Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp has hired two homeless people as extras in his forthcoming film Transcendence. Reuters

He is known for playing dark and complex characters on the big screen but Johnny Depp has shown off his softer side after hiring homeless people to play extras in his latest movie.

The 49-year-old Hollywood actor reportedly convinced the casting director of his forthcoming film, Transcendence, to employ two street sleepers after he spotted them in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Johnny always likes to help out the community when on location," a source told The Sun.

"While scouting out the area around Albuquerque, he came across these two characters. He was straight on the phone to the casting director."

Depp stars opposite Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Rebecca Hall as Will in the sci-fi thriller. It is set to be released in cinemas in April 2014.

It is not the first time the Pirates of the Caribbean actor has helped the homeless. In 2011, he bought a hat from a person living on the streets to add to his vast collection of headgear.

However, the purchase is said to have put him in the doghouse with his partner at the time, Vanessa Paradis.

"Vanessa was livid and told him the hats had to go or she would trash them," an insider previously said.

"But he's way too fond of them, so he'll move the bulk of the collection to one of their other homes."