Hey guys – I thought I should inform u that I did have an encounter
with the one and only inspiring Johnny on the 17th October 04 at the
london premiere of ‘finding neverland’ it was so much fun, standing
just a foot away from Mr Depp i got his autograph, thanked him, told
him i loved him and he gave me a sweet smile! He was so sweet and
gorgeous he signed nearly everybodies things and looked so beautiful
for the whole night. I saw Vanessa Paradis (who looked stunning) she
was quite obviously pregnant – breaking news! she is very petit and
i have video footage of vanessa holding her stomach with a small
bump!and video footage of johhny up real close too! i wonder if its
gonna be a boy or a girl! bless! johnny said “I am very happy my
fans were there through the rain and cold weather all day, they are
very sweet” something around those lines neways and when asked in an
interview what he thought of the film he replied “very good…? i’ve
never been great at that salesman thing before.” bless him so. neway
i will definately post a more detailed description soon wen i get
those much deserved photos i am waiting for!
thanks Johnny, I had such a great time and thanks to the webmaster
for posting the info on the uk london premiere – I would never of
had this opportunity and meeting with him if it werent for you!
i hoped u enjoyed the news about vanessa and that of Johnny.
from one a dedicated fan to another XxX

Suec’s Encounter

I’ve just got back home from the premiere. It was an incredible experience. Just seeing the Odeon surrounded by railings, with the cameras and crowds there and the helicopter filming it, was wonderful. Walking on the red carpet and into the building, knowing he would be following, was just incredible! I was up in the circle watching Johnny on the screen signing autographs outside! An exquisite form of torture but I was excited anyway. He went on for ages, it seemed. Then we watched him on the screen being interviewed inside the building, only yards away!Then finally it finished and the curtains closed. We waited for another age and suddenly I noticed Vanessa come in. She was a couple of feet away from AnaMaria and eventually sat down directly in front of me about 10 rows away. She looked stunning. Feminine and elegant – and petite, of course. I don’t think the pictures do her justice at all. When Johnny came on stage, it was just the best, the best. I didn’t get close to him. I went inside before he arrived to work the crowd so I didn’t get close, but I was still pretty ecstatic. Actually, I was very emotional. What an evening. The film was wonderful. I won’t go on about that now – it’s time for me to get to bed! But at the end of the film, we were approached by someone and asked if we would be interviewed so that our comments about the film could be used for radio adverts to promote the film next week! That was another highlight, in an evening of them, being able to recommend Johnny’s work and everyone else’s too! Gotta go now. Need some sleep.

Poppet’s Encounter

Ok, this might not be particularly coherent, as I am still shaking, but here goes.

Lizabel, Anna, Nichola & myself met up at lunchtime at The Odeon. After a long lunch spent talking non stop about Johnny (what else?!), and eating very little, we went back to the Odeon to meet up with some other zoners. After being moved around a bit by securty staff, we managed to get to the front of the barriers outside the Odeon, just as the heavens opened and we all got soaking wet! Eventually the rain stopped, before anyone arrived thankfully, so we were all able to get our cameras ready. We saw a few stars arrive – Mackenzie Crook, Christopher Lee, Kelly McDonald, Freddie Highmore, and I’m sure some more I’ve forgotten! Unfortunately, as we suspected, Johnny didn’t arrive until after we had to be seated as we had tickets to see the movie. We waited as long as we could, but had to admit defeat and went inside to our seats. Inside the cinema they were showing footage of the stars arriving & a tv presenter interviewing various stars. Johnny must have arrived just as we got inside as they were showing footage of him signing autographs a short while after we got to our seats. We could see where abouts in the crowd he was, and as our bad luck would have it, he was signing some autographs right where we had been standing!! But we didn’t want to risk not getting to see the movie or the presentation so we had to leave when we did. Johnny seemed to be signing autographs for over 30 minutes, had his photo taken with some very lucky girls, then went over to the press section to have his photo taken there. He had a few pics taken with Kate, then Vanessa stepped forward and they had a few brief pics taken then went inside. We watched him interviewed on the screen (we think the footage we were watching of the red carpet & the interviews is what will be shown on ITV2 tomorrow night). Then we noticed some camera flashes at the back of the cinema. In the far corner, a group of people where being photographed. As a camera flash lit up the group, I noticed a familiar looking face wearing glasses……..

