Johnny Depp will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award at Palm Springs festival


Johnny Depp will be adding the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor to his awards mantle next year.

The “Black Mass” star will receive the award at the 27th Palm Springs International Film Festival gala in January for his role as mobster Whitey Bulger in director Scott Cooper’s chilling biopic, which hit theaters in September.

“Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and dynamic actors of our time,” Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said Tuesday in a statement. “In his latest film, ‘Black Mass,’ Depp, in a stunning transformation, creates a gripping and multi-layered portrait of infamous gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.”


Matzner continued: “He delivers an astounding performance that has earned raves from both critics and audiences and is sure to garner awards attention.”

Indeed, the prolific character actor, 52, has garnered Oscar buzz for his transformational role as Bulger and is expected to be nominated for an Academy Award when nominations are announced on Jan. 14. Depp has previously been up for three Academy Awards for his roles in 2007’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” 2004’s “Finding Neverland” and 2003’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”

Other actors who have been awarded with the Desert Palm include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. The acting prize has often been a precursor for an Oscar win: Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to receive Academy Awards in the years they were honored at the festival and Cooper, Firth and Pitt went on to receive Oscar nominations in their respective years as well.

As previously announced, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress for her role in Toddy Haynes’ same-sex romantic drama “Truth” as well as James Vanderbilt’s recently released newsroom biopic “Truth.” And “Brooklyn” star Saorise Ronan honored with receive the festival’s International Star Award for her latest role in the 1950s immigrant drama.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will take place Jan. 1-11.

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