Articles from May 2007

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END sets global box office record–$401 million in six days

Disney’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, claimed a couple of impressive box office titles today, including the biggest opening in industry history. According to Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing and Distribution, AT WORLD’S END grossed $401,000,000 worldwide in its first six days of release; this figure surpasses the previous record of $382 million set by the six-day opening of SPIDERMAN 3 earlier this year. Zoradi also noted that AT WORLD’S END continues to please audiences around the world with exceptionally strong exit polls.

Looking at the domestic box office, AT WORLD’S END set a new record for the four-day Memorial Day Weekend by grossing $142 million (including Monday estimates). This topples the previous record of $122.8 million set by X-MEN: THE LAST STAND in 2006. If the showings Thursday evening are included in the total, the third PIRATES film has grossed $156 million in North America.

“We knew that audiences all over the world were excited to see Johnny Depp and the rest of the fantastic ‘PIRATES’ cast in this latest adventure,” Zoradi told the press, “but this record-setting response at the global box office has been nothing short of incredible. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END now has the distinction of having the biggest opening in movie history, and we’re extremely proud of that achievement. Credit goes to the multitude of talent both in front of and behind the camera.” Cheers to all who worked on AT WORLD’S END in any capacity–if you wish to throw your hats in the air, we will happily fetch them for you. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp on CBS's THE EARLY SHOW: "It's very emotional" to say goodbye to Captain Jack Sparrow

Johnny Depp appeared on CBS’s THE EARLY SHOW on Friday morning, May 25th, in a taped interview with Tracy Smith, to promote the release of PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. Answering the inevitable question about how it felt to bid farewell to his most famous character, Johnny conceded that “it sounds ludicrous” to talk about missing “an imaginary being” like Captain Jack Sparrow. Still–miss him he will. “Having been that character for, you know, a good number of years–for sometimes 12 to 14 to 15 hours a day, for months on end or years on end–it’s like saying goodbye to a person,” Johnny explained. “So . . . it’s very emotional.”

Johnny also spoke at some length about the challenge of playing Captain Jack in front of Keith Richards, whom he has acknowledged many times as an inspiration for his portrayal. “It was a little frightening,” Johnny said with a laugh. But it was also “fascinating” to “introduce Keith to Captain Jack. He seemed very good about it. You know, because he could have [. . .] just said, you know, ‘How dare you base a character on me?’ ” With another chuckle, Johnny concluded, “But he was great. He was a real gentleman about it.”

Many thanks to Susanne for THE EARLY SHOW story and video clip; you can read a longer story on the Tracy Smith interview on the CBS website and see their video here: http://tinyurl.com/39rsbk –Part-Time Poet

New photos of Johnny Depp in this week's U.S. entertainment magazines!

Nearly all of this week’s U.S. entertainment magazines–cover date June 4, 2007–feature pictures of Johnny Depp walking the red carpet at the world premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END at Disneyland last Saturday, May 19th. And fortunately for collectors, this time the magazines selected different shots! The thumbnail at left is the photo that appears in PEOPLE Magazine on page 11 (the late Princess Diana and her sons are on the cover); to see a larger version of the PEOPLE photo, click here: http://tinyurl.com/yveocg

OK Magazine (Sheryl Crow and her new baby on the cover) features a mischievously smiling Johnny on page 8; to see the photo, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ywuw7s STAR Magazine has a longer-length shot running with their table of contents on page 8 (Best Beach Bodies on cover); and LIFE & STYLE (Tyra Banks on cover) shows a smiling Johnny on page 15. US Magazine (Janet Jackson on cover) made the least interesting choice by running small photos of Johnny and Orlando side-by-side on page 27 with the headline, “Who’s the hotter Premiere Pirate?” In a poll of 100 women, Johnny won, 63% to 37%, but the pictures are marred by having text on the photos. Before you invest your hard-earned cash, check larger scans of all the photos on the Zone’s News & Views forum to decide which pics are your favorites. –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END opens in North America!

Although Friday, May 25th was scheduled to be the official release date for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, many theaters in the U.S. and Canada opted to begin showing the movie on Thursday night at 8 p.m., knowing that their patrons were impatient to see the return of Captain Jack Sparrow, the Black Pearl, and Jack’s assorted friends and enemies. According to Chuck Viane, Disney’s head of distribution, some movie theaters will be showing AT WORLD’S END around the clock to meet the audience demand for tickets: “We hear there are theaters that once they open tonight will be open for 24 straight hours,” Viane told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Since the running time of AT WORLD’S END–a substantial two hours, 47 minutes–limits the number of showings theaters can squeeze in per screen each day, nonstop showings are necessary to satisfy the crowds. This is true even though AT WORLD’S END is debuting on a record number of U.S. movie screens: 4,362 theaters domestically, 110 more than the previous record-holder, SPIDER-MAN 3.

