Johnny Depp, King of Sexual Ambiguity

The Mad Hatter is the latest in a long line of gender-bending roles
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2010 11:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Johnny Depp is routinely lauded for playing “unconventional” characters, “but here unconventional is code for ‘sexually ambiguous.’” And yet Depp—who approaches “role after role as installments in a serial drag show”—has remained “more popular than ever, bending popular notions of gender and movie stardom while remaining safe for the likes of Disney,” writes Eric Hynes on Slate.

Depp’s characters are “neither here nor there. From hetero cross-dressers and goth-chic beauticians to swishy pirates, mop-topped reclusive bachelors, and flighty Victorian dandies, Depp's characters accentuate the ambiguous.” And it all comes to a head with his turn in Alice in Wonderland—his Mad Hatter is “already one of the fruitiest characters in the history of Western literature.” View some other examples in the gallery.

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