The 12-year-old southside resident received a package in the mail Thursday from Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, containing a variety of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” promotional gifts along with a vintage fedora Depp told Taylor he could have when the “Public Enemies” star was in town in April for filming.
“All I really said was ‘Can I have your hat?’,” Taylor, who will start seventh grade at Grace Lutheran Church this fall, said. “And he said ‘When I’m done with it, it’s yours.’ He was actually pretty cool.”
It took a little more work than that to get Taylor’s promise fulfilled, though. His parents, Kris and Matt Brand, tracked down Depp’s agent, who turned out to be his sister, and told her about what happened. Depp’s agent pulled enough merchandise to ensure Taylor and his siblings, Anthony Taylor, 13, Alexis Taylor, 6, Emily Brand, 3, and Abigail Brand, 1, each got a little something from what ranks as one of their favorite Depp movies along with “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“It’s not exactly the easiest thing to make all five kids happy, but they did a good job. It’s finally nice to see a celebrity being nice and following through on his promises,” Kris Brand said. “He promised Jack his hat and he followed through. It’s really cool.”
Jack’s new hat, a well-worn fedora that’s vintage in appearance, wasn’t the only personal item enclosed with the package. Depp also wrote Jack a short, personal note telling him to enjoy the hat and the cool “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” stuff and signed it himself.
“It was pretty awesome when it came,” he said. “I didn’t think it actually would come.”
To show his appreciation, Jack penned a letter of his own to send to Depp, though the first draft has been refined a few times with the help of his parents. And his new prized possession will definitely get shown during the summer and at school.
“Nobody believed me at first when I told them about meeting him,” Jack said. “It’s pretty awesome.”