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13 October 2006   Articles No Comments

Toplum Postasi.net For the first time in Hollywood film production the use of the Cypriot vernacular features in the new production: Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest.

As if mimicking the Cyprus problem, two pirates on a ship at sea are arguing, one in Cypriot Greek (Kypriaka) and the other in Cypriot Turkish (Kıbrıslıca) over a hat. In the end, the two are swallowed completely by a mythical giant squid – the kraken.

British actor of Turkish Cypriot descent Nej Adamson who previously played Ali Osman in EastEnders in the 1980s plays the role of the pirate who speaks in Cypriot Turkish, while Jimmy Roussounis, a Greek Cypriot actor plays the second pirate who speaks Cypriot Greek. The two men who have never met each other before went to St.Vincent Island in the Caribbean to film the movie.

The two Cypriot actors were initially meant to perform in Greek and Turkish until Roussounis suggested that, “instead of speaking in Turkish or Greek or English with an accent”, that the two men should do it in their natural Cypriot vernacular, one inCypriotGreek and the other in Cypriot Turkish. The director agreed, allowing the two men who did not have a script, to “improvise,” as long as there was no cursing.

12 October 2006   Articles No Comments

Herald Sun – GEOFFREY Rush is speaking from Los Angeles, where he is putting the finishing touches on the third and final instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy,
writes Claire Sutherland.

…”Actually, finishing touches is a bit of an understatement,” he laughs. “We’re sort of filming the grand finale of the great trilogy where 12 plots all converge on one massive, almost mythological, action sequence. It’s quite extraordinary and bigger than Ben-Hur.

“The scene we’re shooting is a global pirate summit, and I can’t say much because (producer) Jerry Bruckheimer might kill me.”

The production, called At World’s End, made the news recently, thanks to claims Rolling Stone Keith Richards, shooting a cameo as Jack Sparrow’s father, was drunk on the set.

Rush is of no help one way or the other in laying the story to rest.

“I think with Keith you get such an excitable persona you’re not quite sure where he’s at,” Rush says.

“The man I met on set was a very playful, excitable kid . . . this completely eccentric character turns up and plays by totally different rules to the slightly more manicured actors who turn up, so that was very, very thrilling.”

Johnny Depp, who famously modelled the Jack Sparrow character after Richards, knew who was boss, Rush says.

“He’s the only person in the whole trilogy of films who can put Jack Sparrow in his place, and anyone who can put Johnny Depp in his place is a pretty cool guy.”

Though the first Pirates movie was a hit with critics and audiences, the second, Dead Man’s Chest, was notable for the fact the reviews were so bad — and the box office so utterly, utterly enormous.

“There was something in the audience saying, ‘Whatever is going on, we want to acknowledge our love of Jack Sparrow and the pirate world’,” Rush says.

6 October 2006   Articles No Comments

PRESS RELEASE LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) — Hollywood’s brightest stars will gather at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday, Oct. 7, for the second Noche de Ninos Gala to benefit Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Oscar-nominated actor Johnny Depp, McDonald’s Corporation CEO Ralph Alvarez, and philanthropists Debbie and Mark Attanasio will each receive the “Courage to Care Award” for their commitment to children and children’s charities.

Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush will host the evening’s festivities. Actor and comedian Ray Romano will perform, and comedian Billy Crystal will host the evening’s live auction, sponsored by Christie’s auction house.

Mr. Katzenberg will present Ralph Alvarez with his award; baseball commissioner Bud Selig will present Debbie and Mark Attanasio with their award; and Jennifer Lopez, the 2004 “Courage to Care” honoree, will present Johnny Depp with his award.

“Johnny Depp embodies the very spirit of the `Courage to Care’ Award because he puts smiles on the faces of thousands of children through his great work on film, and his longtime private advocacy of children and children’s charities is nothing short of inspirational,” says Ms. Fernandez-Farrand.

Childrens Hospital Los Angeles has been treating the most seriously ill and injured children in Los Angeles for more than a century, and it is acknowledged throughout the United States and around the world for its leadership in pediatric and adolescent health. Childrens Hospital is one of America’s premier teaching hospitals, and it is a national leader in pediatric research.

