Articles from March 2008

"Johnny Depp makes people cry in Wisconsin"–and Kenneth Burns explains why

One of the most insightful explanations of the frenzy that hit the Badger State while Johnny Depp was filming PUBLIC ENEMIES there appears in Kenneth Burns’ reflection on the Isthmus Daily Page. “My mind was blown when I read Rod Melotte’s account of the shoot earlier this week in Columbus. Melotte reports that hundreds — hundreds — of people had turned up at dawn on a cold Monday morning to take in the action,” writes Burns. “Here’s how Melotte describes one fan’s reaction to a sighting of the star: ‘The first time he passes, a young woman says over and over, “OH MY GOD IT WAS JOHNNY DEPP!” She borrows my cell phone to call her mom and is sobbing while telling the story of just how close she was to the actor. Sobbing!’ Which is weird, and possibly an overreaction.”

But maybe not–nor is the bursting-into-tears reaction limited to young women. Burns confesses that he wept through a George Jones concert five years ago, when the journalist was in his 30s and the country singer was 72. “So I identify with the young weeping woman in Columbus. Our popular entertainers can exert an awesome emotional pull on us, whether they’re moaning incomparably sad country songs, as George Jones does on his records, or looking incomparably beautiful on a 30-foot-high movie screen, as Johnny Depp does, in whatever role,” writes Burns. “And when we are in the actual presence of these entertainers, that emotion can’t help but come out–sometimes, in tears. They’re not tears of sorrow, obviously, but they’re not quite tears of joy, either. They’re a reaction that simply says: that is the person who moves me. That person standing freaking right there!”

Burns confesses that he understands this phenomenon–as would, he suspects, the burly male callers to sports radio shows in Wisconsin who sobbed when quarterback Brett Favre retired. “Actually, if I’d been standing with the young weeping woman in Columbus,” he concludes, “maybe I would have been weeping right along with her.” As would every member of the Zone . . . .

The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for posting Mr. Burns’ column; you can read it in its entirety on the Pit. –Part-Time Poet

Kids love Captain Jack Sparrow–Johnny Depp wins Kids' Choice Award

Nickelodeon’s 21st annual Kids’ Choice Awards were held in Los Angeles on Saturday night (March 29th), and Johnny Depp won the award as Favorite Movie Actor for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. Although the film and co-star Keira Knightley were also nominated for Kids’ Choice Awards, they were edged out by ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS (Favorite Film) and Jessica Alba (Favorite Movie Actress). Johnny Depp was not present at the ceremony, but AT WORLD’S END co-star Orlando Bloom was this year’s guest-green-slime recipient; Orlando and host Jack Black wound up covered in the green goo, and as always the young crowd was delighted.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news. We congratulate JD on his victory; as there were more than 88 million votes cast in this year’s balloting, to be named Favorite Movie Actor is a considerable accomplishment. — Part-Time Poet

New photos of Johnny Depp in this week's entertainment magazines–April 7, 2008 issues

The photo at left, from this week’s PEOPLE Magazine, captures Johnny Depp, in costume as John Dillinger, as he is mounting the steps (the many, many steps!) of the Lafayette County Courthouse in Darlington, Wisconsin on March 19, 2008. The U.S. entertainment magazines found a lot to like in the Darlington shoot, as PEOPLE, US, IN TOUCH and LIFE & STYLE all feature photos from Darlington in their April 7, 2008 issues. To see a larger version of the PEOPLE photograph, click here: http://tinyurl.com/39zy2u The photo appears in the Star Tracks section on page 15.

LIFE & STYLE chooses the same photograph as PEOPLE; theirs is on page 13. US Magazine has a quarter-page photo on page 27, a half-length shot of Johnny (not on the steps) waving to the crowd in front of a snowbank in Darlington. There is also a small inset photo of him at the Oscars, to compare his look.

IN TOUCH features a quarter-page photo of Johnny waving in front of his trailer, with an inset publicity photo from 21 JUMP STREET. “Johnny hasn’t aged,” says the caption on page 12. “With a fresh haircut and clean-shaven face, Johnny Depp looks virtually the same as he did in 21 JUMP STREET 20 years ago! Johnny was filming PUBLIC ENEMIES in Wisconsin (he plays 1930s bank robber John Dillinger) on March 19.” You can see scans of all the photos on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp directs new music video, "L'incendie," for Vanessa Paradis

Johnny Depp has once again stepped behind the camera to direct–this time, it is a three-minute music video for his longtime love Vanessa Paradis. The song, called “L’Incendie” (“The Fire”), is the third single released from Vanessa’s CD “Divine Idylle,” which has topped the music charts in France and Belgium. Vanessa Paradis won Best French Female Artist and “Divine Idylle” won Best Pop Album at the recent Victories De La Musique awards, the French equivalent of the Grammys.

