Johnny Depp Earned $14,889 Per Word After Beating Tom Cruise To Land Iconic Role Of Edwards Scissorhands When He Was A 27-Year-Old Struggling Actor


Tom Cruise was first cast by the studio to play Edward Scissorhands, but he misjudged the delicate nature of the material and the core of the heartbreaking tale.
Johnny Depp had his acting debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the most well-known and genuinely successful celebrities in the entertainment business. Despite the fact that he is currently recognized as one of the highest-paid performers of all time, this wasn’t always the case, particularly in his late 20s.

However, everything changed as soon as he bagged the role of Edward in Tim Burton’s 1990 masterpiece Edward Scissorhands, for which he got paid $14,889 for every word he spoke in the film. Not only this, but that was also the time when Johnny Depp beat Tom Cruise to bag the role at the age of 27!
Johnny Depp Earned A Whopping $14,889 Per Word For Edwards Scissorhands (1990)

While Johnny Depp is used to huge paydays like the $90 million per piece he earned for his five films from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series now that he has become incredibly famous, his starting paychecks weren’t that great–especially when he was a 27-year-old struggling actor.

But then came Tim Burton‘s Edward Scissorhands on his hands. In this, he played a humanoid named Edward, who had giant scissor blades for his hands. After his creator disowns him, he gets adopted by a suburban family, from where he starts to experience human emotions like love and care for other human beings all the while struggling to come to terms with his own true condition.

For this movie, which is considered to be among the best that the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory star has ever done, Depp received an astounding $14,889 for each line he said on screen. This adds up to an astounding $3 million payout for the amazing performer.


Even though this amount is completely astronomical when compared to Johnny Depp’s previous roles and their pay—for example, he earned $66,606 per word for Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which brought in a total of about $44 million—it is still a significant sum for someone who had hardly worked in the business.

Johnny Depp Beat Tom Cruise To Bag Edward Scissorhands

Though Johnny Depp ended up bagging the superhit film later, the studio’s initial choice for playing Edwards in Edward Scissorhands was Tom Cruise. Even though this went against the filmmaker’s wishes, who wanted The Tourist actor right from the beginning, Tim Burton still went ahead to discuss with the Mission: Impossible actor the prospect of the film.

That’s where all the problems started. Cruise asked a lot of pretty random questions about the story’s mechanics at that discussion, such as how Edward should consume his meal if his hands are made of enormous scissor blades, which had nothing to do with the movie’s premise.

As if that weren’t enough, the Top Gun star also requested that the film’s depressing conclusion be replaced with a more upbeat one. That turned off Burton a lot because he thought Tom Cruise had a basic misunderstanding of the delicate nature of the issue and the core of the tragic tale of Edward Scissorhands.

In comparison, Tim Burton felt that Johnny Depp, on the other hand, would do a better job in developing the character through his sensibility of Edward and the similar sense of humor that he shared with him. Thus, the Jeane du Barry actor was brought in, and Edward Scissorhands ended up becoming an impeccable masterpiece loved by fans worldwide.