As far as tributes go, this one was pretty befitting of the guy receiving it. Johnny Depp was honored with the MTV Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday (June 3), and it truly was a presentation ceremony worthy of the guy who has basically defined Hollywood cool for nearly four decades now.
Because far be it from Depp to sign off on some rote tribute. Instead, he was introduced by Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, along with the band he’d be playing rhythm guitar for: the Black Keys.
And so, yes, Depp — wearing a wide-brim cap and his usual cadre of accessories — strummed and strutted his way through rhythm duties with the Keys (who, it should be noted , looked like they couldn’t believe this was happening) on their hit “Gold on the Ceiling,” earning approving nods from BK frontman Dan Auerbach … all while trying very hard not to crack a smile.
When the performance rang to a close, Perry and Tyler stepped back onstage to actually hand over the hardware, praising Depp as “a gutsy artist.” And then the ever-cool honoree accepted the award, guitar still slung over his shoulder, and delivered a low-key speech, one for “quite an amazing honor.”
The speech was short, because you got the feeling Depp just wanted to play again, so when the Keys launched into “Lonely Boy,” there he was, riffing right along. Awards are cool, after all, but rocking out beats ‘em every day of the week. As if you’d expect anything else from Mr. Depp.