In the “L’incendie” video, Vanessa Paradis, wearing a flowing peach dress, dances and sings on the stage of an ornate, empty theater . . . a solo performance for a mysterious man in the shadows whose face is never shown. However, the man’s posture and attitude, not to mention his hat, is very reminiscent of Johnny Depp. As Vanessa sings, the microphone stand bursts into flames and the stage floor ignites with her every step. At the end of the video, she walks up to the man in the hat and, in a bright explosion of fire, the pair disappear.

“L’incendie” is the third music video Johnny has directed for Vanessa; their other collaborations are “Pourtant” and “Que fait la vie?” from her previous album “Bliss.”

The Zone thanks Angie for posting the news; you can see the video on MSN Video here: http://tinyurl.com/2zw2y8 –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES filming wraps in Crown Point, Indiana

Johnny Depp has left Crown Point, Indiana. After three days of filming the Michael Mann-directed movie PUBLIC ENEMIES around the Old Lake County Sheriff’s House and Jail in Crown Point, the crew and its star, Johnny Depp, packed up and drove the fleet of trucks and trailers out of town around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, according to Crown Point police. Filming ran too late on the last evening to allow JD to meet with the crowd; still, on two of his three nights in Crown Point, he stayed behind after the day’s shooting had finished and “shook hands with hundreds upon hundreds, stooping often to talk to youngsters, giving them hugs, secret pirate handshakes and signing autographs,” writes local reporter Diane Krieger Spivak of the Crown Point Post-Tribune.

Adds Spivak, “He doesn’t have to do it. He simply chooses to, his people said. Following behind Depp on Tuesday, his driver was addressed by a mom, who said what a nice guy Depp seemed to be. ‘He’s that and a whole lot more,’ said his driver. ‘He’s a wonderful guy. I’ll tell you firsthand, he’s a great man.'” Supposedly no man is a hero to his valet, yet Johnny Depp is clearly a hero to his driver . . . .

The photo above shows a smiling Johnny Depp in a car leaving Crown Point; to see a larger version of the photo, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ytxjex Many thanks to Emma for the Spivak story; you can read it in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum in the “PUBLIC ENEMIES in Crown Point” thread. –Part-Time Poet

"He gave them all he had"–Johnny Depp films PUBLIC ENEMIES in Crown Point, Indiana, on Tuesday

Assessing Johnny Depp’s second day filming John Dillinger’s escape from the Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana, local reporter Jessica Woolf observes, “When filming wrapped for the day Tuesday, Johnny Depp might not have given his fans all they wanted–but he gave them all he had.” After a long day of shooting, the actor went out in the dark to shake hands with fans who had waited behind barricades to meet him. The photo at left shows him in the crowd; to see a larger version of the picture, click here: http://tinyurl.com/3923mo

“All day, fans braved Tuesday’s wind in blankets, their mittened hands clutching cameras, waiting to get one glimpse, one picture,” writes Woolf. “During the day, Depp was only briefly visible to the public, but he waved and made small gestures of gratitude.” That changed once filming on PUBLIC ENEMIES had finished for the day. Johnny “strode around fencing” and “headed straight to the crowd-control gates,” Woolf says. “There, he spent an hour or more reaching across the gates to shake hands with anyone he could reach. He thanked everyone for staying; he chatted and stopped for pictures.”

Crown Point stargazers couldn’t stop talking about how kind Johnny Depp was. “I touched Johnny Depp,” said Betsy Plant, 19, of Lowell. “He shook my hand. He looked me in the eyes.” Ken Nelson said, “I saw him two feet away when he came out and greeted the crowd. He was shaking hands. It was pretty cool. Most actors wouldn’t do that.”

