When Johnny Depp starred in stunning sign language video for Paul McCartney's beautiful 'My Valentine'

28 June 2022, 14:07

Johnny Depp starred in the video for Paul McCartney's 'My Valentine'
Johnny Depp starred in the video for Paul McCartney's 'My Valentine'. Picture: Getty/Paul McCartney

By Tom Eames

Sir Paul McCartney has recorded many gorgeous love songs over the years, but we'd argue that 'My Valentine' was one of his very best.

In 2012, Sir Paul McCartney wrote and recorded the song 'My Valentine' for his Kisses on the Bottom album. While the LP was mostly cover versions of traditional pop and jazz songs, this was one of two original tracks.

'My Valentine' was written as a tribute to his wife Nancy Shevell, and he wrote it while sheltering from the rain during a holiday in Morocco.

He said of the song: "It was inspired by the hotel pianist, an Irish guy who liked to drink. He would rattle through this repertoire of old songs from my dad's era and before. It was inspiring - his command of them, and his love for them! I had a moment one afternoon when the hotel was quiet and I just got on the piano. The spirit of what he was doing led me down the path."

While the song was stunning on its own, it was his simple music video starring two Hollywood superstars that took it to another level.

Paul McCartney directed the song's black-and-white music video, featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp interpreting the lyrics of the song using their own form of sign language.

Johnny Depp also plays guitar in his version, and recorded the track's guitar solo live, though it was performed on the record by Eric Clapton.

McCartney worked with cinematographer Wally Pfister, editor Paul Martinez and producer Susanne Preissler to create the video, which was based on an idea by his daughter Stella McCartney.

Asked why he picked Portman and Depp, Sir Paul said: "Well, they're just nice people, some friends from way back and they were just very kind to do it. I was very pleased to work with them."

However, deaf fans have noted that both actors made slip-ups with their translations. Depp makes the gesture for the word "enemy" while attempting to say "valentine", and both he and Portman make the motion for the word "tampon" instead of the word "appear."

Despite these slip-ups, the video's simple style makes for one of McCartney's best.

Paying tribute to his wife Nancy, Paul performed the song during his Glastonbury headline setlist in 2022, where the video featuring Portman and Depp could be seen on the big screens.

Michael Bublé later worked with Paul on a cover version for his 2022 album Higher.