Like his pirate character, Johnny Depp has a vast love for desolate Caribbean islands. Captain Jack Sparrow spent plenty of time wasting away drinking run on Rum-Runners Isle in Pirates of the Caribbean, and it seems the actor may have fallen in love with the free-life ideals that come with living in such a place. The 58-year-old actor has since purchased islands he once inhabited while filming Pirates of the Caribbean, and gave them surprising names to boot.
According to the Daily Express, while filming the first film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Johnny Depp fell in love with the freedom of the land. In 2004, the actor purchased a private island located in the Exumas archipelago and named it Little Hall’s Pond Cay. The island boasts over 45 acres of Bahama’s beauty and cost the pirate actor a cool $3.6 million. Originally being a bare island with no infrastructure, Depp quickly got to work making the place his retreat and building a ranch-style house with 360-degree views. But quite possibly the most peculiar aspect of Depp’s luxury island was his choice in dedicating his oasis to those nearest and dearest to him.
The island, which features six pristine white sand beaches, are all named after people that Johnny Depp holds close in his heart. Beach Lily-Rose and Jack are named for his children, which the actor shares with his ex, Vanessa Paradis, who also has her own named beach on the isle. The rest of the beach’s names were chosen for late friends of the Hollywood heartthrob. Beach Gonzo was given its quirky name in honor of Depp’s close friend, the late Hunter S. Thompson. The beach celebrates the counterculture icon with glass tables strewn across the sand with Thompson’s face etched on each. Another beach is named for the late Marlon Brando, who Depp considered not only one of his favorite actors to work with, but also one of his greatest friends.
Other than coming up with heartfelt names for his home away from home, Johnny Depp has put a lot of work into making the island his own. The island’s buildings all boast solar power as Depp ensures he isn’t damaging the planet’s environment further. Depp also reportedly paid an extra $8 million for a private yacht to ferry him to and from the island whenever he wishes. In a 2009 interview for Vanity Fair, Depp joked that he wanted to become the “Ruler of the Exumas” taking an idea that might have well have come right from Captain Jack Sparrow himself as he expressed his desire to get Guiness on tap for his island. And if the vast island and all it has to offer isn’t enough for the celebrity, he can make a trip visiting his neighbors that own nearby islands, including Eddie Murphy and David Copperfield.
Johnny Depp calls the island his place of decompression and has stated more than once how important escapism is to his well-being. “I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom,” Depp once said. And the actor surely has needed a place to retreat from the media, as he has had a tough few years following the tumultuous breakup from his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Ironically, the two actors wed on Depp’s private island in 2015 before their vial divorce a year later in which Heard accused Depp of physical abuse. After a settlement was reached in 2016 that required Depp to dish out $7 million to his ex, the battle was far from over, and Depp continued his fight to repair his character. Amidst the highly public battle between the couple, Depp has reported becoming a victim to cancel culture and was dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.