Interview 1

Interview mit Johnny Depp über                              Pirates of the Caribbean- The Curse of the Black pearl

The quirky ingenuity of Johnny Depp is on display in the new movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. It's not exactly as outrageous as his performances in the likes of Ed Wood and Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas, but he's still got his own distinctive touches on this pirate portrayal. The studio was concerned about him masquerading in ugly long locks, gold teeth and a goatee, but Depp refused to do the movie unless he got to dress his own way. Depp is one of the few Hollywood movie stars that upholds principles of creativity, the art of performance. As in any movie he does, he tries things with Jack Sparrow that haven't been done before in a pirate picture.

Interviewer: Are your gold teeth still in?

Johnny Depp: They're still there, yeah. I never had a chance to take them out.

Interviewer: What are they?

JD:They're gold and platinum.

Interviewer: Caps?

JD: It was a cap. It was molded to my teeth to fit over my teeth, and then they bonded them onto my teeth.

Interviewer: Why is it so important to bring an element of eccentricity to your characters?

JD: I'm a sucker to my own brain. It reaches a point where you can't help yourself. Regardless of what other people are saying around you or even whispering around you, that maybe they're not so content or happy with the work or with the character, because maybe they feel it's a little bit too much, I couldn't help myself. I had a very strong feeling about the guy, about the character, and I couldn't control it. It had to come out.

Interviewer: Didn't you receive any resistance about your characterization from the producers?

JD :Well, yeah. Early on, for quite a while.

Interviewer: How did you fight back?

JD: Basically - I remember I had two more gold teeth, and there were a few that wanted them gone…in fact, wanted them all gone. And they wanted the braids in my beard gone, and they wanted a lot of the trinkets and things gone. I just basically said, 'I respect you guys. I'll compromise to some degree, which means I'll take two teeth out. Cool. But anything beyond that, I feel, is compromising the integrity of the character, and I'm not willing to do that. You've got to trust me. You've got to let me do what you hired me to do, and if you're not happy with doing that, then you've got to replace me.'

Interviewer: How did you develop your special idiosyncratic walk?

JD: The way I walked, well, it was a couple of things. To me, it was like this guy who had spent a very, very long time on the ocean battling the elements. It was a guy who had spent way too much time in the sun, so maybe his brain was literally cooked a bit. And he was way more comfortable on the deck of a ship, in terms of the rhythm of the ocean, than he was on dry land. And I think he would also be a guy who would understand that, like, he could take that and use it to his advantage, you know. As if to hypnotize someone. He'd kind of go back and forth and hypnotize them, kind of like a cobra, a moving target. So, that's where it came from. I thought he would hate being on land.

Interviewer: How did you approach comedy?

JD: I tend to find an opportunity to throw in humor on any level, even when it doesn't apply. I mean, I've done it in scenes in Blow and other things where it probably shouldn't have been there, but it just seemed to work at the time. So I'm always trying to throw as much humor into a part as I can. This guy, I knew this guy so well, I felt so comfortable playing him that way, I couldn't help myself.

Interviewer: How has your relationship with Hollywood changed?

JD: For five years, I've been living in France and in the States to some degree a little bit, because I'm not a resident of France. But it has done wonders for my relationship with Hollywood. And also having kids, just in terms of not really- - I'm so removed from it that I don't know anything. I mean, I don't know who anybody is. I don't know who's famous. I don't know who's not famous. I don't know who's rich, who's poor, who's successful, who's a drag. I don't know anybody. I don't know what made money and what didn't make money. And it's great.

Interviewer: Wouldn't you consider yourself as someone with atypical celebrity status?

JD: Atypical celebrity status? [Laughs] Sounds like a really weird disease.

Interviewer: Popular, highly revered, lots of fans, but you're an outsider that brings a singular, distinctive type of performance to your work.

JD: I hope so. Well, thank you.

Interviewer: Is this how you envisioned your career?

JD: I knew that, for instance, once I was able to get off of the television series [21 Jump Street], which was for me on one hand like a great blessing in terms of, I could have this great education for me, being in front of the camera five days a week, seven to nine months out of the year…it was a really good education. But it was also sort of assembly line, in my opinion garbage, and wasn't remotely satisfying in any creative way at all. In fact, it was more frustrating, so I felt like I'd been dealt some really harsh prison sentence. I know that sounds extreme, but it just felt bound.

Interviewer: So what took place after you got off the television series?

JD: So once I got off and started doing movies, regardless of what's going to happen, I was doing the things that I wanted to do. I feel really lucky that I've been able to do those movies and play those characters. So, I'm really proud of all the films, all the experiences. Performance, that's another thing. That's none of my business. It's not for me to judge.

Interviewer: When stuff comes on TV, what's the hardest to look at?

JD: All of it, but two things happened in the last two years. I was in France last year, and Ed Wood came on television. It was dubbed in French, and it was so surreal. So, I watched like 10 minutes of it dubbed in French. Another time, What's Eating Gilbert Grape came on, which is a film I've never seen. And it was the opening credits and then the opening scene, and it got me to the point, I was trying to watch a little bit of it and I started to hyperventilate. I just shut the T.V. off and walked away.

Interviewer: Why have you never watched Gilbert Grape?

JD: Well, as it is with most of my movies, the films that I've done, and there's no disrespect for the crew or the filmmakers or the writers or anything like that. It's nothing to do with them. I always figure that once I've wrapped on a film, my job is done. Anything beyond that is none of my business. So, if I can avoid seeing the final product, I like to, because then all I have in my head is the experience and I feel very good about the experience. Gilbert Grape was a rough time for me just in terms of I don't know where I was, emotionally or psychologically.

Interviewer: Even the positive reception didn't interest you in seeing it?

JD: I was really touched and pleased that people liked the film and people understood Gilbert and Arnie. I was real happy when Leo got a nomination for the Academy Awards and I was disappointed that Darlene Cates didn't get a nomination, who played our mother. But certainly I was real pleased that people liked the movie, but I just didn't feel like I needed to see it. There's a few of 'em I haven't seen.

Interviewer: Which of your movies has your daughter seen?

JD: Yeah. What has she seen? She saw Edward Scissorhands. I wasn't there when she saw it, but she saw Edward Scissorhands. And I think she saw Benny and Joon.

Interviewer: Does she understand what you do?

JD: Not just yet. It hasn't really registered that daddy's an actor. There was a woman at some restaurant who asked what her parents did, and Lilly Rose said, 'Well, my mommy's a singer.' And the lady said, 'Oh, yeah? What does your daddy do?' and she said, 'My daddy's a pirate.'

Interviewer: And your son's too young?

JD: Yeah, Jack's into a primitive vocabulary at the moment. Rah.

Interviewer: You'll have to see Pirates with your kids, right?

JD: I haven't seen the movie yet, but I suppose I'm going to have to at the premiere. I don't think there's any escaping Disneyland [the premiere's location]. I think it'd be okay for my kids, won't it?

 Interviewer: Some of it is scary.

JD: I can always cover her eyes or something. It'd be a great excuse to leave.

Interviewer: Are you up for a sequel?

 JD: Yeah, I would love it - the amount of fun that I had on this film was criminal, really. There were moments when the director and I would sort of look at each other and just go, 'Can you actually believe that we get to do this and we're getting paid for this?' Yeah, if there was a sequel - in a perfect world, it's Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio writing it, it's Gore Verbinski directing it, I'd be there in a second.

Interviewer: Will you keep your teeth in the meantime?

JD: No, I think I'm going to get them off tomorrow.

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