Johnny Depp 'dumfounded' on 'emotional' visit to home of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas

  • Johnny Depp appeared to be in awe during his visit to the Dylan Thomas Birthplace museum.

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has said he was 'floating' and 'dumfounded' when visiting a Swansea tourist attraction.

The Edward Scissorhands and Pirates of the Caribbean actor enjoyed a short visit to the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Uplands ahead of performing at Swansea Arena with his rock band Hollywood Vampires on Friday night.

The film star is said to be an unexpected rare book collector and has read several books and poems by the Welsh writer, Dylan Thomas.

Whilst there the actor said "I'm still floating a little, having been in the room where Dylan began and where so many poems were written, so yeah dumbfounded.

"During this visit you get to see where his thoughts came from and it's a lot to take in if you're a fiend like me.

"I think this will stick with me for a while, until the next time I come back.

Discussing his time reading the works of Thomas, Depp said, "Under Milk Wood was the one that really grabbed me. It was maybe a combination of the brilliance of Dylan Thomas' capabilities with language and words and description."

During his visit he told Geoff Haden, owner and restorer of Dylan Thomas Birthplace, that he first came across the Welsh poet's work when his brother bought him 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog' when he was young.

"It was amazing [to have Johnny Depp visit]", Mr Haden said.

"I would say it was the best house tour we've ever done. He was absolutely delightful, very unassuming and he loved the house. He couldn't get over that we'd done so much work here [to restore Dylan's birthplace].

"He was extremely amenable, it was as if someone we knew really well had popped in for a coffee!

Johnny Depp chatting with those who work at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace museum. Credit: Dylan Thomas Birthplace

"And his knowledge of Dylan was evident. He knew the poems, [had] been reading them for years. When he was young he had a book bought for him by his brother, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog", Mr Haden added.

"He said he has trouble sleeping about two or three times a week and he listens to Richard Burton reading Under Milk Wood.

"He knew far more about Dylan than most people, he couldn't get over that he was here visiting his birthplace and the place where Dylan wrote two-thirds of his work."

The Dylan Thomas Birthplace is a 'living museum' and celebrates the life and works of acclaimed Swansea poet and writer Dylan Thomas.

Located at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, where Dylan was born in 1914, the Dylan Thomas Birthplace is run by Mr Haden and his family and a small team of volunteers.

Whilst there, Johnny Depp signed the museum's visitors' book. Credit: Dylan Thomas Birthplace

One of the volunteers, author and Dylan Thomas expert Alun Gibbard, explained that the visit was organised by Johnny Depp's team a short while ago and was completely Depp's idea.

"He was really, really, insistent on coming to the Birthplace. He is really into Dylan Thomas." Mr Gibbard said.

"We'd been contacted as he'd made it clear to his staff that he was interested in Dylan and wanted to visit, so we were on standby for when he could come down, depending on his schedule and soundchecks.

"He was really enthusiastic, he got a little overwhelmed and emotional at the end when he thought about being in the place where Dylan was born and grew up.

"He was a very warm person which made the whole tour that much more enjoyable.

Johnny Depp being shown around the birthplace of Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. Credit: Dylan Thomas Birthplace

"He was very appreciative of being able to visit – and he signed our visitors book and left us a donation, but we didn't realise until after when a staff member told us - he didn't make a song and dance of it or anything."

During his visit to Swansea, Johnny Depp and his bandmates stayed at The Grand Hotel in the city centre and were "lovely" hotel guests, manager Andrew Crowley said.

He and his team had hosted Alice Cooper previously so were pleased to welcome him back, joined by Johnny Depp and Joe Perry.

"They were all lovely people to be fair, we'd hosted Alice Cooper previously so it was nice to welcome him back," Andrew said.

"Johnny Depp was absolutely lovely, really down to earth. We'd had an email from their team asking us to host VIPs and we booked them in and they arrived Thursday and checked out just before their concert on Friday."

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