Someone came on stage (I totally forget the guys name now), and introduced Cat Deeley (British tv presenter & ambassador for the charity hosting the premier), she gave a short speech then I think someone to do with the film came on next but again, I totally forget who he was! All this time, Johnny was lined up against the wall with the others waiting to come on. And we could see him. Standing in the same room as us. Sigh. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, the premier! Anyway, then I think Harvey Weinstein came on next, then Marc Forster who said a few words, then he introduced the cast who came on one at a time & stood behind him. From what I can remember, they were Ian Hart, Kelly McDonald, the four Llewellyn (sp?) boys, then Kate, and finally Johnny. None of them said anything, they just stood behind Marc then went off.

Sadly, we didn’t get within sniffing distance, so I still don’t know what he smells like!! lol But looking at him up on stage was quite surreal. It still hasn’t properly sunk in yet, it will probably hit me tomorrow morning & I will find myself crying for no good reason!! I am just so glad that we went to the screening, we might not have got our autographs (or a sniff for that matter!), but to see him on stage so close, and to see the wonderful movie, was something I will treasure forever. Not to mention meeting the wonderful friends I have met on the zone.

I should probably say something about the movie too! I don’t want to say too much, but I will just say this. Freddie Highmore is an absolutely amazing actor. How a child of his age is able to act the way he does amazes me. The chemistry between him & Johnny was incredible & I think CATCF is going to be amazing too if he acts half as good as he did in Finding Neverland. Johnny, as ever, was stunning, his ability to become a totally different person is just blows me away. His accent was excellent, he can do a Scottish accent far better than I’ve seen many English actors do. This movie deserves all the awards it will undoubtedly be up for, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a best supporting actor nomination for Freddie. You will cry.

Pearl’s Encounter

Just got back from London. I’m exhausted so I will keep it short, it was amazing, everything about it was a dream come true, although I didn’t actually meet Johnny, I was three rows from the front of the cinema and when he was on stage he was less that 20 feet away, he looks even more amazing in real life. on cloud nine

It was also really nice meeting other zoners, and putting some faces to names.

Oh and I almost forgot, the film was fantastic, I can’t wait to see it again, it’s funny wonderfull and sad all at the same time, another Johnny movie that makes me cry.

I’m sure others will have more detailed reports, I am struggling to find words to describe the experience, my only sadness is that you all couldn’t be there to share it.

I’m off to bed now for some sweet Johnny dreams

Mildred’s Encounter

Wahoo! It was the greatest. Well I got there at 11 am and we sat there
for 7 hours! I met and saw The grey haired blokefrom waking the dead. I dont know his name. Also his wife who is on Holby City. Also Mackenzie Crook, you know he is on The Office and he is the pirate on
POTC with one eye. Also there was Cat Deeley Paul Ross Christopher Lee
and then suddenly Vanessa Paradis appeared and near enough ran to the
cinema. She didnt stop to have photos or anything. Well 20 minutes
later up the other end of the carpet because I was near enough
oppisite the entrance of the cinema, ther was a massive cheer ing and
the chanting of ‘Johnny, Johnny, Johnny! He had came. With Kate
Winslet! Wow! It was so amazing. I spoke to him, got his autograph and
he touched me! Also I am in the same shots with him on Sky News. Also
I was there while they were setting it all up and the red carpet got
flooded because for about 2 hours it was chucking it down with rain.
Also to wind up the people next to me when there were the boring
people coming down the red carpet I kept saying, ‘Look it is Sven
Goran Erikksonn!’ Or ‘Hey! What is Tony Blair doing here’ Things like
that. It was so cool. It still hasnt sunk in that I have met JD the
guy who is on my bedroom walls and Icant stop think ing about! It is
just so unbelievable! Well it was really cold so as soon as we couldnt
see any more stars we went to Starbucks and because on the tube they
have posters of Finding Neverland whenever we went past one I kept
talking ahout me meeting him. It is like the scene on Little Britain
where the women gos on about being the bridesmaid of this famous women
and thn keeps getting interupted by this other guy who went to school
with John Lennon. If you have seen it then you will know what I mean.
Well I just cant stop sayin g but I am on the same TV show as Johnny
Depp! It is near enough being in the same scene of a film with him! It
is just amaing. He is so cool. And he doesnt smell fo ciggerrets
either. Actually I want to know where he got his aftershave coz it is
so nice. Well he was wearing a grey long coat and a white shirt with a
red tie and grey trousers. His shoes were those black and white funky
ones which he wears in that photo shoot in his apartment in Paris! It
is just so amazing that I have seen Johnny Depp. I have touched him
and spoke to him and he spoke to me. It was just so amazing. I cant
stop speak ing about it.
Millie Depp