The Zone thanks emma for the reports from Crown Point–you can read several articles on the JDZ News & Views forum. Zoners who went to Crown Point to watch the filming have recorded their experiences on the Porch; some were in that grateful crowd on Tuesday night and have wondrous tales to tell. –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES filming continues in Crown Point; Johnny Depp greets fans

“A throng of about 1,000 people came to town to see Johnny Depp on Monday,” reports the Crown Point Post-Tribune, adding that Johnny “did not disappoint. Screams erupted from the crowd as Depp emerged from a white Universal Studios’ trailer [. . .] and waved to the waiting crowds as a black Ford SUV picked him up and whisked him around the corner,” writes reporter Diane Krieger Spivak. When the SUV was safely parked in front of the Old Lake County Sheriff’s House and Jail on Main Street, where scenes detailing John Dillinger’s jailbreak would be filmed for PUBLIC ENEMIES, Johnny emerged and greeted the fans, who were kept away from the set by fencing.

Spivak describes the scene: “Depp smiled and waved, put his hands together in a prayer-like gesture, offering a slight forward bow, then touched his right hand to his heart in appreciation for their adoration before heading up the Sheriff’s House steps and disappearing through the doorway [. . . ] .” Fans waited 2 1/2 hours for Johnny to emerge and walk down the steps: “Depp exited the building, [. . .] this time sporting a long black overcoat, and once again smiling, waving, and again, patting his heart with his hand with a slight bow before an assistant opened a door to the SUV. Depp slipped inside, rolled down the window and waved to fans.” Our photo at left shows Johnny Depp leaving the Old Lake County Sheriff’s House and Jail; to see a larger version of JD in his black overcoat, click here: http://tinyurl.com/yp8axj

A few seconds of contact, a smile and a wave, made the long wait in the cold worthwhile for the half-frozen bystanders. “This is the highlight of my life,” sixteen-year-old Kali Norfrey told Spivak. “When I look back in life that’s gonna be the last thing I see.”

Fans who waited through the day to the end of filming had a special Depp moment. Seventeen-year-old Hanley Russell told another reporter, “About 7:30 or 8, we decided to stay around after everybody was off the set, and he walked down the line and touched people’s hands and said ‘Thanks.'” Added Russell, “I’m so glad I came up here.” You can see a YouTube video shot by someone lucky enough to be greeted by Johnny on Monday night here: http://tinyurl.com/2k9bab

The Zone thanks Emma, Teacher, and Gilbert’s Girl for news stories on the Crown Point filming; you can read them on the JDZ News & Views forum. Thanks to FANtasticJD for the photo of Johnny. –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES author Bryan Burrough has kind words for Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club

The Zone’s book club, ONBC, is currently running a lively and fascinating question-and-answer session with Bryan Burrough, the author of PUBLIC ENEMIES. We wanted to share Mr. Burrough’s appreciation of ONBC and the tremendous job that its moderators, Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas, have done presenting background tidbits on the Dillinger era and leading the book discussion. Although not all of the Noodlemantras’ observations about PUBLIC ENEMIES were flattering to the author, Mr. Burrough didn’t mind ONBC’s candor: “I have had the *best* time reading the ONBC posts,” he wrote to Liz. “Your readers are so thoughtful, they pointed out things I’d never recognized in the book, both good and bad.”

When Liz asked what Mr. Burrough had enjoyed the most about the ONBC discussion of PUBLIC ENEMIES, he replied, “What excited me about reading the ONBC posts is how thoughtful they were. I mean, your readers obviously spend a good deal of time actually reading the book and thinking about it. Plus, you know, an author never really gets to hear people talk honestly about his own work. Friends, well, they’re always kind, maybe too kind. Only some place like ONBC can you see what people think. It’s painful sometimes, but hey, I’m a big boy.”

Burrough also recognized the intense preparation Liz and DITHOT did on the ONBC “tidbits” for PUBLIC ENEMIES. “The tidbits were fantastic. I felt you guys did almost as much research as I did!” wrote Burrough. “Your whole setup just struck me as what the Internet ought to be. Here is this little haven for kind discussion among people who obviously like each other. I have to say, I thought ONBC posters were among the most polite I’d ever read. That’s one thing that often bugs me about chat rooms and the like, rudeness.”

Congratulations, Noodlemantras! We couldn’t be prouder of all of you.

