Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka Inspiration? A "Stoned" George W. Bush!

Actor tells Ellen DeGeneres how he got into character as Wonka and Edward Scissorhands

By Rebecca Macatee May 09, 2012 3:10 PMTags

When Johnny Depp needed some inspiration for playing Willy Wonka, he looked to a former president of the United States: George W. Bush.

"Certain ingredients you can add to these characters—Willy Wonka, for example, I imagined what George Bush would be like incredibly stoned," he said Monday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "And thus was born my version of Willy Wonka."

DeGeneres and her audience laughed at the mention of Willy Wonka and Bush in the same sentence. "The next time I watch that movie, which I think we're all going to watch it again now, that's what George Bush would look like incredibly stoned."

As for the other iconic characters Depp actor has played?

"[Edward] Scissorhands was really like a combination—really like, a newborn seeing things for the first time and also the dog that I had," the 48-year-old actor said. "This dog that I had had, this unconditional love and this sort of purity in my dog. Those were the basic ingredients."

DeGeneres praised Depp for "the humor" he adds to the characters he plays.

"Anywhere that you can find a moment of irreverence or absurdity, I can stick it right in there," he said laughingly. "Sometimes to the dismay of the director and certainly the studio."