Category: Encounters

Licia’s Encounter

Hello, this is Lica. I’m a elementary teacher.

i’m very interested in cinema and movies and in particular my passion’s name is: JOHNNY DEPP!i’ve been following him for 11 years and i always loved his performances…what i really love of him , even if i don’t know him deeply, it’s his sincere smile..i love his simplicity and the sincere way he lets the fans ge close to him…he doesn’t feel to be a great movie star…and he doesn’t want anyone to consider him like that…
he’s spontaneous in everything he says and does…and that’s the reason why i0m not surprised that the gold world of Hollywood that he can’t bear described him as a rebel…
he’s not fake …ha doesn’t conform to hypocrisy and star system…
i lived all this at the 2001 venice film festival, when i met him, the 8 spetember 2001…and from that moment on everything i had always thought had a confirm.
until that moment i was not so convinced to meet him…i’ve never loved the autographs, the pics together…because i think that a glance could give me more than anything else!
and it was like that…
a few days before leaving my cousin phoned me to tell me she had the tickets for the from hell premiere…
i was really excited, but i was sad too, ’cause i didn’t know if i was going to meet him or not…
the 7 september 2004 i left for venice with a friend fan of depp, excited and confused…
the night i never slept, thinking at him, fearing i would make some “gaffes”, i wuld not talk…

that day in venice we were lots of fans, all waiting for him with pens and cameras, and my heart was beating very fast…
Johnny arrived a bit late, with the beautiful Heather Graham next to him…his look made me going crazy and i started trembling…he always smiled and neversaid no to requests of photos and autographs by the fans…
he was getting close to us, stretching hands, giving kisses…autographs, pics…and here he comes..”say something” i thought, “this is your chance!” but when i found him so close to me i couldn’t help stretching my hand towards him and started crying…
and he took my hand with infinite sweetness and i said ?thank you johnny?…he smiled as only him can do and put his hand on his heart doing a little “bow”…and he went away slowly…

in that moment, my life changed and i really understood what is the face of love…

By

Licia

INSIDE – INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO

[i]This encounter first appeared in Johnnydeppfan, and is now hosted here with permission of the webmistress./i]

I don’t usually post on message boards, but I read a few messages now and then, if they appear to be “information-based,” and after seeing John Bogdan’s impassioned account of the Johnny sighting and all the effort he put into the pursuit (after his run, was that FIVE miles?), I felt compelled to share my experience.

I was a guest at the taping. I read on Vicki’s web page a few weeks ago that J.D. would be on I.A.S. I work in a TV station-we operate on SCHEDULES-and I couldn’t find any indication, in any schedule anywhere, that Inside the Actors Studio even aired on 2/25, let alone with Depp as guest. Through one of our programming directories I found a phone number for Bravo and ended up speaking with the person who handles the press guests for the show. She says they don’t publish taping dates for fear of being inundated with “gate crashers” in the small auditorium. In fact, I learned, there are IAS season subscribers who pay to see all the tapings, so it isn’t exactly a secret! Anyway, she said, “Why don’t you come up?” (I live in Orlando.) Didn’t take me long to make plane and hotel reservations and I was on my way to NYC on Monday for a very un-characteristically spontaneous mini-adventure.

The 7pm taping was delayed about 45 minutes because of all the people who showed up. At one point I counted at least 130 people standing in the aisles. The show directors seemed overwhelmed, didn’t know what to do, paced back and forth; Lipton came out and said that this had never happened in 8 years and 115 or so guests and had to be due to the incredible career and popularity of “this man.” They brought out extra chairs, after trying to persuade some people to go to a viewing room somewhere (no one wanted to). I’m sure they were hoping the fire marshal wouldn’t choose that time to do an inspection. This is a very low-key production, as those of you who watch regularly know. I think their security procedures might change, however, after the chaos and confusion of Monday night.