The ONBC interview with Bryan Burrough is currently running on the forum, and a new question is posted daily. It’s a great way to celebrate the filming of PUBLIC ENEMIES; many thanks to Mr. Burrough for participating, and to Liz and DITHOT for making it possible. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives on PUBLIC ENEMIES set in Crown Point, Indiana

The incredible traveling Johnny Depp roadshow, otherwise known as PUBLIC ENEMIES, has set up shop this week in Crown Point, Indiana; the photo at left shows Johnny arriving in Crown Point. Intrepid fans, determined to catch every minute of the filming, began to assemble in downtown Crown Point around 12:30 a.m. , braving 20-degree F. temperatures in the hopes of seeing the actor at work. According to local reporter Lauri Harvey Keagle, “While word in and around the set was that filming would be taking place solely indoors, those who braved the chilly early morning temps weren’t about to budge. The onlookers saw a lot of trucks and trailers, crews bustling about in and out of the old sheriff’s house and the Hall of Justice, some Crown Point police officers and guards from a private security firm. But no Depp . . . .”

That situation changed ” just before 11 a.m.,” reports Keagle, “when a black Ford Expedition pulled up in front of the old sheriff’s house on Main Street and out popped Depp. The crowd of more than 100–some of whom had been waiting for nearly 12 hours–erupted into loud cheers as Depp dashed into the old sheriff’s house.”

Crown Point native Nicole Vega didn’t mind standing in the cold for seven hours for a chance to see Johnny Depp: “It’s the most fascinating thing in Crown Point since Dillinger broke out of jail and (Rudolph) Valentino got married at the courthouse.”

The Zone thanks Teacher for the Keagle article; you can read it in full on the News & Views forum in the thread called “PUBLIC ENEMIES in Crown Point.” To see a larger version of the photo of JD in Crown Point, click here: http://tinyurl.com/3ycdku and to see a photo of the downtown Crown Point set, click here: http://tinyurl.com/36q48w The Zone thanks AnaMaria and emma for the photos; special thanks to Doctor Beef on-site in Crown Point. –Part-Time Poet

Where next for Johnny Depp and PUBLIC ENEMIES? Crown Point, Indiana!

Having won every available heart in Wisconsin, the PUBLIC ENEMIES cast and crew head into Indiana for the coming week, where Depp Fever is sure to spread like wildfire. The destination? Crown Point, Indiana, population 22,697 . . . before the JD fans arrive, that is. Filming is expected to begin Monday, March 24th, at the Old Sheriff’s House and County Jail on Main Street. Crown Point Mayor David Uran has signed an agreement with Universal Studios that runs from Saturday, March 22 through March 29, although PUBLIC ENEMIES publicist Dave Fulton declined to confirm filming dates “for safety and liability reasons.” Fulton also has not confirmed which cast members will be present, but since John Dillinger escaped from that jail–yes, that very building–on March 3, 1934, it would not be unreasonable to expect Johnny Depp to be among the actors reporting for work in Crown Point.

The Zone thanks Emma for several reports from Crown Point; you can read the articles beginning on page 7 of the thread called “Public Enemies~~Filming Locations, Dates, & Dillinger’s Car” on the JDZ News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Lili Taylor joins the cast of PUBLIC ENEMIES, with Johnny Depp

Acclaimed actress Lili Taylor will be reunited Johnny Depp onscreen in Michael Mann’s PUBLIC ENEMIES; the two actors also appeared together in Emir Kusturica’s ARIZONA DREAM. Taylor will play Sheriff Lillian Holley, who donned her husband’s badge in 1933 after he died in the line of duty. Sheriff Holley was thrust into the spotlight in an unwelcome way when Dillinger stole her brand-new V-8 Ford during his escape from Lake County Jail–not the kind of thing a sheriff wants on her public record. “If I ever see John Dillinger again, I’ll shoot him dead with my own gun,” she said at the time. Happily, relations between Lili Taylor and Johnny Depp are much more cordial; longtime friends, Johnny interviewed Lili for Interview Magazine in 2006. You can read that interview in the JDZ Archives here: http://byjohnny.johnnydepp-zone2.com/

In other PUBLIC ENEMIES casting news, the recent scenes shot in the Lafayette County Courthouse called on the talents of Chicago stage actors John Lister and Alan Wilder. Lister plays Judge William J. Murray, who presided over John Dillinger’s arraignment, while Wilder plays prosecutor Robert Estill, who famously posed for a photo with Dilllinger. The much-reprinted image of the D.A. with his arm around Dillinger’s shoulder–as if they were drinking buddies rather than prosecutor and accused criminal–would generate outrage and ruin Estill’s budding political career.

