Last week I read a review of Sweeney Todd in Metroactive in which the writer Richard von Busack made an interesting observation on Johnny Depp’s vocals in the first musical number of the movie. Von Busack noted that it seemed Depp had modeled his vocals after Bowie, particularly on the song ‘Please Mr. Gravedigger.’ I held off making a comment about this article on here CrackedActor until I had seen the movie and read a few interviews with Depp to learn who his influences actually were. As soon as I heard the first measure of Depp’s singing in ‘No Place Like London’ I came to the exact conclusion that Von Busack did. Johnny Depp sounded so much like Bowie in ‘Please Mr. Gravedigger’ that I squeed with fangirl delight. The day after I saw the movie I sought out some interviews with Depp to see who inspired him while recording the musical numbers. He did not list Bowie as an influence (though I could clearly hear shades of Bowie), but interestingly he did list Iggy Pop. I am interested to know if anyone else heard Bowie’s influence on Depp and his vocal style in Sweeney Todd. By the way, the movie was fantastic and I recommend it to anyone with a dark sense of humor and a stomach for cartoonish gore.

2 Responses to “Shades of Bowie in Sweeney Todd”

  1. saudade Says:

    Neil Gaiman also thought the same (can read his thoughts here)

  2. Latetotheshow Says:

    It’s funny,
    I liked the movie, but I thought Mr. Depp’s accent was a bit distracting. This might be because I’m overfamiliar with the Broadway soundtrack, which Len Cariou sang in his American accent. Great stuff, by the way, and funnier than the movie.
    Sometimes the Cockney thing’s a bit much in Bowie’s vocals as well, but at least he, as my Texan relatives say, “gits it honest.”