The inaugural Noche de Ninos Gala in 2004 raised nearly $2 million for the hospital.

www.ChildrensHospitalLA.org

27 September 2006   Articles No Comments

Johnny Depp searches for the perfect Puerco Pibil in Once Upon a Time in Mexico by Rico Torres for The Providence Journal.

While watching Once Upon a Time in Mexico, an action movie starring Johnny Depp, my son called me to join him, insisting I see something special. Now I already watched that movie and totally hated what the bad guys did to Depp, surgically removing his eyes, so I didn’t need to see it again, ever. But it was a special featurette my son didn’t want me to miss. It was called Ten Minute Cooking School.

In this short DVD extra, writer/director Robert Rodriguez, a young, hip guy wearing a ski cap and three days of beard growth, shows viewers how to make Puerco Pibil, a slow roasted pork dish from the Yucatan region of Mexico.

There is preparation required for making this dish. You’ll need a gadget – a spice or coffee grinder to make the spice paste. Rodriguez suggests that putting hot spices in your usual coffee grinder is a very bad idea. He offers options: add heat by leaving in the seeds from the habanero peppers. And he makes one very appealing dish. He also explains you can buy prepared achiote paste which is what you are making but that’s not as fine as making it from scratch.

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ’S PUERCO PIBIL
5 tablespoons annato seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

8 allspice berries

2 habanero peppers

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup white vinegar

8 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons salt

Juice of 5 lemons

Generous splash of tequila

5 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes

Banana leaves (optional)

Grind the annato seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and allspice in a spice grinder till the annatto seeds are pulverized. You can use a coffee grinder as long as it&rsquos devoted to preparing spices only.

Take the seeds and veins out of the habanero peppers and chop. Put in a blender with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt and puree. Pour the dry spices into the blender, the juice of the lemons and a good splash of tequila and blend until it&rsquos a smooth liquid.

Cut the pork butt into two inch cubes and place in a large zip lock bag. Add the marinade to the bag and turn over several times to coat meat. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, or banana leaves if you can find them. Pour in pork along with the marinade. Cover with more banana leaves and then seal tight with aluminum foil or just foil. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 4 hours.

Serve with white or Spanish rice.

22 September 2006   Articles No Comments

Writer Amy Longsdorf covers the film industry for Impulse
and recently sat down for five minutes with actor Orlando Bloom.

Impulse: Both “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Elizabethtown” flopped. How much did that sting?

Bloom: Not much, really. Hopefully, whether my movies fly, fail or float, whatever they do, I’ll enjoy making them. Johnny Depp once told me, “I’ve made a career out of making movies which are failures or considered to be failures.’ And he’s had one of the most courageous, exciting, spontaneous careers to date. So sometimes you have to take the knock.

5 August 2006   Articles No Comments

MORE THAN 11 years ago, in one of my first columns for this paper, I said of Johnny Depp that “he has just what it takes to revive that dodo bird of the American cinema, the swashbuckler.” By Joe Morgenstern for the The Wall Street Journal.

How could I have foreseen, way back then, his performance in “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Well, I couldn’t, and didn’t.

What his sudden ascension means for the studios is clear — a mad competition for his services, now that the second installment of “Pirates” is a staggering success, and the third one is already in the can. What it means for movie lovers, especially those who care about actors and acting, is equally clear. Stardom isn’t always synonymous with interesting acting — Robert Redford and Keanu Reeves come to mind. Yet every Depp performance holds out the promise of surprise, and he delivers on the promise more often than not.

Everyone who has seen “Pirates” can readily recall Jack Sparrow’s quirks — the slyness, the blitheness, the woozy feyness that slides in and out of genial gayness. Even those who haven’t seen the film seem to be aware that the model for this unlikely hero was Keith Richards, although an earlier stage in the character’s evolution may well have been that aforementioned Don Juan, who wore eyeliner and, in a fantasy sequence, sported a mask and bandana as a typhoon survivor washed up on the island of Eros.