Other box office records set by SPIDER-MAN 3 may fall. MovieTickets.com reports that advance ticket sales for AT WORLD’S END are outpacing the opening weekends of both PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST and SPIDER-MAN 3. Many thanks to Theresa for sharing the box office news; you can read the Associated Press story and the MovieTickets.com story on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp appears at the international premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END in Tokyo!

That’s a photo of Johnny Depp waving to a wildly cheering crowd at the international premiere of his new film, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, on Wednesday evening, May 23rd. Disney held the premiere–an intimate affair for 5,000 guests–at the giant Nippon Budokan arena, a venue best known for its famous rock concerts. The excited fans were treated to the sight of Johnny, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Chow Yun Fat, Bill Nighy, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer on stage together, chatting with the crowd. You can read about the premiere on the Zone’s News & Views forum, including play-by-play from the webcast while it took place, with many screencaps provided by Zoners who were watching the event live. Many thanks to everyone who contributed news, screencaps, and in-person accounts from the premiere–we are in your debt! Special thanks to AnaMaria and Deppink for the photos on the home page: to see Johnny and Orlando together, click here http://tinyurl.com/367mq2 and to see Johnny signing autographs at the premiere, click here http://tinyurl.com/2jgexf –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Japan!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp as he arrived at Narita Airport in Japan today, where he was greeted by a huge crowd of enthusiastic fans. (To see another photo from the airport, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2qgmn9 ) He was accompanied by his sister, Infinitum Nihil president Christi Dembrowski. Johnny is visiting Japan for the Asian premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END; this is his third visit to Japan in the past three years. The Zone thanks bonnie, AnaMaria and Carasun for photos and GAO for phoning in reports from the airport. Happily, GAO, RumLover and Hiro3 were all able to see Johnny–Hiro3 and her wonderful Jackdoll were in the front row at the airport. You can read first-person accounts of Johnny’s arrival in Japan on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

The Asian premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END will take place tomorrow–watch for our premiere coverage on the News & Views forum. Many thanks to our Japanese Zoners for keeping us posted!–Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives for Disneyland premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp arriving on the red carpet at the world premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END at Disneyland on Saturday night March 19th. Johnny wore a white shirt, dark vest, blue jeans, his favorite boots, blue sunglasses, and a full complement of necklaces, bracelets, and danglies. When it turned a bit cool, he donned a familiar leather jacket. Thousands of fans lined up in the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the park to open so they could rush to their spots along Main Street, where they waited for more than twelve hours for the chance to see and applaud the PIRATES crew.

Here’s Reuters’ description of the event: “Looking every bit the part of the Hollywood star he is, actor Johnny Depp brought cheers from his adoring fans as he arrived Saturday night,” while the Hollywood Reporter noted, “Pandemonium reigned wherever the actor was sighted.” Commenting on the “sea of faces” bordering every possible inch of space along the red carpet, Buena Vista Pictures Group president Oren Aviv called the premiere turnout–more than 15,000 fans of all ages–“amazing. You really get to see the power that movies can have when you look around and you see that these lives are affected by what were initially just words on a page.”

Many members of the Zone attended the red carpet and some went to the movie premiere as well; you can read their accounts on the News & Views forum. Thanks to emma and sleepy for press accounts from Reuters and the Hollywood Reporter; all the press coverage is also on the News & Views forum, and there are new, very entertaining features on the AT WORLD’S END cast on the Porch. A huge bouquet to bonnie, AnaMaria, In-too-Depp and Carasun for the pictures of Johnny at the premiere. Private pictures taken by members are also being posted on the News & Views forum; we thank each Zone correspondent for sharing her experience with us. What a night! –Part-Time Poet

"Blood Brothers"–Johnny Depp and Keith Richards on the cover of the new ROLLING STONE!

