It's no secret that I adore Johnny Depp. I've been a fan ever since the opening moments of the first Pirates movie, when Jack Sparrow sashayed down the dock with that endearing wobbliness we've all come to know and love. In fact, that's when I began writing The Wager -- on the very night I returned from my first showing of Pirates in July of 2003.
So back in 1986 I had not yet discovered the unique and quirky charms of Mr. Depp. The television show that launched his stardom, 21 Jump Street, had not yet aired, and his movie debut, A Nightmare on Elm Street, was the type of film I avoided. Johnny was completely unknown to me when I made my first trip to England in late 1986, and it was then I began to recall a past life -- a life in which I was the loving wife of a handsome eighteenth-century Irish musician.
You see, much like my character, Ravenna Evans, in The Last Killiney, I remember my past life in Georgian London. I wrote a book about it (The Singer's Wife: The Reincarnation of Mary Carter), so I won't go into detail here, but suffice it to say that I've spent nearly twenty-five years proving to myself that my memories of that past life are real. I've kept notes, drawn pictures, and traveled extensively all over the UK, researching the husband that I remember. His name was Thomas Carter.
What does this have to do with Johnny Depp? Well, just this:
On the left is a poster for Johnny's 2006 movie, The Libertine. On the right is a poor likeness of Thomas Carter (my husband from the past life I remember) which I sketched in 1986. The drawing does not resemble Thomas Carter much, but there are certainly similarities with The Libertine press photo. One has to wonder if part of the reason I'm enamoured of Johnny in the first place is because of some resemblance in the cheekbones between past-life husband and modern inspiration. Thomas Carter's bone structure was pretty nice.