Moviegoers who don’t usually register the specifics of performance love to talk about his work in “Pirates,” but it’s hardly the first time Mr. Depp has inspired such discussion. He has a star presence and a star’s set of skills — in “Don Juan DeMarco” he managed to dominate most of his scenes with Marlon Brando — but without the burden of a star persona. Like the younger Dustin Hoffman, he declines to confine himself to roles that conform to his public’s expectations.

To the contrary, he seems to have chosen most of his films for the sake of the work, rather than for how they might affect his career. (He has done more than 30 features so far, including such small-scale favorites as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Benny & Joon.”)

In a medium that rewards coarse performances, he approaches most of his characters with the restraint of an English screen veteran. In an era when so many performers are stuck in the tar pits of greed and neurotic indecision, it was nice to hear a recent piece on National Public Radio in which Disney’s studio chairman, d**k Cook, recalled Mr. Depp’s disarming eagerness to be in a pirate movie — to his agent’s consternation, the actor committed to the general idea before anyone had written a treatment, let alone a script, then insisted that he would play the rogue.

5 August 2006   Articles No Comments

This article is courtesy of the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition, whose publicist allowed me to add it to the site. Credit goes to them, and the full article can also be found here

How Johnny Depp keeps defying expectations
August 5, 2006; Page P4

More than 11 years ago, in one of my first columns for this paper, I said of Johnny Depp that “he has just what it takes to revive that dodo bird of the American cinema, the swashbuckler.” How could I have foreseen, way back then, his performance in “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Well, I couldn’t, and didn’t. The subject was a seriously underrated comedy called “Don Juan DeMarco,” in which he plays, with a droll Castilian accent, a delusional New Yorker who claims to be the world’s greatest lover. I came across this piece of pseudo-prescience in the course of thinking about Mr. Depp’s hugely popular portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, and his new real-life role as king of the Hollywood hill.

What his sudden ascension means for the studios is clear — a mad competition for his services, now that the second installment of “Pirates” is a staggering success, and the third one is already in the can. What it means for movie lovers, especially those who care about actors and acting, is equally clear. Stardom isn’t always synonymous with interesting acting — Robert Redford and Keanu Reeves come to mind. Yet every Depp performance holds out the promise of surprise, and he delivers on the promise more often than not.

Everyone who has seen “Pirates” can readily recall Jack Sparrow’s quirks — the slyness, the blitheness, the woozy feyness that slides in and out of genial gayness. Even those who haven’t seen the film seem to be aware that the model for this unlikely hero was Keith Richards, although an earlier stage in the character’s evolution may well have been that aforementioned Don Juan, who wore eyeliner and, in a fantasy sequence, sported a mask and bandana as a typhoon survivor washed up on the island of Eros. Moviegoers who don’t usually register the specifics of performance love to talk about his work in “Pirates,” but it’s hardly the first time Mr. Depp has inspired such discussion. He has a star presence and a star’s set of skills — in “Don Juan DeMarco” he managed to dominate most of his scenes with Marlon Brando — but without the burden of a star persona. Like the younger Dustin Hoffman, he declines to confine himself to roles that conform to his public’s expectations.

To the contrary, he seems to have chosen most of his films for the sake of the work, rather than for how they might affect his career. (He has done more than 30 features so far, including such small-scale favorites as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Benny & Joon.”) In a medium that rewards coarse performances, he approaches most of his characters with the restraint of an English screen veteran. In an era when so many performers are stuck in the tar pits of greed and neurotic indecision, it was nice to hear a recent piece on National Public Radio in which Disney’s studio chairman, Dick Cook, recalled Mr. Depp’s disarming eagerness to be in a pirate movie — to his agent’s consternation, the actor committed to the general idea before anyone had written a treatment, let alone a script, then insisted that he would play the rogue.

