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Face Off: Johnny Depp vs. Brad Pitt

04.17.2014by: Dave Davis
Last week's Face-Off column had a pair of epic fantasy tales against each other, and most of you agreed that the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy had the advantage of the still-unfolding saga "Game of Thrones".

This weekend, Johnny Depp achieves a higher consciousness in the sci-fi thriller TRANSCENDENCE, so let's see how he holds up against another A-list sex symbol with considerable acting ability -- Brad Pitt.

(Please note: Face Off is an opinion column. We're not using any actual science to prove or disprove anything. It's just for fun.)
EARLY WORK
Depp had supporting roles in the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and Oliver Stone's PLATOON before he grabbed his badge and Clearasil for four seasons of high school cop show "21 Jump Street"
After some television work (including appearances on "21 Jump Street" and "Freddy's Nightmares", coincidentally), Pitt had scene-stealing roles as a notably shirtless crook in THELMA & LOUISE and perpetually stoned roommate Floyd in TRUE ROMANCE
FRANCHISE
As the wily and perpetually inebriated Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp has his bona fide blockbuster series with four PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN movies -- and another on the way.

A follow-up to the worldwide smash ALICE IN WONDERLAND is also in the works, with Depp returning to the psychedelic realm as Mad Hatter.

(He also briefly popped up in the 21 JUMP STREET movie, more than two decades after graduating from the TV show)
Pitt went on three major heists as a charming partner-in-crime for OCEAN'S ELEVEN, OCEAN'S TWELVE and OCEAN'S THIRTEEN.

A sequel is also in development for the successful zombie apocalypse WORLD WAR Z, although it remains to be seen if Pitt returns to save what's left of the world.
MAJOR AWARD RECOGNITION
Oscar nominations for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, FINDING NEVERLAND and SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Golden Globe nominations for EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, BENNY & JOON, ED WOOD, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, FINDING NEVERLAND, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and (somehow) THE TOURIST

Golden Globe winner for SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Depp may have more Golden Globe nominations, but it seems like the Hollywood Foreign Press just adores him in general, to the point that it can't really be taken seriously. C'mon now -- THE TOURIST?
Oscar nominations for 12 MONKEYS, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and MONEYBALL

Oscar winner for 12 YEARS A SLAVE (as producer)

Golden Globe nominations for LEGENDS OF THE FALL, BABEL, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and MONEYBALL

Golden Globe winner for 12 MONKEYS and 12 YEARS A SLAVE (as producer)

FREQUENT COLLABORATORS
Depp has joined director Tim Burton eight times (to varying results): EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, ED WOOD, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CORPSE BRIDE, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and DARK SHADOWS.

Somehow in between his Burton projects, he's also found time to hook up with director Gore Verbinski on five movies: the first three PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN adventures, the animated RANGO and THE LONE RANGER.
Pitt has united with director Steven Soderbergh on OCEAN'S ELEVEN through THIRTEEN, along with chum George Clooney, who he joined on screen in BURN AFTER READING (and provided a cameo for Clooney's feature directing debut CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND).

He's also done the hat trick with filmmaker David Fincher on SEVEN, FIGHT CLUB and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (plus one beer commercial).
BEING BAD
Besides his cheerfully unscrupulous Captain Jack Sparrow (and his shady CIA agent from ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO), Depp played a weepy gang leader in John Waters' musical comedy CRY-BABY, engaged in narcotic debauchery as Hunter S. Thompson in Terry Gilliam's FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, smuggled tons of cocaine in BLOW, robbed banks as notorious criminal John Dillinger in PUBLIC ENEMIES, and sliced those who wronged him in SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Some time after swiping Susan Sarandon's cash in THELMA & LOUISE, Pitt murdered his way across country in KALIFORNIA, played an unhinged animal-rights activist in 12 MONKEYS, butted heads with Harrison Ford as an IRA fugitive in THE DEVIL'S OWN, drank deep of the warm crimson wine in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, prompted pugilism and mayhem in FIGHT CLUB, redistributed lots of money in three OCEAN'S movies, killed for money as husband/assassin in MR. & MRS. SMITH, showed no mercy to Nazis in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, made a poor attempt at blackmail in BURN AFTER READING, and cleaned up problems as a hitman in KILLING THEM SOFTLY
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
Depp got plenty of the gals on his side thanks to romantic roles like CHOCOLAT, BENNY & JOON, DON JUAN DEMARCO, but also handled a mentally challenged Leonardo DiCaprio in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, sought a devil-summoning book in THE NINTH GATE, went undercover with the mob in DONNIE BRASCO, created Peter Pan in FINDING NEVERLAND, tracked Jack the Ripper in FROM HELL, experienced major writer's block in SECRET WINDOW, and graciously stepped in (along with Jude Law and Colin Farrell) for the late Heath Ledger to complete Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS
As with Depp, Pitt made a strong case for capturing the ladies' collective hearts with LEGENDS OF THE FALL, MEET JOE BLACK and SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, but also knew how to throw a punch in SNATCH, went to war in TROY, got caught in espionage in SPY GAME, led Old West outlaws in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, figured out how to put together a winning team in MONEYBALL, helped a guy out of a seriously bad situation in 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and probably deserves some tiny bit of credit for keeping a straight face opposite a cartoon Kim Basinger in COOL WORLD
SIGNIFICANT OTHER
After a lengthy relationship with French actress/singer Vanessa Paradis, Depp recently traded way younger for bombshell up-and-comer Amber Heard, his co-star in THE RUM DIARY
Pitt spent quality time with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston before settling with his sexy MR. & MRS. SMITH wife Angelina Jolie, with whom he's been creating/collecting kids ever since
BOX OFFICE
$8 billion career total worldwide
$6.5 billion career total worldwide
IT'S A TIE!
Though his cheekbones and chiseled abs initially got him into the spotlight, Pitt seemed determined to show he was more than a pretty face. He more than proved it with 12 MONKEYS and his Fincher partnerships, and has demonstrated entertaining diversity ever since. Depp has also exhibited a chameleon-like range (including an actual chameleon) over the course of his impressive career. He's definitely lost a bit of shine lately, but it's no exaggeration to say there's sufficient quality in his filmography that he can coast for a while. They've both had enough high points to make it too close to call!

Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

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