming,” she said of the actor, now 52, who has been in the public eye since his early twenties. “He was so nice and generous.”

Johnny Depp Stella McCartney

Add multi-talented to that description. Depp also plays guitar and even rocked out with Marilyn Manson at designer Stella McCartney’s recent L.A. fashion show, pretty much solidifying his place in heartthrob history.

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