The W star and Depp almost fell out when both were up for a lead role on TV show 21 Jump Street in the mid 1980s – a part Depp eventually landed.
But the two actors have remained friends and Brolin could not be happier for his pal’s success.
He tells Playboy magazine, “I have more respect for that guy than for most people out there because he… has done it his own way.
“He’s found whatever his niche is, and it’s a big one. What a f**king talent, man. Every movie I watch him in, I just thank God he exists.”
And Brolin still recalls the classy way Depp dealt with the news he’d won the 21 Jump Street role over his pal.
He recalls, “It came down to Johnny and me… He and I were at his apartment hanging out; our girlfriends were best friends at the time. Johnny had just finished a small part in Platoon and was talking about what it meant for him to work for this great director Oliver Stone.
“The phone rings, it’s Johnny’s agent. He listens, hangs up, stuffs his clothes into his Platoon duffel and just walks out.
“The next time I saw him I was doing a guest role on the fourth episode of 21 Jump Street.”