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Depp has taken on the task of challenging himself to portray "larger-than-life" roles, starting with a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon in 1986, then playing the title character in the romantic dark fantasy Edward Scissorhands (1990).He later found box office success in the fantasy adventure film Sleepy Hollow (1999), the fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and its sequels, the fantasy film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the fantasy film Alice in Wonderland (2010) and voicing the title character in the animated action comedy western Rango (2011).He is also of 3/2048 African descent, as he descends twice over from an African slave whose biracial daughter, Elizabeth Key Grinstead, was the first woman of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in North America to sue for her freedom from slavery and win (in 1655).He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success.
Depp subsequently collaborated with the band Rock City Angels the sister of his band's bass player and singer.
It was a critical and commercial success that established him as a leading Hollywood actor although Burton disapproved of the comment, Depp agrees with it. Depp had no film releases in the following two years, with the exception of a brief cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), the sixth installment in the A Nightmare of Elm Street franchise. In the romantic comedy Benny and Joon, he played an eccentric and illiterate silent film fan who befriends a mentally ill woman and her brother; it became a sleeper hit.
In his introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, Depp called Burton "... He then starred alongside Leonardo Di Caprio and Juliette Lewis in Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a drama about a dysfunctional family.
He has collaborated on nine films with director, producer and friend Tim Burton.
Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest film stars. Barrie in Finding Neverland, and the Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass.
Although it was not a box office success upon its initial release, over the years it has gained a cult classic status.