Depp based the slurry-voiced character on ROLLING STONES star Keith Richards, and laughed off movie bosses' concerns because he knew children would fall in love with his portrayal of Sparrow.
He says, "Disney gave me such a hullabaloo about what I was doing with the character, the teeth, all the beads hanging and the dreadlocks.
"I would get these phone calls from upper echelons, team Disney, and it would be like, 'Okay, okay, what are you doing with your hands? Is he drunk? Is he gay? What is he?'
"From what I understand, Michael Eisner (Disney chairman) hated it so much the words actually came out of his mouth, 'He's ruining the film.' Which really killed me, of course - it made me laugh. Bless him."