Adam Mucci and W. Earl Brown have also joined the PUBLIC ENEMIES cast; their roles are not known at this time. Christian Stolte will be playing Charles Makley. Many thanks to Emma and FANtasticJD for the casting updates, and to Joni for the Lili Taylor interview link. –Part-Time Poet

Goodbye, Columbus–Johnny Depp bids farewell to Wisconsin . . . for now

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp bidding farewell to fans who gathered in the dark in Columbus, Wisconsin on Thursday night as Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES concluded its shooting there (for now; the company will return but dates have not been set). Here’s an account of Johnny saying goodbye from Shannon Green of Capital Newspapers:

“Hundreds of Depp’s fans gathered on Water Street and began waiting well before he was done shooting the movie on Thursday night,” Green reports. Many fans brought pictures, hoping to get autographs, but were told that Johnny would not have time to sign. “Still the crowd waited with some people chanting ‘Johnny.’ Their persistence paid off,” notes Green, when Johnny’s driver came out to the crowd and said “Depp would walk the length of the street. He asked everyone to stay on the curb and remain calm.

“A half-hour went by and the crowd grew larger. Security personnel were friendly but strict about people staying behind the curb,” Green says. “Cheers grew louder when Depp made his appearance. Wearing jeans, a green shirt, a long black coat, white scarf and fedora hat, Depp walked the length of the street and waved at fans. When he reached the end of the road of his fans, he jumped on the running board of the S.U.V. and waved as he was driven away. “

Here’s a video of that moment from You Tube–it’s very dark, due to the late hour, but as flashbulbs go off, they give a strobe-like effect, so it does give a good feeling of what it would be like to be there. You can hear many ecstatic cries of “Oh my God!” as Johnny passes by; you can also hear Johnny telling the crowd, “Thanks for sticking around so long.” To see the video, click here: http://tinyurl.com/yoah4n

The Zone thanks Reggi for the YouTube video, and Carasun for the screencap of Johnny; you can see a larger version here: http://tinyurl.com/yrco4b Many thanks to Emma (who must never sleep!) for posting the Shannon Green article on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES filming returns to Columbus, Wisconsin on Thursday

After a one-day trip to the Lafayette County Courthouse, Michael Mann’s PUBLIC ENEMIES returns to Columbus, Wisconsin today, to wrap up the bank robbery sequence filming there. Some additional footage of the main streets of Columbus will be shot, and interior and exterior shots outside of downtown also will be completed, Mayor Nancy Osterhaus told the Portage Daily Register. The filming has been a boon to Columbus: “The number of tourists (this week) I would place in the thousands,” said Osterhaus.

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, who led the development of the film industry tax incentives that attracted PUBLIC ENEMIES–and a $20 million cash infusion–to Wisconsin, will greet the cast and crew of the movie at 11 a.m. at the Columbus Visitor Center . . . soon to be better known as the bank Johnny Depp “robbed” earlier this week. [The Visitor Center and the West James art gallery occupy the same building.]

Mayor Osterhaus praised Johnny Depp for being so gracious to the crowds who have filled Columbus this week. “He did sign autographs Tuesday evening and was very polite, very focused, and a bit quiet,” Osterhaus said. “They had just come off the shoot (as he was wearing the same coat and hat as in the film).” To see a larger photo of Johnny as Dillinger standing outside the Columbus Visitor Center with his gang, click here: http://tinyurl.com/yqrrka

Today’s filming will conclude the shooting in Columbus for now; the company plans to come back again in warmer weather, but no dates have been scheduled.

The Zone thanks Emma for the Daily Register article; you can read it in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum, in the “PUBLIC ENEMIES in Columbus News Thread.” –Part-Time Poet

Darlington's Darling–Johnny Depp films PUBLIC ENEMIES at the Lafayette County Courthouse in Darlington, Wisconsin

The third day of filming on Michael Mann’s PUBLIC ENEMIES took Johnny Depp’s John Dillinger to court for an arraignment scene; the scene was filmed inside the historic Lafayette County Courthouse in Darlington, Wisconsin. Several hundred people gathered around the court house to see Johnny arrive and enter the building. Wearing a costume of brown wool trousers and vest with a white shirt, Johnny paused several times as he climbed the courthouse steps and turned to wave at the cheering crowd. “Call the ambulance, I think I’m having a heart attack,” one woman called out as Johnny ascended the long flight of stairs to the courthouse entrance. Fortunately, she recovered without medical assistance . . . .