He had already played a roguish river rat — with something resembling an Irish accent — in “Chocolat” (another role that may have served as a finger exercise for Jack Sparrow). But such is his protean physical presence — seductively rather than aggressively handsome — that he has also been able to play memorable innocents. As the hero of “Edward Scissorhands,” a variation on the theme of Frankenstein’s monster, he is punked-out, purple-lipped, sweetly zonked and the quintessential adolescent outsider. As the dreadful, delusional film director in “Ed Wood,” he makes a strange kind of innocence strangely attractive. Ed looks sleekly girlish in a white angora sweater, blond wig, lipstick and earrings. “I even paratrooped in brassiere and panties,” he tells a schlock producer, by way of explaining his penchant for cross-dressing.

Both of those films were directed by Tim Burton, which makes it all the more puzzling, and intriguing, that Mr. Depp seemed uncharacteristically ill at ease as Willy Wonka in Mr. Burton’s lavishly stylized “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” It’s as if he’d felt a heavy burden of debt to a children’s classic. And knew that what he was playing — the epicene affect, the prissily piping voice, the creepy resemblance to Michael Jackson — didn’t add up to a lot of fun. But Willy was an exception that proves a general rule. Watching Johnny Depp is almost always enjoyable. Now that he’s in the singular position of doing anything he chooses, it will be fascinating to see what he does next.

Write to Joe Morgenstern at joe [dot] morgenstern [at] wsj [dot] com

14 July 2006   Articles No Comments

It’s tempting, as some have done, to call Johnny Depp the king of the weirdo actors writes Michael Sragow, the Sun Movie Critic for the Baltimore Sun.com. He adds that anyone surprised at Depp’s outre buccaneer Jack Sparrow in his Pirates of the Caribbean movies needs to know it’s just Johnny Depp doing what he does best: trying to make an old character “interesting and different, and push him as far as you can go.

…Depp famously drew on Keith Richards for Sparrow — and Richards will play Sparrow’s dad in the third Pirates movie. In the current Rolling Stone, Depp also credits his wide reading in pirate lore for some of Sparrow, such as a study called Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition (“I wasn’t exactly going for that with the character. … It was more that I liked the idea of being ambiguous”) and a book by a French sailor who said that he’d keep going as a sailor “because the horizon is always there.” In fact, he mined that idea for the first film’s last line, “Now, bring on that horizon.”

Visit the Baltimore Sun website to read more about the stories behind Johnny’s characters.

12 July 2006   Articles No Comments

The rum-swilling Captain Jack Sparrow is back, and Johnny Depp couldn’t be happier writes Hanh Nguyen of Zap2it.com. The selfishly charming raider created by Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski is based loosely on real life rock and roller Keith Richards and the amorous cartoon skunk Pepe LePew.

CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW

LOS ANGELES – The rum-swilling Captain Jack Sparrow is back, and Johnny Depp couldn’t be happier.

He’s been playing outlandish characters for years, but it wasn’t until his turn as the selfishly charming raider in 2003’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” that he earned his first Oscar nomination. The popularity of his character was a vindication of sorts since the studio was initially nervous about his quirky portrayal, which was based on the oddball combination of rock legend Keith Richards and the amorous cartoon skunk Pepe LePew.

“I mean, bless ’em, [the executives] did panic on the first one, and probably to some degree for good reason,” says Depp. “I think it’s a prerequisite to become an executive: you have to have that capability to panic instantly and do your best to resolve it as quickly as possible. But really it was a case where the audience, the viewers, actually came in and they were the ones that saved me.”

Now Depp’s returning the favor with the eagerly awaited sequel “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” Jack Sparrow is no mere imaginary friend for a man who was sad to finish shooting the original film because of “separation anxiety.” Some creative psychoanalysis would probably be in order to examine just how much of Depp is actually in the character, which he falls into effortlessly.

“See, I’m never aware of it, that I’m in character. It never feels like I’m in character,” he confesses. “It always feels like you have those moments just before the take and it kind of winds down after the scene is done.”

Depp, who has already shot most of the next “Pirates” film, is ready for more sequels if Disney greenlights them.

“I just feel like I’m not done … like there are more things you could do,” says Depp. “Because, I suppose, with a character like this, the parameters are a little broader, so there are more possibilities I think. And he’s a fun character to play. I was really not looking forward to saying goodbye to him.”

In his latest adventure, Captain Jack searches for a key to unlock a chest belonging to the legendary pirate Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). Because of his colorful cheekiness, returning director Gore Verbinski is always careful to balance Jack out and is thankful that there’s slightly more to the drunken, rascal’s character.

“He’s such a piece of garlic in the soup that you need seven straight men against him. He can’t just rub against one,” says Verbinski. “He needs to rub against a series of archetypes and a series of plot constructs. Also, the thing about Jack’s character is that there is an honest streak. I think that’s what we always keep coming back to. Jack thinks he’s a bad boy, but he would love to not be as kind of good as he really is. He just hates that about himself.”

On his quest, Jack must decide whether to sacrifice his friend Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) in order to escape the Kraken, an enormous squid that acts as Davy Jones’ aquatic attack dog. The Kraken destroys entire ships with its giant, muscular tentacles and emits a foul-smelling substance, which Jack experiences face-first.

“God, that was horrible,” recalls Depp. “But the good news is I was expecting the worst and it was horrible but it wasn’t as bad as I suppose it could have been. I didn’t inhale any of the slime which is good.”

Despite the huge action scenes, such as grappling with the Kraken, sword fighting inside a giant wheel or escaping cannibalistic islanders, Depp’s favorite scene is more low-key and shows just how much Jack really likes the beautiful Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley).

“The most fun was just one scene that comes to mind is when Jack realizes that there’s a moment when Elizabeth is talking about how she wants to get married,” says the actor, referring to the scene where Jack points out that a captain can officiate a marriage. “And he has that sort of moment of weakness of ‘Ah, well …’ That was a lot of fun to play.”

Although Depp admits that he gravitates towards the more offbeat characters, he thinks it’s just a matter of opinion of what’s considered straight or weird.

“I think everybody’s nuts. I mean, I really do,” he says. “And the weirdest thing in the world is to see some guy who is just super earnest. He’s probably crazier than any of the guys I’ve played. It’d have to be something underneath for me to make that work. Otherwise, there are a bunch of guys out there, actors, actor types who do that kind of thing very well. It’s probably me missing something.”

For now, Depp is still happy to have Captain Jack in his life since there’s about 70 more days of principal photography for “Pirates 3.”

“We’ve got a few more months to go,” he says. “It’s the home stretch, so I think probably the last month I’ll start going into that deep, dark depression.”

“Pirates” sails into theaters nationwide on Friday, July 7.

10 July 2006   Articles No Comments

Who is the bigger box-office champ: Johnny Depp or his fictional alter ego Jack Sparrow? – By Anthony Breznican for USA Today.

“There are people out there who love Pirates but don’t like Johnny Depp, particularly, and don’t have an interest in seeing him in other things, but they like this particular character,” Poland says. “And there are other people who go to see every Johnny Depp thing. And then there are people who will now go see Depp’s other movies because of this.”

Depp is crucial to Pirates’ success, but “you can’t sell him in something people don’t want to see,” Poland says.

Whatever the case, Depp’s Sparrow is getting the credit for this huge debut, from both audiences and the film’s studio, Disney. A survey from online ticket-seller Fandango found 63% of audiences said Depp was a main factor in their decision to see the movie.

Depp has acknowledged that he sometimes clicks with fans and sometimes doesn’t. “You should be pushing yourself to the absolute brink of failure, in terms of like, ‘Boy, if this don’t work, it’s going to be real bad. And if it does work, it might be great,’ ” he said in an interview before the movie opened.

With the two Pirates films, and last summer’s blockbuster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Depp’s idiosyncratic performances hit the right note with mainstream audiences.

This latest success probably will bolster Depp’s ability to take on other curious, less-commercial characters. He is finishing the third Pirates for next Memorial Day and is considering starring in the movie version of the Broadway musical Sweeney Todd. He has long wanted to make the drama Shantaram, about an escaped Australian prisoner in India seeking redemption.

Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer says Depp and Sparrow touched a nerve because “audiences love surprises.”

“When you think of pirates, you think of ‘Arrr!’ and Long John Silver and eyepatches and hooks and peg legs. He didn’t do any of that, but took it in a different direction,” Bruckheimer says. “That’s why you hire him.”