Fact Check: Was Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street?

Johnny Depp’s defamation case concluded last week, with the actor emerging on the winning side. Depp has been getting constant support from his fans since the trial began in April 2022.

The actor has also been trending on social media due to the trial, where users are posting pictures and videos of his past work.

While the actor is best known for his role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, many claimed to be following him from 21 Jump Street (his breakout role) and shared that he reprised his character in the 2012 movie. Was he on the 21 Jump Street movie?

aye i forgot johnny depp was in 21 jump street

Johnny has been a STUD since 21 Jump street!! I always had a crush on him but I NEVER would have had 😳😩😫🥺😰😥😯😭😢a chance with him.. not pretty enough. sigh…

21 Jump Street is a 1987 TV series which ran for five seasons and over a hundred episodes. The show followed a group of young officers infiltrating a high school to combat crime in the institution. The officers had to maintain their disguises while tracking down illegal activities occurring in and around the school.

Johnny Depp played Tom Hanson on the show, the son of a fallen police officer who was forced to be a part of the high school task force after showing reckless behavior.

The actor reprised the role for four seasons before leaving to work with director Tim Burton.

Johnny Depp’s character returned for a cameo in the 2012 movie

Johnny Depp reportedly hated working on the show because he was not a fan of serialized content and didn’t want to stick to one project for a long time. He was heard saying in an interview:

“I just didn’t want to be stuck in something I was going to be doing for six years … then I read the script and I thought it was real good. I thought it was very good and there were a lot of strong messages.”

He joined the cast due to the script but wanted to leave after filming the second season. Depp had started using dramatic ways to get fired from the project by season three. He thrashed his trailer, began changing his dialogue, and showed other mischievous behavior to get booted out of the project. He left the show after wrapping up season 4 but returned for a cameo in the 2012 movie remake of 21 Jump Street.

Our 1st week was the climactic shootout with Johnny Depp. Unrecognizable in his biker costume (Brie Larson thought he was an extra) he realized an opportunity & disappeared for 3 hrs over meal break & returned saying he’d never been to Bourbon St in NOLA so he walked it incognito

The actor played his breakout character, disguised as a motorcycle gang member. The gang got directly involved with Jump Street agents and lead cast Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko’s (Channing Tatum) criminal investigation. So when Hill and Tatum’s characters found themselves in trouble, Depp came to their rescue.


He appeared alongside his Jump Street co-actor, Peter DeLouise. In their cameo, the duo was revealed to be Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) but were quickly killed off by other members of the motorcycle crew.

Christopher Miller, who co-directed the movie, said in a tweet from March 2022 that Depp’s disguise fooled Brie Larsson, who assumed him to be an extra. He also revealed that Depp disappeared for as long as three hrs over a meal break, “saying he’d never been to Bourbon St in NOLA, so he walked it incognito.”

The 2012 adaptation had numerous easter eggs and meta-jokes related to the original series. Upon release, it became a critical and commercial success and got a sequel in 2014.

As for Johnny Depp, he played various roles since leaving the show. Burton worked on numerous projects and found success playing odd and challenging characters.

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