Johnny Depp’s amazing transformation as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger

Johnny Depp.

Notorious Boston Irish gangster Whitey Bulger was one of America’s Ten Most Wanted up until his capture in 2011, and Hollywood reckons it can make a killing off his life and crimes.

Johnny Depp just started working on the film "Black Mass," which will see him and other cast members – including Dakota Johnson and Guy Pearce – spend a large chunk of the summer on location in Boston, where many of Bulger’s favorite haunts are being recreated including his favorite Irish bar, Triple Os, which used to be run by three brothers named O’Neil.

Bulger, now serving two life sentences behind bars after being convicted on multiple counts last year, “liked [O’Neil’s] ambiance of a second-floor room upstairs—its grit and darkness were good for shakedowns, murder plots, and meetings with the nascent IRA,” according to a report in Boston Magazine last week.

A few weeks back, Depp spoke about his desire to play Bulger, now 84.  He spent 16 years on the run before the FBI caught up with him in Santa Monica, CA.

“I’m finding it difficult to call him Whitey.  I’m doing a film called 'Black Mass' where I play James Bulger.  The reason to play him is obvious to me.  He’s a fascinating character.  It’s not like anything I’ve done before, on that level.  I’m very excited to slide into that skin for a little bit,” Depp said.

A competing Bulger biopic is being developed by Boston natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Warner Bros had been expected to give its support to that one, but went with Depp’s take instead.

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