Here’s the first look at the cover of the next edition of ROLLING STONE–a beautiful portrait of Keith Richards and Johnny Depp, with the headline “Blood Brothers.” The magazine is not yet on newsstands, but the ROLLING STONE website promises that their next cover story will be a Q&A interview with “the most rock & roll ‘father and son’ of all time: Keith Richards and Johnny Depp.” We can’t wait to read this one! We’ll bring you the interview as soon as it’s available; cover date on the issue is May 31, 2007. Many thanks to Theresa and Donna B. for breaking the news, and to bonnie who sent us the cover photo; you can see a much larger version of this fantastic shot in the “Photo of ROLLING STONE cover” thread on the News & Views forum, at the top of page 3. –Part-Time Poet

Moviefone: Behind the Scenes AT WORLD'S END –including video clips

Moviefone’s Liane Bonin visited the set of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END last fall and spoke with production designer Rick Heinrichs about the exotic sets. “Don’t assume everything you see is computer generated,” warns Bonin, who saw the elaborate Singapore set. “There’s going to be quite a bit of visual effects, but Gore [Verbinski] wanted to rely on real stuff whenever possible, then expand upon that with special effects,” says Heinrichs. Moviefone is currently showing a 13-panel behind-the-scenes slide show with descriptions of their on-set tour, as well as four new high-definition video clips, but beware of major spoilers in the videos. You can view the video clips here http://tinyurl.com/2d78hd and the behind-the-scenes slide show here http://tinyurl.com/yuf824 Thanks to emma for the behind-the-scenes story and Theresa for the video clips. –Part-Time Poet

Back from the dead, Barbossa enjoys his return–an interview with Geoffrey Rush

Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush has spent some time in Internet chat rooms, trying to learn if any savvy poster has uncovered the secret of Captain Barbossa’s return from the dead. “I get very intrigued dropping into the chat rooms to see how much they pick up on,” Rush told James Wigney of the Sunday Herald Sun. “It’s like film analysis school–they will pick up random little throwaway shots that are deliberate red herrings and ask, ‘Did anyone see that there?’ In the second film, they were asking, ‘Did anyone see Barbossa’s boots lying in the background?’ And they go back over it.” However, Rush reports, “The great thing is that none of them have really picked what happens in No.3.”

Geoffrey Rush hasn’t yet seen the finished version of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, due to premiere at Disneyland on Saturday evening: “There are hundreds and hundreds of effects shots that take a lot of time to perfect,” he explains. “So I think when it opens in Anaheim it will be racing in an ambulance from the lab.”

Rush, who won a Best Actor Oscar for SHINE a decade ago, thinks his co-star Johnny Depp deserves “the little golden man” for his creation of Jack Sparrow, “especially as such awards are rarely given to comic roles or blockbusters.” Says Rush, “[The Oscar nomination] was a great feather in his cap, because there is no tradition of that. And to be honest, I think he has created one of the most memorable characters in Hollywood history.”

You can read the full Sunday Herald Sun article on the Zone’s Porch; a transcript of Geoffrey Rush’s May 10th appearance on GOOD MORNING AMERICA is also on that forum. Many thanks to emma for both Rush interviews. –Part-Time Poet

"A reminder of how lucky we are"–a contented Johnny Depp talks about his daughter's recovery and singing in SWEENEY TODD

In a wide-ranging and relaxed interview with Ruben V. Nepales, Johnny Depp spoke briefly about his seven-year-old daughter Lily-Rose’s recovery from a serious illness in March. “[T]here was a bumpy patch in terms of my daughter’s illness which, to let you know, she got through beautifully, unscathed. She’s healthy now,” Johnny said. “She’s wonderful. It gave us a great scare–a perspective, a reminder of how lucky we are to be able to breathe, live, walk, talk, think and surround ourselves with people we love.” And what gave him strength during this crisis? “What got us through our trying times was not my strength or Vanessa’s,” Johnny responded. “It was more the strength of our daughter, her incredible ability to make us feel okay even though she was in a difficult place. She was very unwell but she was so strong and amazing.”

Johnny also spoke about undertaking the leading role in a musical–Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD–and singing the Stephen Sondheim score onscreen. “An actor going into a recording studio and singing for the first time in his life at age 4–that’s very strange,” a laughing Johnny told Nepales. “I wouldn’t recommend it. I feel okay about what I have been able to do but it’s a very strange process. When Tim asked if I wanted to play the role, I said, ‘Sure.’ He said, ‘Can you sing?’ I said, ‘I don’t know–I’ll get back to you [. . .]. I ended up going into a recording studio with a friend of mine and I just sang to the tracks to find out if I could do it at all. It’s not unlike the mating call of a rutting stag,” said Johnny. “It’s a very strange sound but so far, I have not been fired, which is good. We’ll see. I hope you like it.”

You can read all of the Nepales interview, including what Johnny said about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, Keith Richards’ arrival on the set, box office records, and the possibility of a PIRATES 4, on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Many thanks to Theresa for posting the article. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow on the cover of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!

The May 18, 2007 issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY features a spectacular cover of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and a seven-page feature on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. The lavishly illustrated behind-the-scenes article, called “Days of Plunder,” was written by Josh Rottenberg and includes a full-page Q&A interview with Johnny Depp called “The Captain At Ease.” You can read the interview in its entirety on the Zone’s News & Views forum; many thanks to emma for posting it, and to sleepy for breaking the EW story. You can find a much larger scan of the EW cover on sleepy’s thread on News & Views.

What did the POTC pirates have to say about their work? Director Gore Verbinski drew his metaphor from another genre entirely: “It’s really a Western. It’s like The Wild Bunch or something.” And he speaks up for the virtues of the POTC films’ complex plots: “I don’t mind if people find it confusing. I don’t want to dumb it down to where it’s just processed cheese and you’re not thinking about it afterwards.” Writer Terry Rossio adds that the films are “designed for multiple viewings.” Bill Nighy, who plays Davy Jones, sees no reason to fret: “When you pass the $1.1 billion mark, you start to suspect that you must be doing something right.” And how did Captain Jack Sparrow feel about DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s astonishing worldwide popularity? “These numbers kept coming in, and none of them made sense to me,” Johnny tells Rottenberg. “The only thing I did notice was that they kept getting larger.”

The article concludes with the inevitable speculation that AT WORLD’S END might not, in fact, be the end of the PIRATES franchise. Might there be a POTC 4? The ever-cagey Jerry Bruckheimer, master of tantalizing the audience, suggests that moviegoers might want to stay clear to the end of the credits of AT WORLD’S END, for a hint of what the future might hold. “There’s something we show you as they drift away,what the next adventure could be,” promises Jerry B. –Part-Time Poet

"Playing this character will always bring a smile to my face"–Johnny Depp interview on AT WORLD'S END in July 2007 TOTAL FILM

The July 2007 issue of TOTAL FILM features a cover of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and, inside, a cornucopia of delightful interviews with the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END cast and crew. Reporter Aubrey Day conducts a joint interview with Johnny and POTC scriptwriter Terry Rossio, and finds Johnny heaping praise on (as usual) everybody but himself. Here’s what Johnny has to say about his producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, and his director, Gore Verbinkski:

JD: Jerry Bruckheimer [. . . ] he’s the great protector. He stands there and wards off any and all sorts of evil spirits, or just concerned parties, to stop them from getting to the work, touching any of that, getting to [director] Gore Verbinski. And if there are any real heroes within this little community, man, Gore is the King Hero. And the immediate crew: those guys who are there in the trenches, the grips, the electricians, craft services. I honestly don’t know how Gore is able to be upright after all he’s done. And also everything he retains in his brain. It’s weird. As an actor you could almost not read the script at all, and just rely on Gore. I think he has a photographic memory or something. He’s just a wizard.

And will there be further PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN adventures?

TERRY ROSSIO: I’ll tell you one thing: Johnny will not make the same film twice. If there is to be another Captain Jack adventure, it won’t be like any of the three films that came before.

JD: Playing this character will always, always bring a smile to my face . . . .

The TOTAL FILM article also includes interviews with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Many thanks to Gilbert’s Girl for bringing us the news, and In-too-Depp for sharing her scans of the article. –Part-Time Poet

"He's so irreverent and so irresponsible–he's a lot of fun:" Johnny Depp talks about Captain Jack Sparrow

In an interview with Reuters Television in London, Johnny Depp promised audiences that they would see “the same old Captain Jack” they fell in love with in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. “I think he is a character that can always be fresh in a weird way because he is so irreverent and so irresponsible, you know, he is a lot of fun,” Johnny told Reuters. But don’t look for earth-shaking changes in the Captain’s character in AT WORLD’S END. “[Y]ou’ll see certain new sides to the character, but I don’t think he is a character that can evolve per se or suddenly have this great revelation about himself,” Johnny explained. “I think he just sort of is what he is.”

Johnny knows the Captain Jack character has taken root in the public imagination; everyone knows Captain Jack Sparrow. “When you meet people in the street, even just these little kids who could be as young as four and five years old and they’ve had some connection to the character and it’s a connection they’ll carry with them, you know, probably, maybe for the rest of their lives and that’s a very profound experience,” he said. Even after four years atop the Hollywood A-list, Johnny sounds humbled and astonished by the character’s popularity. “All of it took me by surprise,” he told Reuters. “I mean, I’m the guy that for twenty years was used to having people not see any of his films,” Johnny said. “Nobody saw my movies–a couple here and there, but in terms of a mass audience, that never happened for me.”

Asked about the possibility of a fourth film adventure for Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny gave a noncomittal reply: “I don’t know, you know. I reckon anything is possible.”

You can read the full Reuters interview on the Zone’s News & Views forum, including Johnny’s reaction to filming with the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. Many thanks to emma for posting the interview and to AnaMaria for the screencap of Johnny. You can watch the video from Reuters here: http://tinyurl.com/ywgdl9 –Part-Time Poet

"Comedy is so much nicer"–Johnny Depp is interviewed on GOOD MORNING AMERICA

The photo shows Johnny Depp during his interview on GOOD MORNING AMERICA this morning, Tuesday, May 8th. The five-minute feature, called “A Pirate’s Life for Me: Johnny Depp Up Close,” combined an autobiographical recap with promotion for the upcoming release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. GMA’s weekend anchor Bill Weir did sandwich in some fresh questions, however, as he asked Johnny about comic vs. “dark” roles, and about the health of his daughter Lily-Rose. Here is a bit of their conversation:

GMA: How does comedy satisfy you differently than drama, or something tense and psychological?

JD: Oh, boy. It’s so much nicer. So much better than having to travel to . . . dark places. It’s fun to sort of release the trap door and see what everyone’s reaction is.

GMA [narrator]: But he is still drawn to the morbid.

JD: (nodding) Dark.

GMA: You keep going back to the dark, man!

JD: Yeah. I don’t know. There are certain things that arrive in front of you–things like THE LIBERTINE or SWEENEY TODD, with Tim Burton–that you just know that there’s no way around it. You must do it.

GMA: But do you find therapy in your work?

JD: You definitely do. But you know, you find therapy in life–in anything. In family. In your kids.

Regarding the recent serious illness of his daughter Lily-Rose, Johnny offered this update: “As any parent would feel, it was extremely frightening. She’s doing really well. She’s pulled through beautifully–and perfectly, thank God. So everything’s good.” Wonderful news!

Many thanks to Susanne for preparing our video clip and for her screencap, and to emma for the ABC News link and to Intodadepps for posting the first news about GOOD MORNING AMERICA last week. You can see the full video on the ABC News website here: http://tinyurl.com/2xjw6y –Part-Time Poet

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp interview on E! News on Wednesday

There’s not a lot of information on this one, but jeral20 reports that tonight’s E! News (Tuesday May 8) included promotion for an interview with Johnny Depp to be shown on tomorrow’s broadcast, Wednesday May 9th. Apparently E! News also sent a reporter to London for the rescheduled press day last Monday. Thanks to jeral20 for the news.

EXTRA! also showed a brief clip from AWE on their broadcast Tuesday, May 8th, and a very quick interview with Johnny. Their segment focused on AWE’s verbal banter and humor. Johnny was also asked about Keith Richards’ cameo, and he described how the population on the set practically doubled when Keith showed up to film his scenes, because everyone wanted to see him. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp appears–all too briefly–on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, May 7th

Johnny Depp appeared in a very brief segment of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT during the May 7th broadcast, promoting the release of the third film in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy, AT WORLD’S END, and telling the ET reporter “I’ve loved playing Captain Jack.” But what brought that laugh to Johnny’s face? It was the sight of himself, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, adorning a large square pillow (pillows available at the Disney Store near you, of course). “Congratulations–you’ve frightened me,” he declared, laughing. “I mean, to see yourself on a pillow! I mean, breakfast cereal . . . .” Johnny paused and snapped his fingers, as if he were now used to seeing the Captain Jack cereal boxes and could take it in stride. “But . . . a pillow?”

To see a screencap of Johnny Depp holding the Captain Jack pillow, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2g49wt Many thanks to RumLover for the ET story and pillow screencap, and to AnaMaria for the photo of Johnny laughing. –Part-Time Poet

"Working with Johnny is incredible"–EMPIRE Magazine interviews Keira Knightley about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END

In preparation for the coming release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, Keira Knightley was interviewed by EMPIRE “to discuss all things Trilogy.” Keira is full of praise for all her colleagues and calls director Gore Verbinski “a hero,” but she expects this to be Elizabeth Swann’s foray into the pirate world: “I can’t imagine them doing another PIRATES,” she tells EMPIRE, “but never say never. I hope if they did, they’d make some different costumes!”

