Johnny Depp Pirates 4 Interview
Johnny Depp Pirates 4 Interview
Johnny Depp is renowned as one of America’s most famous indie actors. Able to play roles in big name flicks such as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as take on smaller independent films like The Libertine and the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, he has been part of the international movie scene since his break through film Edward Scissorhands in the early 90s.

Back on board the scurvy seas for yet another film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Johnny Depp talks about making people laugh, working with Judi Dench and how Captain Jack is hard to control.
Is it safe to assume that this is the role you were born to play?

Johnny Depp

It also gives me the opportunity to wear women’s undergarments, which you don’t get every day, so when the chance comes along you should take it. It is [a role I was born to play]. It’s funny how the films have been accepted and how the character has been accepted. When you think back to when we started out on Pirates 1 it was very simple, just like any other character, you just grab bits and pieces and out comes this weird little stew you’ve created, so none of us did anything different and then – boom! - what happened, happened. It’s just so much fun to get away with things you’re not normally allowed to get away with, to be totally irreverent, to play as absurd as you like. It’s a very special opportunity.
Given how much this character has been embraced by children, in particular, do you feel a special responsibility towards your younger fans?

Johnny Depp

The only responsibility I feel is to deliver something that’s new or at least to attempt that. The real responsibility is to entertain and to try and make people laugh.
How does it feel to be taking this film to Cannes? And how do you hope they’ll react to it?

Johnny Depp

I hope they hate it! [Laughs] That would be an idea, to start out to make a film that everyone will hate, to go out of your way to see a film to hate it … I’ve done it, haven’t I? You’re just too kind [in that] you don’t want to mention the film, do you? But I digress. An arena such as Cannes, to be able to go there and show your film is incredible and we’re very fortunate to be invited. I just hope we win!
Can you talk a little about the Dame Judi Dench cameo?

Johnny Depp

It’s the second time I’ve been lucky enough to work with Dame Judi Dench, very briefly on Chocolat and very briefly on this one. She’s such a major force - fun, smart, elegant, an angel. I got to dance with her on Chocolat and bite her ear on Pirates. What’s next? [Laughs]
I got to dance with her on Chocolat and bite her ear on Pirates. What’s next?
You’ve previously mentioned the joy of being able to film in some exotic locations, such as Hawaii on this one. But I gather you also had to contend with bugs of varying sizes … Do they scare you?

Johnny Depp

Whenever you have an insect that has not only more legs than you … when it goes from being called a centipede to a millipede to an ‘I-don’t-know-what’ … plus it has these things sticking out the front that taunt you as it’s about to bite you with its ass! They were quite big. They have some horrible things in Hawaii.
Given that you’ve always said Jack Sparrow was based, in part, on Keith Richards, how surreal is it now to have him be a regular co-star in the series?

Johnny Depp

It was very strange initially. When the character’s main ingredients first came out, the idea of mixing Keith Richards and Pepe le Pew, I was worried what Keith might think of that – I didn’t fear Pepe le Pew! I was a little worried about Keith because a good portion of the time I was spending with him I was sponging as much of him as I possibly could to use for the character and when he found out what I’d been doing, yeah, it could have gone either way.

But he was really nice about it – [does Keith Richards impression] “I had no idea” – and to then bring him into the fold and bring him into the film and do scenes with him … it’s one of those things that’s seared onto your brain. It was one of those moments where you know you’re really lucky to be here and I’m really lucky that I’m aware I’m lucky.
How come you didn’t get to play guitar on this film? There are some instruments around …

Johnny Depp

The idea of playing a guitar anywhere near Keith Richards … It took me about 11 years before I could touch a guitar in his presence – and that’s just to pick it up. [Laughs] There are some things you just don’t do. But if you’re asking whether I will play in any future film, should I be given the opportunity, then yes I’d love to.
You’ve played Jack so often now but does he come back to you easily? Or is there still a process for getting back into playing him?

Johnny Depp

All the characters I’ve played are all pretty close to the surface and each and every one of them is relatively accessible. But Captain Jack, having played him four times now, arrives quicker than others. In fact, he arrives a little too quickly! He arrives in life a lot, too - when I’m dropping my kids off at school, for instance, he’ll just show up.

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Content updated: 18/01/2018 11:01

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