Depp’s outrageous characters keep coming

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On the face of it, Johnny Depp has done all he can to scuttle his image as a sex symbol. He’s played a transvestite film director with a fetish for angora sweaters. He’s not only played a journalist, he’s played a journalist on drugs. He’s played any number of live-action cartoon characters, and given voice to actual cartoon characters (on “SpongeBob SquarePants,” for example). He’s played a barber with a grudge and a razor, and had the temerity to sing Stephen Sondheim.

Still, as a female friend likes to say: “Johnny Depp? He’s got it goin’ on.”

Yes, indeed. The actor, who returns to the screen Friday as the swashbuckling Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” has managed to maintain his status as a Hollywood star while defying every expectation of what such stardom requires. Expectations? What we expect at this point is weirdness. And we get it as these 10 Depp roles attest, in order of the most outrageous:

1. Ed Wood, the king of bad B movies, 1994

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2. Edward Scissorhands, a young man with scissors for hands, 1990

3. Bon Bon, a flamboyant, outrageously bewigged transvestite, in “Before Night Falls,” 2000

4. The Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” 2010

5. Willy Wonka in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” 2005

6. Sweeney Todd, a barber who killed his clients, in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” 2007

7. Raoul Duke, drug-addled and often hallucinating, in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” 1998

8. William Blake, an accountant who murdered a man and escaped west, in “Dead Man,” 1995

9. Jack Sparrow, definitely gay-accented, in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” 2003-2011

10. John Wilmot, the licentious 17th century poet, in “The Libertine,” 2004

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