Johnny Depp found himself learning all about his stepfather's criminal past while filming in a prison for new movie PUBLIC ENEMIES - after officials discovered his old man had served time at the correctional facility.
Robert Palmer, who died in 2000, spent years behind bars on various charges during his youth, and Depp, who plays notorious bank robber John Dillinger in the film, was surprised to hear his stepdad had been locked up in Stateville Correctional Center, near Joliet, Illinois - the very prison chosen as a location for the film.
He tells Vanity Fair magazine, "He'd done some burglaries, robbery - you know, that kind of thing. He was in Midwest prisons from his youth up until (when) he was a full-grown man.
"So I got to learn a bit more about my stepdad and his college years, as it were."
Depp has admitted his preparation for the role was inspired by another family law breaker - his grandfather.
He explains, "This movie was a salute to my grandfather. He bootlegged moonshine during the Depression, so because of him the character of Dillinger was pretty easy for me to connect to."