Johnny Depp is not the only actor who does not bother to memorize his lines. Several high profile stars from stage and screen stars have been seen wearing a wireless earpiece in the past. It was reported that Depp has been using an earpiece to feed him lines during a film production however there were also claims that he simply wants to listen to music while acting.
There are many examples of famous actors wearing earpieces and one of them is Marlon Brando. When the legendary actor was shooting The Island of Dr, Moreau, it was reported that the whole production was a disaster with the script being rewritten just hours before the scenes. Instead of memorizing his lines, Marlon Brando wore an earpiece and had an assistant feed him lines in real time.
However, during those times, earpiece technology was not sophisticated. According to fellow actor David Thewlis, Brando’s earpiece will sometimes pick up wrong signals during the scene. Thewlis told Entertainment Weekly that there was one time when the wireless earpiece got police messages.
In the 2015 movie Fifty Shades of Grey, Rita Ora had to wear an earpiece because she was nervous and she needed someone to feed her the lines. While Ora only had a few minutes of screen time, she was so nervous, she forgot everything she learned.
In the 1990 movie Days of Thunder, parts of the script were rewritten a few minutes before the scenes were filmed. At first, Tom Cruise wrote down the new lines on paper and stuck them on the dashboard of the race car as he zipped on the track. However, the technique was not successful and production had to come up with a new strategy. Instead of learning the new lines, the dialogue was read to Tom Cruise through an earphone.
The wireless earpiece is very important for actors because it allows them to get help during a scene. It is common for them to forget some of their lines but with the earpiece, mistakes and unnecessary agitation is avoided. The actor becomes confident with the performance knowing that help is easily available through that tiny invisible ear piece.