Lizabel’s Encounter

Well, what to tell you that you havent already read… You all know that Chocolat was able to phone me on my mobile at 2 pre designated times so that I could report ‘live’ from the scene – I must tell you all that it was totally her idea and at HER expense too – phoning a mobile from US to UK…but she did it for the zone! just for fun

Anna & I travelled up to Leicester Sq and met up with Poppet and Nichola. We went for lunch, but the 4 of us were too churned up to really eat properly, so we chatted and laughed. There were already quite a few people outside the cinema, staking their place in the ‘front’ of the barriers. On reflection, they might just have been in the better place.. However, after chatting up a very nice policeman, we managed to stay around the Press area and just waited and hoped… The heavy downpour was not appreciated I can tell you but it was all worth it in the hope of seeing our man: I remember at some point I was next to Spirit of Cherokee and ScrunchyApril & her Mum were there too! We knew we had to be in our seats by 6.30 or we risked not getting in at all, despite being ticket holders. We waited until the last minute, then we had to give up our wonderful place right next to the Press area and walk on a rather sodden red carpet.. the same carpet that Johnny walked some 15 minutes later…

It was hard seeing him arrive via the big screen inside , just outside where we had been, but our hands were tied – nothing we could do about it. The little bottles of mineral water and individual bags of popcorn were nice though! Soon it was time for the Presentation. I remember looking round to the rear of the cinema and gasping as I saw the children, then Kate and then Johnny walk in (the same door we had just walked through…). They were made to queue up along the side of the cinema, but Johnny was surrounded by 3 or 4 big burly looking guys. But I couldnt take my eyes off him. He looked quite small amidst those big guys.. I couldnt tell you what the Director or anyone else was talking about up on the stage, I just had my eyes glued to Johnny. I couldnt believe I was in the same room as him, and that I could see him with my own eyes, not just through my computer screen, or via my TV. Suprisingly, we hadnt been asked to leave our cameras, so I chanced it and got it ready to take some pictures. I somehow had the presence of mind to set it to video, and then I realised Johnny was called to go up on stage. I just pressed the button and followed him with my camera (Anna & I were in the 3rd row from the front so VERY near). I will try to post that here – bear with me, I am not too good at these things, may need to enlist some help!

I just remember seeing Johnny standing there, next to Kate (who looked stunning) – he did his Captn Jack salute and patted his heart, then stood there smiling, with his hands crossed in front of him. He looked little, yes. But oh so beautiful. Perfect. Thin, yes but you know, he isnt a big man and i think this is just how he is! Before I could stop shaking, they were starting to leave the stage – he didnt say anything – none of them did I dont think.. (forgive me – bit blurry!). Then as Johnny was leaving, some people behind me shouted ‘we love you Johnny’ and all I could think of shouting was, ‘Bye Johnny’! I think he must have heard me for there wasnt alot of noise at that point. There was no shouting or screaming inside the cinema and no standing ovation. All very polite, and typically English!

I watched Johnny walk up the side of the cinema again, but this time his bouncers were not around & bless him, he stopped again to sign wahtever he could – even tho it was dark because they started to play the film. At one point, Anna & I gasped because someone had a torch and they shone it on his face – he was lit up – just for an instant – beautiful. And then, he was gone. Just gone. How I watched the film, I’ll never know: I will admit this to you all now, I cried buckets. I cried because I found the whole situation so overwhelming and intense: being in the same room, inches away from this man who has come to mean so much, was just too much. Actually, I didnt want to see the film at that point, just too much to take in although of course I did watch it, and it is all you have read about and more. He is just incredible.

