Johnny Depp doesn’t know what time it is. Though he technically calls an adorable village in France home and owns an island in the Caribbean, the mercurial actor spends so much time working that his internal clock is all out of whack.

“I’ve been on location for so long that I don’t know what time zone I’m in. I could be in Puerto Rico at the moment,” he says before adding with a thoughtful grin, “I still sort of am.”

Depp has made a career out of embodying larger-than-life characters, making oddballs completely relatable. He has a surprisingly low number of turkeys on his packed resume from the last 25 years.

For every The Ninth Gate or Don Juan Demarco, there are plenty of films like Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape — and that’s even before getting into his work with Tim Burton.

“Most people when they hear Tim give me direction or we’re talking about the character on the set, people are baffled, completely befuddled,” Depp says of the director he’s worked with on some of his most famous roles.

They’re working again now, too, on Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland, in which Depp plays the Mad Hatter.

In his latest film, Public Enemies — out next week — Depp takes on the iconic role of celebrity outlaw John Dillinger, someone he found he could easily relate to.

“Dillinger was handed the ball and he just ran with it, which isn’t any different than what happened to me a very long time ago,” Depp explains. “You’re handed the ball, and you go as far as you can go until somebody says, ‘Alright, Kid, you’re done. Get off the ride.’”

But that doesn’t seem like it will happen any time soon for Depp, not with Alice coming down the pike, plus talk about a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. The success he’s enjoyed has been immense — there is that private island, after all — but it has its draw backs.

For instance, he can’t exactly go wherever he wants without getting noticed. But Depp accepts the necessity of it. “I suppose the alternative is the real drag, that if there’s no attention then the job goes away,” he says reflectively.

Still, there must be some things he’d like to do that he can’t at his level of celebrity.

“I’d walk through Disneyland with my kids. I’d go on every ride,” he admits.

“Daddy walks through Disneyland with them now, things get weird.”

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– Public Enemies hits theatres next week

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