They finally got everyone settled, with a few people sitting up on the camera platforms at the sides of the auditorium. I was grateful to find my name printed in large letters on the back of my chair, about 6 rows back on the side (Actors Studio students sit in the middle). When Johnny walked out, to a cheering, standing ovation, of course, he seemed shy, smiling at the audience, pausing and bowing slightly before he sat down. I must confess that my first impression was his hair. We all know from reading accounts of interviews that he sometimes looks pretty messy. But his hair was beautiful-lighter brown than I expected, long, but less than shoulder length, thick, shiny, and combed, although, by my rough estimate, he ran his hand through it about 750 times during the interview. Later when Lipton asked whether he preferred short or long hair, JD said he didn’t care, but his daughter doesn’t want him to cut it (a little sigh rippled through the audience). I was also struck by Johnny’s thinner-, paler-, and more-delicate-looking-than-I-expected-face. Those beautiful hollow cheeks are not done entirely with makeup, as one might think from his movies and photos. Lipton mentioned the crowd and how pleased they were to have him there?etc. About 3 sentences later, Johnny said something about “seeing that he would have to start this right away,” and immediately removed one of those dark cigarettes from what looked like a tobacco pouch, apparently a pre-rolled stash, which he continued to do, lighting and re-lighting through all of the taping, stopping every now and then to take a sip of water from the glass on the table next to him.

He wore a green bomber-type jacket, which he quickly removed (it was hot in there). He had on a Keith Richardson sweatshirt, jeans, and his famous boots. He appeared nervous and fidgety {and why not), and referred a couple of times during the Q & A about his nervousness before coming out on stage. Another time he was talking about the need for actors to watch and listen [to people], that he was always interested in watching people’s nervous habits “many of which he had been exhibiting tonight.” He smiled and laughed often, was funny and somewhat self-deprecating , spoke softly, was extremely polite and patient with the students during the Q & A, (lightly chiding one young lady who addressed him as “Mr. Depp” that his father is Mr. Depp), spoke warmly of the late Ted Demme, stating that it’s hard to talk about him in the past tense, then led applause for Demme. He was everything, in fact, that we would want him to be. I’m hoping no one could see the idiotic grin that was pasted on my face for most of the 3 hours. I don’t think I moved, actually.

I will tell you this much about the interview: Any die-hard Depp fan would know the answers to most of the questions before JD answered. I mentioned this when I called my Bravo contact today to thank her again for inviting me. I asked if the publicists provide the info to Lipton. She told me the researcher was sitting right in front of me at the taping (like I’d notice?), and that the guests provide a list of topics which they do NOT want discussed; the researcher does the rest. Maybe the researcher reads the same boards we do. Vicki should be proud. Luckily, knowing the answers would never keep a Depp fan from watching the show and to anyone else it will be new and interesting stuff!

One answer which I thought was delightful, when they were discussing where JD was living and why, etc. (we know all that), Lipton said, “There’s nothing like being in love and being in Paris,” to which JD replied, kind of to the side, “Yeah, it makes babies.” Johnny said he was living in France and living “here,” without any of that talk about violence in the US, which we have read in his previous interviews. One wonders if he is playing that down a little?don’t know?just wondering.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product. The interview taping ran until about 10p, followed by the “classroom,” in which the students ask their questions (You know, the “Hi, I’m Buffy, I’m an actor” segment. Cheap shot?sorry?actually some very famous actors are graduates of the Actors Studio-you can look it up on the Internet.), lasting until about 11, when Lipton interrupted and said, “We’ve got to let this man go home!” Although I wasn’t sure, an inside contact tells me that JD was whisked out of the auditorium very quickly, which is where John Bogdan’s story takes over. She added that JD was somewhat overwhelmed by the late start, the chaos, and the unexpected and uncontrolled crowd, so Bogdan’s observations are right on. No air date has been announced yet-the editing time varies. If the popularity of the taping session is any indication, I would guess they might speed up the process and get the thing on the air as soon as they can. In this business, it’s sometimes hard to second-guess the plotting and planning. Due to the way ratings are compiled, I don’t think the cable networks hold off the hot stuff until sweeps, the way the b’cast stations do.

This has been a very exciting experience, an unexpected highlight of an otherwise VERY routine life, one which will keep me glowing for a long time. I suggest we check TVGuideOnline.com, or your TV listing-of-choice, regularly and do either a “Johnny Depp” or “Inside the Actor Studio” search to see the program listings. IAS lists two weeks out-so we’ll know when the program airs and won’t have to guess and gossip about it-well, guess, anyway. 😎 This has been a very long post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it today.

Paris Film Festival

I met Johnny on Sunday, April the 5th of 1998: he was there to give an award at the ending ceremony of the Paris film festival, where his friend Sean Penn was the President of the Jury. I was at this festival but people without invitation weren’t allowed to be present in the theater for the ending ceremony, so I decided to wait a moment behind the barrier to see some stars. And then, he arrived (with his director Roman Polanski). I was totally crazy because it wasn’t provided he would be there.

Briefly, he was exactly as Sam has written: very nice, generous and smiling with everybody (when the guy by my side gave to him a 1 dollar banknote to sign it, he said joking “am I worth only this price?”). He signed lots of autographs and allowed lots of pictures. And when a man who was with him told him he had to enter the theater, he wanted to stay longer to sign other autographs and take pictures with fans who were behind the other barrier. An angel!!! (Contrary to Sean Penn who hadn’t stopped when he had passed very quickly in front of fans, before Johnny). He was the star who stayed the longest time with fans, and when he was gone, everyone said he was great. Since this day, I love him still more. I took 2 photos of Johnny, but I didn’t talk to him because I was too impressed to tell him something interesting, I prefered to be quiet.

encounter from johnnydeppfan

John Tesh’s producer’s encounter

A few years ago, when I was the Marketing Director for John Tesh?s music I heard that Johnny Depp?s trailer was parked right outside my office on the Paramount lot. He was shooting a film on a stage right behind the Mae West building where I worked.

That put me in a bit of a fix. I had a policy against any sort of star deference on the lot. It was rampant and kind of sickening and I wanted no part of it. I routinely passed Kevin Costner, Niles from Fraiser, Tom Cruise and others while walking around to the catering truck or on errands and we would smile and nod, like anyone else. I once had a temp assignment working for Patrick Stewart. Being no fan of Star Trek, I didn?t know who he was until someone told me later that morning. At lunch, Patrick and his girlfriend came back all lit up. Apparently Pierce Brosnan was right outside, having also eaten at the Commissary. I didn?t say anything.

?Pierce Brosnan!? Patrick told me. “Don?t you like him??

?I don?t know who that is.?

?James Bond!? his girlfriend blurted.

?James Bond! Don?t you know James Bond?? Patrick asked me, leaning over my desk to make the point right in my face.

?Listen,? I said, ?I didn?t know who you were until about fifteen minutes ago.?

But Johnny Depp?I knew who he was. And he was on my short list. What to do?what to do?

Part of my job was to manage the swag?the merchandise?John Tesh cds, videos, t-shirts. I didn?t have much to offer. I got out a piece of letterhead and tried to tell him what I needed him to know.

Johnny,

I was in Macon, Georgia when I discovered you three years ago?watching What?s Eating Gilbert Grape with my family. We?re still quoting that movie. So?years of laughs, then. And then there was Arizona Dream and Benny and Joon and Dead Man. The thing is, I never thought I?d have the chance to tell you?to thank you for doing what you do. And to let you know about just one family whose days you made better.

And also to thank you for not becoming what this industry insists you become. For doing this on your own terms.

Keep shining?

I pulled one of the coveted wool John Tesh tour jackets from the top shelf and put it in the box.

PS Didn?t want you to be the only one of your friends not to have one of these.

And with a lick and kiss it was done. I walked it next door to Stage 19.

?Is Johnny Depp here?? I asked the stage manager?

?Yes he?s right there ? just finishing up this scene ? give him just a minute.?

?No no ? will you please just give him this for me??

?Why don?t you give it to him ? I?m sure he?d love that and he?ll be done in just a minute,? she whispered.

?Really,? I told her, ?I?ve said everything I have to say in the letter ? I don?t want to put him on the spot but do please make sure that he gets it. Will you??

?Yeah if you?re sure,? she said.

?Thanks.?

That was late Friday afternoon.

What a kick. To get to let him know. How often does that happen.

By Sunday I?d forgotten all about it.

Monday morning I walked into my office to a ringing phone.

?John Tesh Productions? ?

?I?m looking for Samantha.?

?This is Samantha.?

?This is Johnny.?

