Johnny Depp learnt how to stick up for himself thanks to his mother. Johnny Depp's mother helped toughen him up by teaching him how to defeat bullies.

The actor is playing tough criminal James 'Whitey' Bulger in Black Mass, which has created tons of Oscars buzz. While Johnny is much softer than his evil alter ego he does know how to hold his own thanks to lessons learnt early on in life.

"She toughened me up," he answered Germany's TV Direkt magazine when asked what his mother taught him. "When I was bullied in preschool, she advised me to pack a punch. That's exactly what I did and they left me in peace. I continued to hold on to that advice metaphorically. You just can't allow any unfair treatment."

Despite playing such a despicable criminal, Johnny had to find humanity in the role. In the scene where Whitey's son dies, he took reference from the time his daughter Lily-Rose, 16, suffered from E. Coli food poisoning and her kidneys shut down in 2007. Luckily she made a full recovery, but at one point doctors feared she wouldn't pull through. "You have to use personal experiences to inform the emotional moments," the actor explained. Alongside his successful career, 52-year-old Johnny raises Lily-Rose and son Jack with his ex-partner Vanessa Paradis and is happily married to Amber Heard, 29. His recipe for a good life isn't complicated.

"The simple things," he smiled when asked what makes him happiest. "Chilling with my wife, reading the newspaper in peace or just having the time for a good book. There's nothing better! It's what keeps me from going mad in our crazy world." Black Mass also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dakota Johnson and hit cinemas from the beginning of October.