Janelle's Blog

What Johnny Depp Taught Me About Love

“What is it that Johnny Depp has that makes people crazy about him?” said Charlie Rose, broadcast journalist.

Director of the movie, The Tourist, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made a quick mental assessment and answered, “I think it is that he makes it so easy for us to love him. We appreciate him for that. Everybody likes to feel loved, and he allows us to feel that. He is almost a teacher of love that allows us to access that feeling.”

Henckel von Donnersmarck gave us an inside look at the making of The Tourist on the DVD’s Director’s Commentary. He shared how Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie gave a flawless performance and explained how acting is the purest form of art. “You can’t hide behind the camera with your body and emotions,” he said. “You create art for the consumer who is watching.”

As a director, he said he wanted to create every scene as though it was a beautiful painting. He accomplished that in one of the most perfectly directed movies I have ever seen. “Nothing is easier to create than random ugliness,” he said.

His directing opened my eyes to the vulnerability of actors and how on screen they allow you to take a peek into their souls. I thought about how a breast cancer survivor feels when she loses a part of her body so connected to her femininity. There is a raw vulnerability that is exposed, leaving that woman visible all the way to the core of her being.

Vulnerability and unguarded emotions do not have to become a display of random ugliness. As a survivor, myself, I understand the delicate emotions one feels upon being diagnosed with breast cancer. It seemed to me that every unpleasant emotion I could ever feel rolled up into a giant ball and knocked a hole right through the middle of my heart—a big, black hole. I wondered if I could escape the emotions and ever feel like a woman again.

The Rest of the Story

I founded NBCF out of my desire to help other women, first of all with financial help to provide free mammograms if they couldn’t afford them, then with the educational and emotional help to restore them to their full womanhood. As I did these things, the black hole filled up when I wasn’t even looking. Turning my eyes outward toward others instead of inward toward my own inadequacies, changed my life. I found precious jewels of emotions inside myself that were deeper and more valuable than the pain and emotional scars of breast cancer.

The first time I hugged a woman who was provided a mammogram through NBCF’s help was like holding love in my arms. She was a real person who had been rescued from despair.

Then there was the short, Italian man who spoke no English, and I spoke no Italian. He, too, had received NBCF’s help and had his life spared. He carried a malignant tumor around in his breast for a year and was directed to the hospital by a nurse navigator, who told him of our help at his hospital. We hugged with no language barrier and cried with happiness. These were the tears that bathed away my emotional scars.

When I started writing my blog, I moved from in front of the camera to behind the scenes by opening my life to the innocence of vulnerability and the beauty of allowing myself to feel the necessary emotions that propelled me toward being a fulfilled person. Please join me in sharing your experiences on BeyondTheShock.com, where you can learn about breast cancer, see videos of other women, and create your own videos and stories.

Today I live my life with hope for my future and want to share those experiences with you on my blog. Take a look at the Follow Janelle tab at the top of the page for pictures I took in Paris at the very site where Angelina Jolie sat in an opening scene of The Tourist.

Reverse your pain and embrace the newness of life.

Thought for Today:

“Stimulate the heart to love, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord.” –W. T. Ussery.

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

One Response to What Johnny Depp Taught Me About Love
  1. Barbara
    June 10, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    I’ve shared your site with friends and family, some of who have/had breast cancer. The uplifting stories are wonderful. Can you or someone else provide me with a website like this one that has a focus on cervical or uterine cancer? I have two friends who have this type of Cancer.

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