After the film finished, Trinni and friend, Poppet, Nichola, Anna, DeppsJoke and I (so sorry if I have omitted anyone there) found a coffee bar which is where Chocolat rang me the 2nd time. Our original hook up time was delayed because the whole thing had been delayed I think because of Johnny stopping to sign so many autographs. We all know what he is like! You have all read Chocolat’s report I am sure, so I dont need to recount all that. All I can repeat though, is the intense emotions I felt at this time. Very very intense.

After some time, there was just Anna, DeppsJoke and I left and DJ had a call from AnaMaria to say she had just spoken with Johnny & Vanessa. She said Johnny was still at the party, so we decided to jump in a cab (at 11.30 at night!) and head for the party.. we got there to find a few photographers at the gate, and a young lady from Israel who is actulaly a friend of nichole Jacks! She was bubbly as she’d already had a hug from Johnny and an autograph but now she wanted more! She had written on one of the big posters ‘Johnny Depp please stop for a minute’ in the hope of getting his car to stop… I thought it sounded a good ploy, so we stayed with her.. anyway, cutting a longer story short here, we were sidetracked for just a brief second by some stupid bouncer who said something about ‘stand back now, dont want you doing anything silly like running in front of the car’ to which I was replying, ‘Oh i wont do a anything that stupid’.. and *poof* – the black Mercedes which had come pretty close to my foot I might add, disappeared towards the West End… DeppsJoke said,’That was them – I saw Johnnys glasses and Vanessa’. So there they were, gone. gone again.

A great feeling of emptiness followed, but all in all a wonderful time was had and meeting new Zoners and putting faces to names, was lovely. My congrats to AnaMaria for handling her Johnny encounter so respectfully and decently and to the other zoners lucky enough to get close/meet him. It wasnt my turn to meet him THIS time, but I live in hope – it is my goal to shake that mans hand one day and give him the biggest kiss on that beautiful cheek beating heart and to say ‘Thank you’. And I will do it ladies, I will… group hug

Just a foot note to this: with reference to the car we ‘thought’ Johnny left in – it is totally irrelevant now – it could have been any type of car, I was only remembering what the security man had said- we werent really looking – we just wanted to see HIM – not the license plate , not the make of car, just HIM. It was a wonderful experience to have been in the same room as him, and to share with the fellow friends and Zoners who were there.

L.o’s Encounter

hey guys, well, just got back from london about 45 mins ago, and brace yourselves, because i can guarentee this will be my longest post! and iv done some long ones! hu-hum.—

