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Johnny Depp: Selling Pens

"I was selling pens," Johnny Depp once recalled of his first job. "You're calling people who don't want you to call them. You put on your best fake voice and try and sell them a gross or two of ballpoint pens with their name printed on them. First you say, 'Congratulations. you have just become eligible to win a grandfather clock' -- or a trip to Greece or a Jacuzzi or whatever.

"I only had success one time. The name I used was Edward Quartermaine, the guy from General Hospital. I said, 'This is Edward Quartermaine. How are you doin' out there today?' It was a whole script. He was from the South, and you talk about pork and stuff like that, and I hooked him. He said, 'Okay, I'm in! And the grandfather clock?' I said, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' 'The trip to Greece?' I said, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' And then I gave it up. I said, 'Listen, the grandfather clock is made of cardboard. It's a piece of shit, and you'll never get the trip to Greece -- it won't happen. So f--- it, it was nice talking to you. And he said, 'Okay!'"

[Depp was still selling pens when Nicolas Cage suggested that he try acting. He met with an agent and, on his first audition, got a part in Nightmare on Elm Street. He dropped out of his band (Rock City Angels) -- and soon learned that they had signed a $6.2 million-dollar record contract with Geffen for seven albums -- "the biggest deal out in L.A. since Madonna's." Fortunately, Depp's acting career took off...]

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