According to the Monroe Times, the mayor of Darlington, David Breunig, as well as several elected officials from Lafayette County, were chosen to appear as extras in the courtroom scene. The mayor found his new profession very enjoyable, even the numerous retakes: “I was one row behind Johnny Depp,” he explained.

Suzi Osterday, director of Darlington Chamber of Commerce-Main Street, said the filming was “a great day” for her city. She added, “I hope they enjoyed being here as much as we have hosting them.”

To see a larger photo of Johnny Depp inside the Lafayette County Courthouse, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ys5cdk and to see a photo of Johnny waving to the crowd, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2erjgy The Zone thanks Emma for the many articles she has posted from Wisconsin media outlets; you can find the ones about today’s shoot in the News & Views thread called “Depp holds court in Darlington.” Thanks also to Bonnie, AnaMaria and Carasun for the beautiful pictures of Johnny Depp at work. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp robs a bank as PUBLIC ENEMIES filming continues in Columbus, Wisconsin

That’s Johnny Depp in the fedora, standing next to security chief Jerry Judge, in a photo taken today in Columbus, Wisconsin on the set of Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES. Filming continued today (March 18th) with a bank robbery getaway sequence; delighted onlookers got to see Johnny, as John Dillinger, hoisting a tommygun and riding on the running board of a vintage car as his gang made its escape. To see a photo of the Dillinger getaway car, click here: http://tinyurl.com/25lwmt

A lucky crowd member with a good eye and a steady hand, Ben Wydeven, caught some footage of the getaway car and of Johnny acknowledging the cheers of the Columbus movie buffs. Mr. Wydeven has posted his video here: http://tinyurl.com/27v73t Many thanks to him for sharing it!

Katrina Cravy of Fox affiliate WITI in Milwaukee presents a fine background piece on the thousands of onlookers who came to Columbus to see the first day of filming on March 17th. Look closely for some footage of Johnny Depp; he’s wearing a light brown jacket and a fedora: http://tinyurl.com/25wfoy

The Zone thanks Emma and Inspired for posting the videos, and Carasun for the pictures. Thanks also to pbhgirl’s Flickr account. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Here's Dillinger! Cameras roll on PUBLIC ENEMIES, starring Johnny Depp, in Columbus, Wisconsin

The photo at left represents our first glimpse of Johnny Depp in the role of 1930s bank robber John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES. Filming began today, March 17, 2008, in the small town of Columbus, Wisconsin, where crews have been busily recreating the ambience of 1933 along East and West James Street. One of Dillinger’s bank robberies will be staged at West James Gallery, a beautiful vintage building which, in Dillinger’s time, housed the First National Bank. Movie buffs have been crowding into Columbus hoping to witness the filming: you can read many accounts of the day-to-day transformation of Columbus on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

To play Dillinger, Johnny Depp is sporting 30s short hair, a dark fedora, and a clean-shaven face. To see a photo of JD smiling behind the wheel of the vintage car, click here: http://tinyurl.com/yq53ue and to see a larger version of the photo above, click here: http://tinyurl.com/25ucge Many thanks to Emma, Bonnie, and AnaMaria for the photos! It is wonderful to see Johnny at work.

The Zone congratulates Michael Mann and the cast and crew of PUBLIC ENEMIES; since you have chosen St. Patrick’s Day to begin your shoot, may the luck of the Irish be yours for all of your journey together. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp in Vancouver to work on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

Johnny Depp was spotted at the Villa del Lupo restaurant in Vancouver on Tuesday night (March 11), dining and socializing with his castmates and crew members from Terry Gilliam’s THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS. A gossip site reports that Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, and Lily Cole were there, too, and that the group stayed until almost 3 a.m. Johnny, as is his habit, “showed up late,” according to the reporter, and “was extremely low key. Wore a soft hat, with strict security, in and out like a flash [. . .].” The strict security was provided by Jerry Judge, who was photographed leaving the restaurant–the cameras caught Jerry and Colin Farrell, but not Johnny himself. Like a flash, indeed!

The Zone thanks Cindy for breaking the news–you can read the gossip blog entry and see the confirming photos of Colin Farrell and Jerry Judge on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS resumes filming; Johnny Depp to join cast

Shooting has restarted in Vancouver on Terry Gilliam’s film THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS; Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law will complete the role begun by the late Heath Ledger. According to Variety, “The decision to use several actors to replace Ledger was made possible because of the fantastical nature of the story, in which characters pass from contemporary London through a magic mirror into various parallel worlds of the imagination.” At the time of his death on January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger had completed the London-based filming of the realistic section of the storyline, which will be preserved. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law will each play a “physically transformed version” of the Heath Ledger character as the character crosses into other worlds.

