It’s one of Johnny Depp‘s most iconic roles, but could you imagine Tom Cruise as the lead character in Edward Scissorhands?

Well, according to Depp, it almost happened.

The Mission: Impossible icon “was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands — true story,” People quotes Depp as saying in a docuseries about the movie’s director, Tim Burton.

Depp says other famous names were bandied about at the time, including Tom Hanks and even Michael Jackson.

In the as-yet-untitled docuseries, Depp explained he felt “pigeonholed” as a TV heartthrob with 21 Jump Street and wanted to break out of the mold. Being in John Waters‘ subversive 1990 movie Cry-Baby “was the first solid step in the direction I wanted to go,” Johnny says, according to the magazine, and the lead in Burton’s quirky Scissorhands was the next step.

Depp said Caroline Thompson‘s “beautiful” Edward Scissorhands script “passed through everything, anything, solid and went to the very core of whatever I am.”

He recalled thinking, “Edward was me,” and the script was “exactly what I should be doing.”

That said, self-doubt as a “TV actor guy” led him to panic and tell his agents to cancel a meeting with Burton. “He’s never going to cast me when everyone in Hollywood is after the part,” Depp remembers thinking.

Of course, Depp did get the part, and he and Burton went on to collaborate on seven other films: Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Dark Shadows and Sweeney Todd.

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