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November 27, 2005   Articles No Comments

In The Libertine Rosamund plays wife and nursemaid to Johnny Depp’s syphilitic Earl of Rochester by Liese Spencer for

…Pike went to Oxford to study literature, it wasn’t to get a degree under her belt, she says, but to taste more of that backstage magic. “I knew that they put on loads of plays, and I knew that it would be a great opportunity to go around and do things without anyone seeing, to practise.”

One of the authors she read at Oxford was the Earl of Rochester, an alumnus of her college, Wadham, and the debauched model for Johnny Depp’s character in The Libertine. As his screen wife, Pike only gets one retrospective love scene with him, because he has long become bored with her and moved on to other things. Like the rest of the film, however, it’s quite a raunchy one, with the two of them smartly dressed in a moving carriage, Depp’s hand up her skirt, while she murmurs obscene encouragement. “We all dream about making love with Johnny Depp!” she laughs. “But that scene was funny because the carriage was so bumpy. It was tiny and the director was doing the camerawork in there with us. So his camera was bobbing away… Still, it’s a brilliant example of how things are much sexier if you don’t see them. It’s more sexy than making love in a bed would have been. We don’t even kiss, and it’s so erotic.

“I mean, Rochester did it every which way he could. Boys, girls, pineapples, the lot. He was a terrible husband but the relationship between them is very real because she’s not quite the long-suffering wife that you initially think she is. Her decision to let him stray is a sign of strength because she understands that man. She loves him but she knows that no woman can hold him down. So, to stand a chance of living with him, you live under those terms. He will go off and sleep with other people.”

Acting opposite Depp was fantastic, she says. “He’s so brilliant to work with, so exciting, you believe in him so much as a character. It made my job very easy.”

Off-camera, he was no less appealing. “He’s like the coolest kid in school. You want to be in his gang. His whole lifestyle is kind of wonderful. He travels with this big group of people. He’s like a gypsy. His caravan is always filled with his friends, playing guitar and painting. You want to be in the band. The guys who look after the trailers were like, ‘How do we clean in there?’ because he covered it with drapes and candles, just covered every available surface.”

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