Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adam Sandler vs. Johnny Depp

As an actor, I've played a lot of characters. Funny ones, sad ones. Ones that are very much like me, and some that are a stretch. Some are easy to play, and some are more difficult. That's kind of the fun of acting.

If you boil it down (way, way down) there are two ways to look at a character: you can find ways the character is like yourself and make it a part of you; or you can make yourself more like the character.


Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler is the former. Every Adam Sandler character is pretty much like Adam Sandler. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. I mean, he's a funny guy. People like him. I like him. But he does what works. His characters are always, well, him. Or pretty close to it.

The latter is Johnny Depp. The man disappears into his roles; the only thing recognizable about him is his face (and sometimes not even that). He does a lot of research and throws himself into his characters. His mannerisms, his speech—everything changes to truly become the character.

Johnny Depp
So many people want Christ to conform to them. They ask questions like, "How can I fit him into my life without changing much about who I am?" They see the pieces of God they want to see; they see ones they like and feel like that's good enough. It's working; why change it?

They're Adam Sandler Christians.

(And I realize that's kind of a funny statement, since Adam Sandler's Jewish. But I'm sure he'd understand the point.)

We should strive to be Johnny Depp Christians. (Again, probably a funny statement without knowing him.) We should look at the character of Christ—who he is, what he did, how he behaved—and do our best to conform to him. We need to throw ourselves into the character of Christ and be like him in every way.

Although, you know, I'm not growing a beard or anything.

Christ wants us to get to the heart of who he is. We need to do a real character study—how he spoke, how he acted, his mannerisms—and transform ourselves into true Christians. We have to be willing to leave our old ways behind and embrace an entirely new character. We won't lose what was truly core to our spirit; God created each of us as a unique individual. But we will become holier by putting on the person of Christ.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  
1 Peter 1:14-16

So—are you an Adam Sandler or a Johnny Depp?


  1. Just last night I was thinking about how often in my past I settled for things. God desires to offer us so much more of Him. Your post reminded me of that. Christians sometimes want to take what makes them comfortable but have no desire to go the extra step God is asking them to take to become more like Him.

  2. Whoa, Rachel, great examples!

    (And this is off topic, but I still find Johnny Depp so dreamy!)

  3. Such a great way to describe it! And great choice of actors, too - very true. (Plus I heart Johnny. Ever since his "21 Jump Street" days.

  4. Great post! Such good insight. As much as I'd like to say I'm a Johnny Depp Christian, the truth is, I'm sadly more Adam Sandler.

    p.s. I'm with Leigh - Johnny Depp is SO dreamy :)

  5. Wonderful analogy. I'm going to spend the day thinking about this, challenging myself to be more Johnny Depp-ish.

  6. Hi Rachel - I really like the point you make, but am really sad Adam Sandler's the wrong choice?! Oh well - great post though, leaves me much to think about.
    God bless

  7. I do not dispute the dreaminess of Mr. Depp.

  8. Rach, I gotta tell you...this is a bit profound! This really has me thinking! What a great parallel. I too, get the whole acting thing, but I've only done parts that are, well, me. I have always had a hard time getting into character acting. And that's not a bad thing...because most of what I shoot is infomercials, commercials, industrials, etc. So that's why this is getting to me. Do I carry that into my Spiritual walk? Hmmm. That's good meat to chew on. Love it, keep 'em coming!
    Rachel Lee Carter

  9. You are stinking hilarious and I LOVE the way you made us think about what kind of Christian we are. I've gotta chew on it before I answer. Dang girl, you are making me THINK and it's late!

  10. It's taken me time to respond... but I remember Mark telling me about a church that was doing a whole sermon series on Johnny Depp movies. Think he heard about it on KLove. This is what I found in my search online... Heartsong Church is doing "A Life Less Ordinary - Humility in the Movies of Johnny Depp" ( I think it is utterly clever! However when I did the search to find this info, I found a blog that thought otherwise. I have to remember the 'other blogger's' opinion is not 'wrong' just 'different'. Hmmmm.... what's not to like about Johnny Depp? I mean really! ;)


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