John Tesh is on a plane, I?m thinking, Oklahoma bound, and why is he calling himself Johnny to me. How creepy. Too early. I didn?t respond.

?Johnny Depp?? he continued.

I sat down on top of my desk, reminding myself we?re all people and trying to breathe normal and not say anything that would give me away.

?Hi Johnny.? Safe enough.

?Samantha??

?Yes??

?That is one of the coolest, sweetest, funniest things that?s happened to me and I have to meet you.?

?Oh you don?t,? I told him. ?Really that?s so good of you but you don?t have to do that.?

?No I do! I want to ? I have to meet you. And by your letterhead I can see you?re close. Will you come to my trailer??

I flashed back to bands of my youth. Not the old ?ever see the inside of a tour bus? line. But no, he wasn?t like that. Something told me he wasn?t.

?Sure,? I said.

?Come soon,? he said. ?Today is our last day of shooting and we?ll be done by noon. Will you really come??

He sounded entirely earnest.

?Yes I?ll come.?

?Great ? I?m looking forward to it.?

I sat on my desk for a few minutes, replaying the conversation ? burning it into my memory. Then I called Ingrid upstairs.

??so how long do I wait??

?Go now!? she said. ?Johnny Depp has invited you over — GO!?

?One hour it is!?

The minutes took forever and I knew I was taking a chance to wait. But pride wouldn?t let me do otherwise.

The hour passed. By the time I got to his trailer, I was having a hard time passing for nonchalant. Who?s nonchalant in the middle of a dream coming true? How fraudulent.

The door was cracked and I knocked and someone said to come in. When I opened it the sun poured in on exactly four Johnny Depps sitting side by side on the sofa. Stand-ins and doubles all dressed exactly the same. The one on the right end leaned forward, then the one in the middle almost stood up. The one on the far left smiled and nudged the one next to him. (Will the real Johnny Depp PLEASE…) ?I ? I?m??

The one on the end stood up. ?Samantha??

?Johnny??>

He leaned down so as not to hit his head as he strode across to the door with his hand out. Then he came down the steps and hugged me and thanked me and asked if I had time for a walk. At first I didn?t know how to be. ?Yes but I really don?t have anything to say ? I told it to you in the letter.?

?That?s ok,? he said. ?I have some things to say.?

?Oh yeah??>

?Yeah! What?s it like working for John Tesh??

“It’s uh?”

We both laughed and it was entirely normal and easy and funny and familiar?like we?d known each other from way back.

?Well do I look like you imagined me?? I asked at the end. He looked down and gave my overalls a tug. ?Exactly.?

I saw him a couple years later at the party for the premiere of SLEEPY HOLLOW and he stopped talking to Marilyn Manson when I walked by. He looked at me like you do when someone is vaguely familiar but you?re seeing them somewhere you?re not used to seeing them and you just can?t put it together. But he did stop talking mid-sentence and smiled and said hello. It was enough.

He is enough. In a town where egos are huge and presents are always looked upon with suspicion or the idea that they are owed, he is more than enough. He plays a different game. >

A few years later, working in the international marketing department of Paramount Pictures, a publicist acquaintance had to get down an interview with Johnny Depp at the Cannes Film Festival in France where Depp now lives. He came by my office afterwards. ?How was it?? I asked, feeling somehow like I was asking after a distant friend.

He shook his head. ?He doesn?t even shower. He?s a lousy interview. His hair was filthy. He wouldn?t even put on a clean shirt. He wore the same shirt for three days in a row. We offered him a clean one.? I was laughing. ?It?s not funny,? he snorted.

Oh yes it is. It?s brilliant. He?s found a way to keep the dogs at bay.

As recently as Sunday night at the Golden Globes, Joan and Melissa Rivers deemed him the absolute worst-dressed. Must?ve been a real feather in his cap. The truth is he?s never looked better ? he just didn?t look like what the industry had dictated the ?look? is for such events.

Whatever you think, he?s inching his way through the cesspool of Hollywood moviestardom. Tuesday he was officially nominated for his first Oscar ? fittingly enough, a role in which he plays a pirate.

And from Macon to LA ? we?re pulling for you. We?ll be holding the back door open for you ? we?ve watched long enough to know how you come in.