Ledger’s final performance will be respected and left intact, without computer manipulation. The movie’s producers released the following statement: “Since the format of the story allows for the preservation of his entire performance, at no point will Heath’s work be modified or altered through the use of digital technology. Each of the parts played by Johnny, Colin and Jude is representative of the many aspects of the character that Heath was playing.”

Regarding the resumption of work on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, director Terry Gilliam said, “I am grateful to Johnny, Colin and Jude for coming on board, and to everyone else who has made it possible for us to finish the film. I am delighted that Heath’s brilliant performance can be shared with the world.” Added Gilliam, “We are looking forward to finishing the movie and, through the film, with a modicum of humility, being able to touch people’s hearts and souls as Heath was able to do.”

The Zone thanks emma for breaking the news; you can read articles from Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily, and the UK Press Association on the Zone’s News & Views forum. We send our best wishes to the company of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS and hope all goes well for them. –Part-Time Poet

Getting into the Role: Johnny Depp and Michael Mann visit John Dillinger's family farm

The photo at left shows director Michael Mann and actor Johnny Depp flanking Jeff Scalf, the nephew of the late bank robber John Dillinger, as they stand beneath a photograph of Dillinger in the family farmhouse in Mooresville, Indiana. Johnny Depp will play Dillinger in Mann’s upcoming film PUBLIC ENEMIES, which begins shooting in Columbus, Wisconsin, on March 17th. They visited the Dillinger farm on February 29th to soak up the atmosphere and speak with Mr. Scalf, who generously allowed them to go into John Dillinger’s former bedroom, look at family artifacts, read letters, and look at pictures never made available to the public–Johnny Depp even held a reproduction of Dillinger’s famous wooden gun.

“They’ve really done their homework,” Jeff Scalf told reporter Amy Hillenburg. “They were both very down-to-earth, polite and respectful of the subject matter.” During the four-hour visit, Johnny Depp told Mr. Scalf that “he would try to be sensitive to [Dillinger’s] true persona. And that he would portray Dillinger as he really was.”

That approach pleases Dillinger’s nephew. “As my grandmother used to say, ‘Don’t romanticize John, but don’t villanize him, either.’ He was who he was,” Scalf said. “John was different than some of the other criminals of his era [. . .]. He wasn’t mean-spirited or the first to pull out a gun. I hope this movie will show all sides of John.”

To read the Amy Hillenburg article in its entirety, you can visit the Zone’s News & Views forum, or click here: http://tinyurl.com/yp7lyw To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny Depp and Michael Mann with Jeff Scalf, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2d3w32 Many thanks to Emma for posting the article! –Part-Time Poet

Welcome to the Windy City–Johnny Depp sightings in Chicago!

Johnny Depp has arrived in Chicago to prepare his role as John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES. Chicago newspaper columnists report Depp sightings in the Windy City last weekend. Here’s a brief report from Stella Foster of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Sexy actor Johnny Depp, who is in town to film director Michael Mann’s movie PUBLIC ENEMIES, [. . .] has been busy getting to know the happening spots in our great town and where to find great Italian food. Depp, who has always made the ladies swoon and was Oscar-nominated for his starring role in SWEENEY TODD, dined at the tasty LaScarola on Grand Saturday (March 1st) with Mann. (Actual filming might start around March 17.)

“Depp and Mann, who is a masterful director and known for such films as MIAMI VICE, ALI, COLLATERAL, and HEAT, were in with a few other actors and dined hearty on pasta, veal chops and steak. I understand from one of the customers, who enjoyed just looking at the gorgeous Depp, that he was very congenial . . . but folks were respectful and didn’t bother him for autographs. How nice. Also, around midnight Friday (February 29th) Depp, wearing his trademark hat, enjoyed hearing Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Kurt Elling at the Green Mill. And once again, patrons allowed Depp to just enjoy the ambience and the music. ” Another source reports that Johnny Depp dined at Gibson’s on Sunday night, March 2nd, in a private room upstairs.

The Zone thanks Emma for both stories–you can read more about Johnny in Chicago on the Zone’s Pit. –Part-Time Poet