Looking Like Johnny Depp

I don't have any good photos to verify it but I happen to look a lot like Johnny Depp (apparently). I hear it at least once a week and, if I go out to bars or clubs, I'll hear it at least 10 times or more (literally). I can usually see it coming: "Has anyone ever told you...". So it's fair to say there's a resemblance although I personally don't see it.

I realise what a douchey thing that might sound for someone to say. Given I wear a hat, the same style glasses, a goatee, moustache and long hair it's fair to say that it's something I have a degree of control over. If I shaved all my facial hair and head it's probably a safe guess to say that I could choose to not look like him at all. So whilst not anyone can choose to resemble a famous actor you can often choose not to look like one fairly simply.

So why don't I change my appearance?

Here are the answers that apply


I went to a boarding school that had so many rules and traditional practices that ever since I left I've always worn my hair long. It's mostly subconscious but I'm aware that for the rest of my life I'll always feel a sense of appreciation that I can now choose such things.


My first job was as a teacher in middle school. I have always looked young and I was worried about being taken seriously by the students and being seen as an authority figure in the classroom. I figured long hair and facial hair would solve that. I also didn't much like the administrators at the school where I worked in Korea and they subtly tried to pressure me into getting a hair cut. There were more mature ways to deal with it but the 24 year-old me chose to not get a hair cut for a year as a point of defiance.

It Suddenly Happened

I actually first had someone remark on the resemblance in 2011 or so. I had been sporting my look (without glasses) long before then. I never had a point in time where I needed to make a conscious decision whether or not to change based on there being a resemblance. It was never something I aimed for. I just kept dressing the way I dress and one day I started getting comments. I guess I just grew in that direction.

Why reinvent the wheel?

I don't care much for fashion or style for it's own sake. I care insomuch as others seem to so I recognise it has some sort of value in getting things done. Rightly or wrongly people will judge you to some degree depending on how you present yourself. I can't change that nor can I worry too much if they disapprove either.

I just do my best to put a good foot forward and leave it at that.

Johnny Depp has to look good for his career to work. So, if it's all the same to you, I'll just follow his lead in the fashion department and save myself from having to think about it. If it works for him it will work for me and, last I checked, he's pretty universally popular so why would I try and reinvent the wheel? The connotations work for me and once people to get to know me then they'll see me as my own person anyway.

But let's get to the questions you really want to ask:

Does it get you laid?

No. It doesn't. Not directly, anyway. If there's one thing that's super-lame, it's thinking that looking like someone famous will get you laid. I can't think of a stronger way to demonstrate lower self esteem than that. It's also pretty idiotic if you think about it for more than 2 seconds. Just think step-by-step how that would actually work. It doesn't.

One of my exes actually didn't like Johnny Depp. That had nothing to do with why we dated but I kind of liked that she thought that.

Yes, I do get good looking women saying it to me but generally it's just a comment and then they get distracted by some other shiny object and that's that. Smart girls don't mention it - at least not straightaway. Indirectly I do get into a lot more conversations and sometimes guys will see me in the club and want to take me to meet the girls they came there with and introduce me. It's a bit bizarre to be honest and it mostly just makes things awkward for all involved. It's usually fine and it's coming from a positive place so it's not a big deal.

The truth is 90% of the time if I'm out and about then it's a bunch of drunk guys who want to talk to me about it. Also, I am so rarely out these days anyway so I often only hear it from drunk people when I'm on the train home from Fishburners.

In any event, even if it did get me laid that's not something I would want. Call me old fashioned but I want a girl who wants me not a proxy server.

Are the glasses real?

Yes. I'm short-sighted and can't afford laser eye surgery.

Can you make money from it?

I've thought about it. Was going to do some sort of Jack Sparrow busking or kids parties but, to be honest, I'd rather it just became one of those footnotes in my biography, not the whole story. I have more to offer than that and besides, what if Johnny Depp gets into some scandal? Also, inevitably it will fade. He'll drift out of the lime light at some point or we just won't look alike anymore one day. What would I do then?

Imagine if I had any part of my identity tied into it?

Sorry, I'll pass.

There are more meaningful and interesting things to focus on in life and whilst it might be a cool party trick it's really nothing more than that for me. I'm not saying it doesn't have it's upsides - I have been picked out of lines before and invited by bouncers/managers to "come right this way Mr. Depp". I think they do that more to have something to talk about over drinks with colleagues after they knock off. But at the end of the day, some truly fun and bizarre stories aside, it's just not a big deal in the way some people think it is.

Update: I was in Las Vegas recently and my buddy took a photo of me with a Johnny Depp impersonator. I'm on the right: