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4 November 2005   Articles No Comments

**Language warning**

Prince of Darkness
Booze, Oscars and tax breaks.. On set as Johnny Depp delivers his most outrageous performance ever in The Libertine
Words Jonathan Crocker additional reporting Martyn Palmer.

“This guy had been kept in the darkness for far too long.” Says Johnny Depp, leaning towards Total Film. We’re in Depp’s trailer on the Isle of Man. It’s cold outside. He’s wearing cuffs frilly enough to shame a poodle and passionatley telling us about John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester. “He’s an incredible character. I’m amazed that, like, Marquis de Sade has got more action, you know? But then I’m also amazed Marlowe hasn’t got as much action as Shakespeare…”

Depp in in his element. “It’s been great. It feels f**king great…” And he deserves to enjoy the moment. Because his journey to playing the titular 17th-century poet hellraiser in The Libertine has been much longer and more involved than simply nipping over the choppy water from his home in France.

It started in 1995. Depp watched John Malcovich playing Rochester in Stephen Jeffreys’ play. He was brilliant, Johnny told him so. Malkovich said he wanted him to star as Rochester on screen…

Depp has signed to headline, bringing freshly found box office clout in addition to his talent, having just starred in Pirates of The Caribbean. He also approves of edgy Accurist and BMW ad helmer Laurence Dunmore, who is making his feature directorial debut. “I just had a feeling,” says Depp,”he would be all right…”

Then everything fell apart.

“Literally, one day we were funded and the next we weren’t,”Dunmore tells Total Film, shaking his head. It was catastrophic.”

Most films were sunk, gone forever. But then, most films don’t have Malkovich and Depp. The two stars poured in their own money to keep the production afloat. “they dug very deep,” Says Dunmore

“Johnny stuck by us, at a time when we could have been facing a cascade into a meaningless puddle. He stood his ground. “Malkovich, meanwhile negotiated a quick thinking deal to shoot in cut cost safe haven, the Isle of Man. Hence the frills and chills of our on set encounter with Depp, who doesn’t trumpet his own role in freeing The Libertine.

“You know it’s a great part.There are a million things to like about Rochester. It’s very easy for the take on him to be, ?He’s a pig, a drunk, he’s a randy, Psychotic madman,’ but he was brilliant. I mean for all his adventures and all his sexual and deviant encounters, he was quite sensative and loving. He was really a very caring man. And this sort of material only rolls around once. Material like this is just, I mean, more prescious than any jewel.”

So, dunmore’s movie survivied. The rain sodden 45 day shoot (turns out we were there on a good day) was an endurance test for all involved (“It ranged from the absurd to the hilarious,” says Dunmore) but the result is extraordinary: Depp is extraordinary. His potty-mouthed display of time bomb hedonism centres The Libertine’s filthy delicious drama, with Dunmore realising the 17th Century as a grimy, conflicted netherworld. Superficially, the film may dip in the same ink pot as Philip Kaufman’s Quills, but it draws a darker, more intense picture. “It feels shocking in that it moves with this force of its own,” says Depp. “It has the energy of punk rock. It’s unforgiving and it’s ugly at times and it’s brutal and it’s flowery and it’s funny, all kinds of things, but it doesn’t let up…” copyright

This is an article excerpt. To view the entire article, please visit Total Film.

10 October 2005   Articles No Comments

And the Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award goes to… Johnny Depp!

BOZEMAN, Mont.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 10, 2005–HatcH Audiovisual Festival is proud to announce the winner of this year’s 2nd Annual Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award, actor/ musician Mr. Johnny Depp! The award was presented at the Hatch Awards Red Carpet Ceremony held at the Ellen Theatre October 9th at 8:00pm on the Festival’s Celebrated Gary Cooper Day!

Revered as the highest honor at the festival, this award is about dreams and the people that encourage dreamers. It is presented to the actor or actress that embodies the spirit of Gary Cooper. The first recipient is longtime Montana resident Peter Fonda, who received the honor for his unique and bold contribution to the world of filmmaking and his love of sharing artistic knowledge with students of film and theater throughout the world.

“We are so honored to have a recipient who will be thought of in generations to come, the way Gary Cooper is thought of today”. Scott Billadeau, Executive Board Hatch.

Among a group of high profiled celebrities, an actor/ actress is selected by the Hatch board of directors, for their profound work as an artist and their contribution to film, to receive the award. The artist selected embodies the spirit and legacy that is Gary Cooper.

“Johnny Depp is a perfect choice. He embodies the aura and generosity of Gary Cooper” Actor, Morgan Freeman

Directors, colleagues, musicians and industry professionals have often referred to Mr. Johnny Depp, as “the next Gary Cooper”. Recognized as one of the most versatile actors of this day in Hollywood, he is celebrated for his execution of dark sinister type roles from “Donnie Brasco” to the “Secret Window”, including a wide range of roles in movies that are similar to those portrayed by Mr. Gary Cooper, who is also very famous for his successful portrayals onscreen as the dark, quiet, laconic type.

“Johnny Depp is an inspired choice to receive the Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award. Like Cooper, JD is his own man. Al Pacino admires Gary Cooper for his astonishing integrity as an actor. Johnny Depp embodies that same integrity. This is inspired!” John Mulholland, Representative of the Gary Cooper Estate.

Mr. Depp throughout his career has proven to be a role model for aspiring talent worldwide. His love for music and the arts, as well as his proven diversity in a series of roles such as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Edward Scissorhands”, has marked Mr. Depp as a leading actor and mentor of our time.

“JD is a pioneer, a groundbreaker in his own right. He’s taken many risks and is one of the few modern day actors that do not conform to Hollywood’s template, but defines himself with characters that are innovative and provocative. There is no other JD just as there is no other GC”. Yarrow Kraner- Co-founder Hatch


4 October 2005   Articles No Comments

We asked Knightley why she thought the first movie was such a hugely popular hit. “I have no idea. It’s still a mystery,” she admitted. “What’s amazing is that there’s such a wealth of stories there–you know, the pirating stories–and if you can tap into it and if you can do it well then it’s just that spark of imagination. There’s all those films when you’re a kid that you kind of remember as part of your childhood that you’ve sort of lived through.

On suggesting that the popularity of Johnny Depp’s outlandish performance as Captain Jack Sparrow might have a lot to do with the first film’s success, she agreed, “Oh, absolutely. It wasn’t written like that. The character, as it was written, was completely straight, so that character is entirely his and Gore Verbinski’s. They totally came up with that and none of us knew if it would work when we were doing it, because it was so off-the-wall and so not what was on the page.

It’s daring, and talk about risks, a.) you’re making a pirate movie, that hasn’t worked in God knows how long, b.) you’re making a film based on a Disney theme park ride and c.) you got Johnny Depp going mental over there, and you’re just thinking, ‘How is this going to work?’ I think you’ve got to take the risks. There’s no point playing it safe, because either you’ll get bored or the audiences will get bored. Sometimes, you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s fine, but you have to take the risks.

I think Pirates is one of the prime examples of that with Johnny Depp’s performance, and part of the reason that people love it so much is that you watch it and go ‘Gutsy, really gutsy'”

2 October 2005   Articles No Comments

The magic from acting-directing teams
BY MONICA HAYNES / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Their relationship is one of admiration, inspiration, respect, trust and, sometimes, even love. Their collaborations can result in Oscar-nominated performances or bargain bin specials.

But when the right director and the right actor get together there’s movie magic and a union that can last longer than many Hollywood marriages.

“Corpse Bride” represents the fifth time director Tim Burton and his muse, Johnny Depp, have teamed up, with Depp voicing the character of Victor. Burton’s personal muse, live-in love Helena Bonham Carter, is the voice of the title character.

Burton and Depp collaborated for the first time on 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands.” Four years later, the quirky director and the eccentric actor tackled “Ed Wood,” and “Sleepy Hollow” followed in 1995. Earlier this year, Burton released “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Depp once again in the starring role.

“Each time I’ve worked with Johnny, he’s something different,” said Burton. “He’s interested in being a character and not necessarily interested in his persona, and I find it very exciting to work with actors like that.”

For his part, Depp, like many actor/muses, has developed a deep and abiding trust of his favorite director.

“Tim’s vision is always amazing, beyond anything you expect,” Depp said. “If Tim wanted to shoot 18 million feet of film of me staring into a light bulb and I couldn’t blink for three months, I’d do it.”

25 September 2005   Articles No Comments

Frenzied photographers formed a human wall around Johnny Depp as the actor arrived for a film festival press conference at the Sutton Place Hotel yesterday, bathing him in an eerie glow of flashing lights – by Peter Howell for the

So intent were they on grabbing his image, as probably the most in-demand celebrity amongst the many currently visiting Toronto, it’s likely none of them stopped to ponder which Johnny Depp they were actually getting.

Would it be the Michael Jackson send-up of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the summer hit that is maintaining its momentum straight into the fall?

Would it be Capt. Jack Sparrow, the Keith Richards caricature Depp played in the summer ’03 smash Pirates of the Caribbean, and whom he is revisiting during the current simultaneous shoots for the Pirates 2 and Pirate 3 sequels?

Would it be his loving imitation of his friend Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the late gonzo journalist whom he portrayed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and whom he recently eulogized by sending his ashes flying from a cannon?

Or would Depp be like any of the characters he has played for his director friend Tim Burton, which include the title-role misfits of Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, the inquiring Constable Ichabod Crane of Sleepy Hollow or the nerdy groom Victor of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, the stop-motion romance chiller that premiered last night at the Elgin Theatre?

The simple answer might be “all of the above,” since Depp seems to have long ago surrendered his own personality to whatever muse calls his name.

Legal Notice: Copyright Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved.

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24 September 2005   Articles No Comments

Johnny Depp always has been one of our favorite and best actors but even he remembers his bad reputation. While we doing our interview a tray of glasses was dropped in another room with a loud crash. Johnny laughed and said “You saw me here. I couldn’t have done it! I’m going to get blamed for that” – by Daniel Robert Epstein for

***WARNING***This site may contain nude photos.

Even just using his voice in the stop-motion animated Corpse Bride, the power of Depp comes through.

Corpse Bride is set in a 19th-century European village and follows the story of Victor [Johnny Depp], a young man whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride [Helena Bonham Carter]. While his real bride, Victoria [Emily Watson], waits bereft in the land of the living.

Daniel Robert Epstein: How did you get into the character of a puppet?

Johnny Depp: I had the great luxury that when I arrived to do the recording Victor was standing there and so I got to meet the puppets. They were beautiful and really inspiring.

DRE: Did you think of anything specific when creating Victor’s voice?

JD: No, not particularly. I was just trying to save my own ass for being ill prepared. I didn’t realize that we were going to be doing the recording while I was shooting Wonka. Tim [Burton] was so helpful as he always is. He’s a character that’s not so far away other characters that I’ve played in the past for Tim like Edward Scissorhands because he’s a little bit of an outsider. A bumbling, deeply insecure nervous character. A lot like me in life.

24 September 2005   Articles No Comments

TORONTO – The groom of the corpse bride, sporting his trademark goatee and frumpy hat and an arm tattoo that reads “Jack,” looked hopeful and yet apprehensive – by Mal Vincent for the Virginian-Pilot.
He wanted to know. He really wanted to know. “Well, man,” he said, “What is it? I can trust you. You wouldn’t steer me wrong.”

He turned a thumb down for a second and then a thumb up accompanied by a hint of a sardonic yet sincere smile. The scene was in the midst of the hoopla that accompanies the Toronto International Film Festival press circus. There was no time for a conversation – just Johnny Depp passing quickly in the hallway between press conferences.

Instinctively, we gave him a thumbs up.

“You really think so? Thanks, man. This was different, you know. I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Indeed, it seems that’s the situation with Depp every time out. Every role is something entirely different – and weird. He takes risks more than any actor in the business, specializing in quirky outsiders and shunning conventional stardom. Long a favorite of the critics, his movies, more often than not, haven’t hit the big time at the box office – attracting more of a cult than a mainstream following. It seems almost a fluke, in spite of himself, that his flamboyant playing of Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was such an international hit two years ago. It made him a mainstream movie star, in contrast with his screen zoo of character oddities.

The Virginian-Pilot

21 September 2005   Articles No Comments

If Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the ringleaders of Hollywood’s “frat pack,” then Johnny Depp and Tim Burton head up another of Tinseltown U’s cliques: the artsy, quiet intellectual types that can be seen digging through the racks at the local secondhand shop while sipping javas – BY JULIE WOHLBERG on Boise

Where Vaughn and Wilson’s team cornered the market on blockbuster, slapstick comedies, Depp and Burton have mastered the modern cult film–starting with 1991’s Edward Scissorhands and leaving their marks on the last 15 years of cinema with films like Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, they have unveiled Corpse Bride, an homage to Burton’s 1993 film, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

“It was very exciting,” commented Depp of his experience in voice-over. “It’s all very new to me, you know? It’s an interesting and fascinating process. There’s something very pure about it being from the page, into the air, and onto the recording machine. You have that and you combine that with doing scenes where they’re going to mesh these voices together, but you’re doing a scene with people you’ve never even met before, which is slightly absurd but kinda great.”

16 September 2005   Articles No Comments

Once Marlon Brando told him, ‘We only have so many faces in our pockets.’ It’s career advice Depp has never forgotten – By Gayle MacDonald for the Globe and Mail.

Johnny Depp relishes full-blown transformation.

He got a kick out of inserting gold teeth and kohling his eyes to play the inimitable campy pirate Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. He enjoyed putting his own face-powdered stamp on Willy Wonka with Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And now he’s hitting the screens as a clumsy, insecure and well-meaning puppet named Victor, in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Depp, in Toronto last weekend to promote his friend Burton’s stop-motion animated film, says these roles have been a nice change from character-driven parts that perhaps are a bit closer to the real Johnny Depp. “Any actor with any semblance of sanity — probably our biggest fear is to go anywhere near who you are. It’s okay to use certain truths,” he continues, but then is interrupted by a tray of falling plates just outside a room at the Four Seasons Hotel.

“You saw I didn’t do anything at all. I’ll be blamed for that.”

Then Depp, who has always had a loyal cult of fans but only recently enjoyed blockbuster, box-office success, says he’s never forgotten the words of a wise man he worked with on 1995’s Don Juan DeMarco. “I can hear Marlon’s [Brando] words reverberating. One time he said to me, ‘How many films do you do a year?’ ” Depp recalls.

“And I said, ‘I don’t know. Two or three.’ And he said, ‘You gotta watch yourself.’ I said, ‘Why’s that?’ And he said, ‘We only have so many faces in our pockets.’ And as you get to a certain point, and you’ve played different characters, you think, God, he really was right.”

15 September 2005   Articles Interviews No Comments

In Tim Burton’s new movie, Corpse Bride, his favorite leading man Johnny Depp returns to voice Victor, the reluctant groom – Stephanie Sanchez.

The following is a Q&A from the Toronto Film Festival with Depp about his role in Corpse Bride, Pirates 2 and 3 and life with kids…

Q: Had you wanted to do an animated film and why this one?

Depp: It was something I wanted to do, kind of always wanted to do especially since having my first child. I’ve been watching nothing but animated films now. So I’ve really developed a respect and love for them. But more than anything, what drew me to this was Tim. We were just commencing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and he said, ?Hey, I’ve got this other thing, Corpse Bride, maybe take a look at it.’ So I read it and loved it, but it somehow didn’t occur to me that we were going to be doing it at the same time. I thought it was going to be like months down the road so I would have some time later to prepare for the character. So you could imagine my surprise when, as I was very, very focused on Wonka, Tim arrives on set and says, ?Hey, you know, maybe tonight we’ll go and record some of Corpse Bride.’ I was like sure, ‘course we can. I have no character. I didn’t know what the guy was going to sound like or anything. Good fun though.

Q: How did you create the voice?

Depp: Well, everything for Corpse Bride happened very quick. It all happened in about 15-20 minutes literally because I had to finish the day as Wonka. And then right after work, Tim and I would go on over to the studio for the session. So the process lasted about the length of the walk from the soundstage to the recording studio which was pretty quick, where I just grilled him. I said, ?Okay, where is he from? What do you want him to sound like?’ He was born in that little bit of time and I didn’t hear him for the first time until he gave me the nod that they were recording. So the preparation for this, I was remiss basically. I should be flogged.

Q: Do your kids think it’s cooler that you’re a cartoon or a pirate?

Depp: I don’t know. I’ll ask them. The funny thing is with my kids, my daughter’s six and my boy is three. My daughter, she’s quite calm and ladylike and princessy so she can sit there and watch a movie and not get real antsy. Normally, my boy will watch for about three and a half seconds, then sprint as fast as he can across the room to go and break something. With this film, we watched Corpse Bride together, my boy sat on my lap and watched the entire film, just didn’t move, just riveted. Loved it. Which says a lot. It’s pretty full, this movie. [more…]