Asked to describe working with Johnny Depp, Keira replies, “Working with Johnny is incredible. I think he’s one of the most talented actors of his generation and seeing him work and create the character is really extraordinary. He takes risks. He’s not one of those actors who’s like, ‘well, this is what my fans would like’ or anything like that. He really pushes boundaries and that’s an extraordinary thing for a young actress to see. I remember seeing him play Captain Jack for the first time and everybody went, ‘what is he doing?’ But he was like, ‘this is the way I’m playing it!’ I love the fact he creates. That’s very inspirational. And as a person, he’s lovely. I like [him] very much. “

And what was it like to work with rock ‘n’ roll legend Keith Richards? “Keith was only there for three days, but he was great,” says Keira. “Obviously after the first film everybody knew that Johnny had done his characterisation of Keith, so it was really lovely to have him come in and do the cameo. He had a hat, a feather and dreadlocks. It was great. I thought he was very nice. [. . .] He did a great pirate ‘aaaaaar!’ Actually, that was the only thing he said to me. I said, ‘Hi I’m Keira’ and he went ‘Aaaar!'” A charming moment . . . .

The full EMPIRE interview with Keira Knightley is posted on the Porch; the Zone thanks emma for sharing it with us. –Part-Time Poet

"It's great not to have a diva:" Geoffrey Rush talks about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END and Johnny Depp

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, otherwise known as the nefarious Captain Hector Barbossa, recently spoke to Australian critic Mark Bierne about his return to piracy in AT WORLD’S END. Asked if Barbossa, who was a villian in the first film, can now be trusted, Geoffrey Rush replies: “[C]ertainly the implication from that cliffhanger ending on part two is that out of all of the people you want to bring back from the dead to help rescue Jack from being eaten by the beastie, Barbossa’s not the best guy to do it. They’re sworn enemies,” he reminds us.

Asked if the atmosphere on-set was as light-hearted and jovial as what shows on screen, Rush says, “We’ve been doing this on-and-off now for four-and-a-half years so there’s a tremendous camaraderie between all of the departments. The actors don’t just spend time amongst themselves; you spend a good part of the day with the make-up team, the stunt guys, the expert marine department who are ferrying you there. Someone like Johnny is a great team leader,” says Rush. “It’s great not to have a diva. It’s great to have someone who’s very laid-back, very playful . . . he’s probably the only person who dares to ad-lib. A lot of what he throws in makes it into the final mix. Jack Sparrow is some crazy part of Johnny’s brain.”

Geoffrey Rush states that his favorite films to make are those with large, talented ensembles–his turn as beleaguered impresario Philip Henslowe in the Oscar-winning SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE stands out as a favorite role. And his favorite actors? “I’ve been pretty lucky for a middle-aged character actor,” confides Rush; “my leading ladies have been Cate Blanchett and Salma Hayek and Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet. And Johnny Depp, we’ve been together for four-and-a-half years now on these films; he’s one of the great character actors in a leading man’s body who constantly surprises himself and his audience with his capabilities and imagination.”

Many thanks to emma for posting this delightful interview; you can read it in its entirety on the Porch. –Part-Time Poet

More Pirates! Magazine feature on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END in THE WORKS (U.K.)

Magazine coverage of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END is picking up; UK mag THE WORKS features an interview with director Gore Verbinski in their May issue. “The global movie audience is already salivating at the thought of AT WORLD’S END continuing the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise,” John Millar’s article begins. “And as the fans have their patience stretched tight as they wait for the film to hit the screen with all cannons blazing, they can remind themselves that they owe a debt of gratitude to the trilogy’s director Gore Verbinski.” Millar credits Verbinski’s “buccaneering style” with helping to “breathe life into a pirate genre” that had been dismissed by Hollywood.

According to Millar, the director also understood that not all treasure is silver and gold–sometimes it arrives as pure talent. “Verbinski also knew that his leading man possessed a comic talent that would provide a special piece of magic [. . . ] because Depp has the capacity to be a modern day Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin,” writes Millar. Johnny’s director agrees. “He is a virtuoso,” says Verbinski. “It is like having Miles Davis in your band and you have got to let him go solo. The storyboards can be a funny image and then you put Johnny into it and he makes it his own.”

You can read more on the News & Views forum; there is also a link to purchase copies of the magazine. The Zone thanks emma for sharing the story. –Part-Time Poet