o.k, well, we got to leister square at about, half four, cos we wanted to take in the atmosphere and everything, and the time went really quickly, as we were standing behing the gates, this woman said, “god, iv broken into alot of places, but this security guards the worst!” cos he wasnt even looking at more people going behind the gates when it was restricted Rolling Eyes anyway, we got to talking, and, stroke of luck, she was the producer of Q and A at the bafta rehearsal which was on the same night!and johnny was doing it! Shocked Very Happy so i asked her questions like would he be coming in for the intro and everything, she was so useful, and funny-and then, it started absolutly POORING IT DOWN with rain, england style, so my hair was compleatly drenched Rolling Eyes but i didnt care that much, but i was unbearably cold! so, when the woman had to go, i held her arm and just said “look, you have such a better chance at getting this to him than i do, please just try,” and she said” oh, no look, i cant do autographs, ” and i said “no, its not an autograph, i just want you to give him this letter” so she goes “right, o.k, well, you know il try but its still very unlikey,” and i said “its o.k, just try” and that was the last of her, and my letter, and i never knew what happened to it! probably nothing but, you know, if shes the producer, cant she get it to an interviewer whos interviewing him? i dont know-it just looked like my chance. Wink
so we went to another part of the carpet, the woman said he was ment to be arriving at 6, so i said, o.k, well go in at 10 past o.k? (stupid) so we did, and when we were in the theatre , they actually showed us what was happening outside, which , BELIEVE ME was ABSOLUTE T-O-R-T-U-R-E because, when johnny arrived, i was thinking, for gods sake, hes like 100 yards away from me and i cant see him-i wont see him, and we sat there watching him sign autographs which was even worse, because where we were first time, was right down the corner and we were thinking if he comes when we arnt in, he wont even go down here, but he did! (bear in mind that when i was in the theatre, i really honestly thought that was it, hed just go upstairs for abit and leave, so that hour or so was the most painful hour ever, especially when they were showing all these people who were so lucky!)and then,. the thing on the screen stopped-and we were waiting for about 15 minutes, and had no idea what they were waiting for (i didnt want to believe it) and then, i saw the cast, the four boys in the movie…and i was thinking…wait a second..(by the way, im so SO GLAD i didnt get the circle seat, because i was so amazingly close to the cast because they were walking down the side of our row, and i was about 6 people in-i could have been anywhere in that massive place but i was that fortunate Shocked ) anyway, i looked over my shoulder… ..god-he was right there-i remember seing him for one second, turning round, put my arms on my knees, my hands on my mouth, and my eyes filling up with tears, of i think joy,(it was a confusing state of emotions Laughing )-just not believing that he was that close,for about 7 to 10 minutes waiting to go on stage! i could have (and was about to) cry and then i just pulled myself together (from where i have no idea looking back on it) and i kept looking back at him-for someone that only moved on a t.v screen-was now moving in real life-real close- and i swear to god, i think he glanced at me for one second-i could be mistaken, but his eyes were so dark.i really think he did….i dont know. -but i turned round so quick when i thought he did i was just like “oh…my……god..breath..”so he moved down the row bit by bit and finally went on stage-i gasped again at that point cos i could see all of his body and he was really there in the light! the director said something sweet “going to france to meet johnny for the film was the best assignment iv ever been on, and him saying yes was the nicest thing iv ever heard.” that was so sweet, and then he said (this was before he was on stage he said “he is the greatest, sweetest person, in the world-just to ruin his reputation” which was funny cos i turned round and he as laughing Laughing anyway, he stood on stage for abit, and when he was leaving, he just waved at the audience twice and left..
but then, he came out the door that was on the side of our row too, and this was the second of the two major heart breaking moments when, one person before our row, got him to sign i quickly passed my booklet along and said “mum, pass it down, now! ..quick! but he went to the row after us, which mum was still reaching over for, but he went Crying or Very sad and then stopped 2 rows after that one and signed loads! and then people started leaning over and getting up for him to do it and it was working! and that killed me-because if i was alittle later in that row, i would have got up cos id be reaslising other people were doing it-but cos we were early on, people were just handing him stuff cos he was at the end. so i realised then that i had made a huge mistake and missed such a great, easy chance! so i was really heartbroken then, they were taking pics at the back and everything! and then he left. i felt a strange sort of…satisfaction-a relief now,a slight disaapointment too though- that i could watch the film knowng that i had actually seen him. it was really special. the only thing im sad about is that, i dont have any pics of him in the cinema, the whole night was really good, and, in a way, i think everything worked out for the best-because if anything went better than it did i would be too depressed afterwards, and the same if it wasnt as good-i think it was just right-if id got everything that first time, where do you go from there you know? so it was a great night. it made me realise how impossible and how rediculously distant my dreams are though Crying or Very sad . but at the same time i have the drive to do this with evry single premier-see you at charlie and the chocolate factory!
stace, didnt you love it when the presentor asked him “are you going to apoligise for making people cry in te audience tonight??” and he goes
“urm……………….no….” Laughing Laughing that was so funny.
thanks for torturng through the lenght of this, i realise this is REDICULOUSLY, OBSURDLY LONGso ill stop now, to your relief Laughing stace, i may have see you get up-but the top didnt look pink, Confused Confused and ps, the film was amazing, it was so beautifully made-its just so beautiful-everything. my mum and my sister cried like babys! i didnt, cos i was thinking about so much stuff, but i was not expecting that from my sister! and kate winslet was good too-funny on stage, and that freddie highmoore-my god! i know why johnny likes him! it was an ablosltly increadible performance by him Shocked
Wink bye bye Wink

2days later:

oh my god Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
you guys would not believe this! o.k, came down in the morning…and my mum said “theres something for you” as soon as she said that…i had a slight incling on what i wished it would be, i opened it, and it was the woman who i passed the letter to to give to johnny, ill type up what she said…by the way, youll all have to know my name now-so i hope no-ones a phyco peado.. Confused Wink

dear …..,
i dont know if you remember me but yesterday you gave me a letter to give to johnny depp. at the time, i was very reluctant to accept it (*tell me about it* Laughing ) as i didnt think i would be able to pass it on.
anyhow, after the question and answer session, an opportunity presented itself and i managed to wriggle past his security guards and speak to him. i explained where you were from and thats you were a huge fan of his (i hope she actually read the letter so she understood just how much!)and asked if he could sign the letter. there then followed several minutes where johnny and i tried to work out your name. you really must improove your handwriting!(< that is so funny, because i thought it was soo neat!..although it was 6 in the morning...)
in the end, johnny desided you must be called …. and he signed the letter. it wasnt possible for him to read it-after all the security guards were trying to drag hima way (DAMN IT!)-but he did hold the letter so his fingerprints are all over it (< Shocked Shocked Laughing Laughing )
i didnt know if you managed to see him at the premier but if you did you will have noticed hes increadibly sexy and a really nice guy. ( i hope your trip to london prooved to be memorable,
carol i cant believe how increadibly lucky i was, and kind she was!!! that to me, prooves fait exists to be honest, because it was at the absolute last minute that i just had this overwhelming urge to just grab her arm and give it to her Shocked im so in shock, iv been waiting all day to post this on! so now, my letter has, lotte, thanks (with 3 exclamation marks with kisses for dots) and then he signed it. i cant believe it. im just hoping, that when he had it in his hands, he just read one sentence-i would have relaly wanted him to! but hell, i cant ask for anything! i have been so fortunate and iv had back 10 times more that i asked for. its given me even more of a drive to see him again, red carpet or inside(which i was thinking today-roahl dahl is associated with so so many charities, so im thinking that we have a pretty good chance that that one will be hosted by a charity again, which makes it possible really!) because, if i am so lucky to meet him, behind barriers or anywhere, i can give him the letter so he can keep, and i could ask if he remembered the confusion he had last time! (which by the way, gave me the best thing, knowing that johnyn had the letter in his hand, and was actually discussing me! i know it was just my name, but that requires more thought that the people on the carpet signing! but they saw him whilst he did it so i guess we are even!) and its funny because , there was abit where johnyn was aaying something amazing that they cut out the program, which was, that kids should not be afraid to take risks-and im going to say to all of you, the same thing, because that was pretty risky giving my one and only letter to a stranger! so dont be. please-youll benefit from it if it fells as right as it did when i handed her the thing. this these two days have been the most increadible two days of y life-andill never forget them. it was my first try and iv been so amazingly fortunate! i wonder how it all happened! and it does feel like a dream! i owe that woman what feels like my life and ill write back to her thanking her from the bottom of my heart. i might ask a question just to see if i can get alittle more about what happened more specifically-but all i really want to do is tell her just how much it means to me-and if she read the letter. i dont know if you guys still want to hear what i wrote, if you do, just say. Wink Wink Wink Shocked Shocked Very Happy Wink it feels like hes there for me, which sounds so dramatic, but for a few minutes-hs thoughts revolved around this fan. and that fan was me. i feel alittle more found.

A Fan’s Encounter

I took a friend of mine to the Premiere last night as she is a huge JD fan, here is a report I posted elsewhere.

Well, we went and we saw!!

We hung around as long as possible outside hoping he would arrive and then we could follow on BUT 6.29 came and the tix said we had to be seated by 6.30 so we went in.
We did see Christopher Lee arrive and McKenzie Crook (Wooden eye guy in POTC)

We took our seats and they had live coverage on the screen of what was going on outside, which was of course Johnny and Kate arriving and signing autographs for hours (it seemed!) then being interviewed in the foyer.

I was a little despondent by then cos I knew they would be sitting in the circle and I thought my friend wasn’t going to get a glimpse of him . However, there was lots of excitement from the rear and I looked around and in the far back corner on OUR side was JD and everybody lurking. We were 6 seats in from that side and roughly in the middle rows. Cat Deeley (Brit presenter) came on the stage and introduced Miramax boss Harvey Wotsit, who in turn introduced the Director who in turn introduced all the stars. By this time, the stars had moved down the side and stood waiting to be introduced during the speeches and guess who stood at the end of our row!!??

Yep by special arrangement JD stood for ages so my pal could get a mega eyeful They called all the stars one by one onto the stage and Kate and Johnny were met by great cheers.
They then trooped off and the film began.

It was a lovely film, not for cynics perhaps but the filming and acting was superb and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house by the end. The young kids were very good not at all Hollywood Brat types and Kate reprised her “damp deathbed bit” (Hey, if you can do it well, stick with it!)

We had a lovely night out and although I don’t think I am Truly, Madly Depply in love eith him like my pal he is a great actor and certainly looked very nice in the *flesh* (especially as he didn’t have that awful droopy hair!)

Johnny’s latest project: Shantaram

Johnny has signed on to play the lead role in the movie “Shantaram” based on the novel “Shantaram” with the real life story of Gregory David Roberts.

In the movie he will portray a drug addict, who escapes from a prison in Australia and becomes a (fake) doctor in the slums of Mumbay and fights in Afhanistan against Russia.

It counts as one of the biggest Hollywood Deals of the year, costars will be Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson

Empire, October 2004 – The Family of Pan

Title: The Family of Pan
Author: Mark Salisbury
Publication: Empire
Issue: October 2004 

IT’S A WARM AUGUST EVENING IN 2002 TOWARD THE END of the Finding Neverland shoot, and Johnny Depp, as playwright J.M. Barrie and Dustin Hoffman, who plays his loyal theatrical producer Charles Frohman, are resplendent in their first-night finery of white tie and tails. They’ve spent the past few hours at the ornate, 19th-century Richmond Theatre in southwest London filming two scenes: one that takes place early in the movie, in which Frohman consoles Barrie after a disastrous opening night, and the other, late in the story, in which Barrie tries to reassure Frohman that tonight’s performance—the world pre­miere of Peter Pan—will be a sell-out. As director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) readies another take, Depp fires up hand-rolled cigarette and swaps jokes with Hoffman (who, having starred in Hook, is no stranger to the world of Neverland). Two of the best actors of their respective genera­tions, they make a fine double act, united by a mutual respect. “The two of them have this great balance, how they play off one another,” says Forster. “They have the same quality, this quality of being a child.”

That’s a compliment Peter Pan himself would be the first to appreciate. Written a century ago, Barrie’s play about the boy who won’t grow up remains a seminal work of children’s literature, its characters—Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook—and defining themes as fresh and pertinent today as they were back then. “We all don’t want to grow up,” says Forster. “Once we lose the child within us, we lose all our creativity.”

FINDING NEVERLAND, ADAPTED FROM ALLAN KNEE’S PLAY THE Man Who Was Peter Pan and scheduled for release November 12, takes a novel approach to Barrie’s most famous creation: how he came to be. “It’s about transformation of imagination,” says Forster. “How people get inspired, how they form ideas, and how they turn them into something.”

Loosely based on real events, the film follows Barrie, a Scottish play -wright living in London and emotionally detached from his wife (played by Radha Mitchell), as he finds the inspiration for Pan in his friendship with the Llewelyn Davies family: widow Sylvia (Kate Winslet) and her four father­less young sons, George, Michael, Jack, and, in particular, Peter (Freddie Highmore). Together they help him unlock his imagination and the door to Neverland, and Forster takes us into that creative process by integrating the emotional reality of Barrie’s life with the fantasyland of his dream state. Thus, Barrie dancing with his dog in a city park becomes Barrie as a circus ringmaster, two-stepping with a bear under the big top. During his games with the children, he adopts the guise of an Indian or a pre-Jack Sparrow pirate, and we see the entire world he’s created in his head. “It was a ball,” says Depp of shooting the fantasy sequences. “It’s moments like that where it’s really a strange job for a grown man.” The story, he adds, “had a purity; the emotion wasn’t fake, it wasn’t saccharine.”

The German-born and Swiss-raised Forster, who’s tall with a soft voice and a kind, gentle manner, has swiftly become known as an actors’ director. (“Subtlety is Marc’s middle name,” says Winslet, who played Wendy on­stage when she was 15.) He’d fallen in love with Finding Neverland before making Monster’s Ball, but back then, with only the DV feature Everything Put Together to his credit, he couldn’t even get a meeting. After Monster’s Ball and Halle Berry’s Oscar win, Forster found that Neverland still needed a director. Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein was concerned that Forster would make the story too dark—the director’s previous two films had dealt with death and grief—but Forster told him, “I have another side in me as well. I understand death because my brother and father passed away. But it should be a balance between light heartedness and comedy and a certain darkness.”

The casting of Depp, an actor especially suited to tapping into the spontaneity of youth, was inspired. “The closer he got to the kids, the more they trusted each other, [and] the more he opened up with his playfulness,” says Forster. “There’s still a part of me that’s stuck in teenage years, I guess,” says Depp. “But having kids takes you right back to certain emotions you felt growing up. It opens up a whole new arena where you start to see things like your kids do, almost for the first time in a way.”

In fact, Forster says the bond between Depp, a father of two, and the four young actors was as close in real life as it is onscreen. “He played with them, invited them into his trailer. The last day of shooting was almost tragic for the kids because they loved him so much, especially Freddie—he was so heartbroken and crying. They became a family.”

Winslet, who brought her then two-year-old daughter, Mia, to the set most days, was amazed by Depp’s flawless Scottish accent and lack of a dialect coach on set (Forster hired a Scottish first assistant director to keep an ear out for him). But she was most impressed by his mischievous side: He brought a fart machine to a dinner scene, letting it off (with Forster’s sanction) during takes to lighten the atmosphere. It was, she notes, “one of the most triumphant things I’ve ever seen an actor do. The first take was priceless. The boys didn’t want to speak, to say, ‘Someone just farted.’ Then it happened again, and they were bursting. That was the thing that made the scene work. That was totally down to Johnny.” Says Depp, “A lot of it was me going, ‘What can I do to make the kids laugh?’ You start doing stuff like that and it gives license to the kids to start doing stuff, and then it gets a little chaotic. You get assistant directors and producers going, “Okay, we’re on limited time here,’ and you’ve got kids running around screaming and laughing. I wasn’t particularly helpful in terms of reining in the chaos.”

It was just as important to Forster that Depp and Winslet take their young costars seriously as performers. So he scheduled a pivotal scene—in which Highmore’s Peter, distraught at the thought that his mother is ill, tears up a play he’s written—for the third day of filming. “I have never, and Johnny said the same thing, stood next to an actor—the child part doesn’t even come into it—during a scene and had the hairs on the back of my neck stand up,” says Winslet. “Johnny and I were like, ‘The kid’s fucking great, what are we going to do?’ It did make us notch everything up a gear. He has a scary gift, that child.” Winslet later recommended Highmore to producer Richard Zanuck, a friend, for the title role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory oppo­site Depp’s Willy Wonka. “Freddie’s really composed, and it’s not a false composure, it’s a Zen-like purity,” says Depp. “He’s like a little, British, skinny Buddha. I’m working with him now [on Charlie], and he’s teaching me chess. He’s really, really sharp and very funny.”

Completed in June 2003, Finding Neverland was slated for theaters last fall but sat on Miramax’s shelf for a year; there were problems with certain lines from the play Peter Pan, parts of which are performed in the film. “Originally,” says Foster, “we had a script where the lines were all approved.” But he chose to use different ones, and clearing them was easier said than done, as the rights were owned by the makers of Revolution’s live-action Peter Pan, which was being released by Universal and Sony at the end of 2003. Eventually the parties compro­mised, agreeing that the lines could stay if Finding Neverland was released at least 90 days after the Revolution film. At Weinstein’s request, Forster cut a version with all the lines removed, but “Harvey understood that a huge part of the movie would be missing,” says the director. “He said there’s not much we can do except postpone.”

One thing Weinstein did insist on was an Elton John song over the end credits. “He gave me everything I wanted, so if he wants the song, I’m not going to make a big stink about it,” says Forster. “It’s not about liking or disliking [the song]. It doesn’t feel right.” Adds Depp, “I think that Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written some sublime pieces of music with equally sublime lyrics over the years, but this isn’t one of those.”

BACK ON THE SET, A GAGGLK OF AROUND 25 CHILDREN, AGED 3 TO 13, have arrived outside the theater. They’re playing orphans invited by Barrie to see his latest production. They walk up the steps past Depp and Hoffman, eager expressions on their young faces. Their excitement could simply be due to the fact that they’re acting in a film. Or—if you believe—it could be the magic of a boy named Peter Pan.