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Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Inteview mit Johnny Depp (eng)

von Yves Leiendecker

Question : How does it feel now you have finished the three Pirates films? Is there some perspective about the whole experience at this point or does that come later?

Johnny Depp: Even though we finished the third one roughly six months ago, Iím still kind of swimming in it, if you know what I mean. I donít have that distance on it and the smoke hasnít cleared yet. But all in all, itís a positive reflection and I love the experience and even at its most gruelling it was positive. It was a gas.

Question: Was it gruelling at times?

Johnny Depp: Oh yeah. Sure. More than anything physically not just for me but for the crew having to hump seriously heavy equipment up these mountains. It was pretty intense. Like when we were on Dominique. And sometimes when you are out at sea you get rough seas and you donít know what to expect and some of the cast didnít take kindly to that and turned various shades of green.

Question: Are you a good sailor in that respect?

Johnny Depp: It doesnít bother me oddly enough. I donít mind the sea at all.

Question: Everyone says that filming on water always takes twice as long. Did you find that?

Johnny Depp: Oh yeah itís an obstacle course, right up close to impossible. But somehow these guys did it.

Question: What was it like that final day as Jack Sparrow? That must have been a big moment in your life?

Johnny Depp: Oh yeah, it was. It was one of those moments where you are just doing anything you can to postpone it. I remember going to Gore (Verbinski, director) and he was saying ĎI think weíve got everything man but do you want another take?í And Iíd say; yeah, yeah, letís do another take. Let me try something else..í And then once weíd got it I said to him Ďare you sure there is nothing else we can shoot?í Because you just donít want to say goodbye to that guy. Youíve been that person for umpteen months and you donít want to say goodbye, itís very strange.

Question: Where were you on that final day?

Johnny Depp: We were in a studio that is just north of LA. One of the last things I shot was a scene where Jack is talking to himself.

Question: So quite a reflective scene in a way?

Johnny Depp: Yeah, itís a good versus evil kind of dialogue heís having with himself.

Question: Did they mark the occasion in any way?

Johnny Depp: Yeah, the crew and Gore put together this really beautiful collage of photographs, this massive thing and framed it and signed it. We had a big cake and champagne. It was very moving. It was like we were all saying goodbye to Captain Jack in that moment.

Question: And he is a character that has changed your life?

Johnny Depp: Oh yeah. Heís brought a lot of good things into my world and into my kiddiesí world so I will always hold him in very high regard even aside of the fact that itís been an absolute pleasure to play him. Itís been a total blast.

Question: So would you play him again?

Johnny Depp: I reckon you can never say never. I mean, with some things you can but in terms of this I donít think so. If I were approached to play Captain Jack again, under the right circumstances you know, with the all the right and proper elements involved and a good script I would definitely give it some serious thought.

Question: I have to ask you about Keith RichardsÖ

Johnny Depp: Oh that was great. God, it was great. He was just so cool. First of all not just for me, but also for the entire crew it was so special. I mean, seeing Keith Richards arrive for work totally prepared like, beautiful, 7.30, 8 o clock in the morning. Itís like Ďwhat?í (laughs) It was incredible.

Question: Did you worry that he might be keeping rock Ďn roll time and be a bit late on set?

Johnny Depp: Well, you just donít know (laughs). You donít know. Itís totally outside of his arena. But boy, what a professional man. He came in and just smoked us. He was amazing. Just amazing. And adorable. This crew have been working together since 2002 when we did Pirates 1 and itís the first time that Iíve seen the entire crew show up on set and instead of 200 people it was like 500 or a 1,000 you know. (laughs). We were all peaking, trying to get a glimpse of the maestro.

Question: Did you hang out after work?

Johnny Depp: Yeah, yeah. We spent a bunch of time together. My only comment to him was that he seems to know how to draw a crowd. He was super, super sweet and couldnít have been nicer to everyone or more accommodating. He came in like a gunfighter.

Question: Was he on set many days?

Johnny Depp: I think it was four or five days. And I know there were all kinds of speculation and weird reports from set that didnít actually happen, but he was incredibly savvy in terms of it all. I donít think he has ever done a film before and he was like Ďoh, so I stand here and say this and then I walk over here and do this..í and it was Ďyeah, that would be great..í And then it was two takes and Gore was like ĎOh OK, next..í I started calling him Two Take Richards..

Question: Did it inform your performance at all? Youíve said before that Keith was the inspiration for Jack so what was it like having the inspiration there?

Johnny Depp: It was great man, it was great. This is going to sound strange, but as Jack I felt like Iíd known Keith a lot better and for a lot longer than Johnny has. You know? You know, if I had the guise, or if I was in Jack mode it was a lot easier to play around and improvise and it was almost like a jam session in that sense. Whereas for me, for Johnny, it would get to a certain point and Iíd clam up.

Question: Because you are in awe of him?

Johnny Depp: Well, thereís that side that can never escape that fact. On one level thereís this guy Keith and heís a terrific guy to hang out with and heís a really wonderful man. But thereís always that sort of thing that reverberates with me Ė he is one of my guitar heroes and I can never escape that.

Question: Some people might feel that with you too..

Johnny Depp: I canít picture that with me (laughs).

Question: But some people would regard you as just as iconic in your field..

Johnny Depp: Yeah, maybe somebody saw a movie or enjoyed a character, but you know, itís Keith Richards man. itís Keith Richards!

Question: There are a lot of Brits on the movie. Do you get on well with the British actors?

Johnny Depp: Yeah, I always have. On Pirates 1 my gravest enemy was Jack Davenport as Commodore Norrington and we were like the best of mates. Iíve always had a good thing with the Brits. Itís the sense of humour. Iíve always felt at home in London. For my kids itís like a second or third home and they are so used to it here. I mean, we go to certain restaurants and certain places we go, they are on a first name basis.

Question: When you look at the roles over the years, is there a common thread?

Johnny Depp: I donít know. I think it might be that you need some years of distance to look at that. Maybe then you can go Ďoh yeah, I see the connection here..í If you look at them from way back I guess the connection would be that they are a bit outside these guys, whether itís Cry Baby or Edward Scissorhands or Sam from Benny and Joon or Axel from Arizona Dream, Ed Wood, yeah, they are a bit outside..

Question: And with Sweeney Todd tooÖ

Johnny Depp: (laughs) Yeah, you donít get more outside than that poor guy. Forced outside too. I guess if there is a common thread, that I can recognise