Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer Rips Johnny Depp’s ‘Black Mass’ Performance: Was He Playing ‘the Mad Hatter’?

“Johnny Depp might as well have been playing the Mad Hatter all over again as far as James Bulger is concerned,” mobster’s attorney Hank Brennan says

Last Updated: September 18, 2015 @ 2:52 PM

While Johnny Depp has earned rave reviews for his big screen turn as mobster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, one insider is not pleased with the actor’s dramatic comeback.

Hank Brennan, attorney for the real-life Bulger, had harsh words for both Depp’s performance and the government agency in a recent interview.

Johnny Depp might as well have been playing the Mad Hatter all over again as far as James Bulger is concerned,” Brennan told People magazine.

“Hollywood greed is behind the rush to portray my client, and the movie missed the real scourge created in my client’s case, the real menace to Boston during that time and in other mob cases around the country — the federal government’s complicity in each and every one of those murders with the top echelon informant program,” he said.

Bulger was the head of a Boston organized crime outfit in the ’90s who was eventually convicted of 19 murders — among other crimes that went largely unprobed thanks to his status as informant. Bulger allegedly traded intel on Boston’s Italian mob for protection in his own doings, though he denies this.

The Warner Bros. release is one of the most anticipated films this fall, with a starry ensemble that includes Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson and Corey Stoll.

“There are shades of 1970s Jack Nicholson and Robert DeNiro in the performance, but ultimately, this is Depp bringing his skills to the table as a man with a propensity for being both terrifying and charming, often switching between the two on a dime,” TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde wrote in his review from the Venice Film Festival.

“There’s a kind heart in there,” Depp said of Bulger this week at a Massachusetts screening of the film. “There’s a cold heart in there. There’s a man who loves. There’s a man who cries. There’s a lot to the man.”