Articles from February 2011

Colleen Atwood wins Oscar for Costume Design for ALICE IN WONDERLAND!

Colleen Atwood won her third Academy Award for Best Costume Design on Sunday night, for her astonishingly imaginative designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. She has previously won Oscars for Chicago and for Memoirs of a Geisha; her six other nominations include previous collaborations with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Other films nominated in the category of Best Costume Design were I Am Love, The King’s Speech, The Tempest, and True Grit.

In her thank-you speech, Ms. Atwood paid tribute to her fellow nominees and then recognized the genius of Lewis Carroll. “The story, Alice in Wonderland, was described by its publisher in 1865 as a story valued for its rare imagination, priceless humor, and power to transport the reader into a world of pure fantasy, a gift to us all,” Ms. Atwood said. She then thanked Tim Burton: “The heart of any movie lies with the director, and I’ve been incredibly lucky on this and many films to work with the singular Tim Burton,” she said. “Tim’s imagination, along with the amazing cast — Johnny’s incandescent Hatter; Mia’s Alice for all girls, all times; Helena’s fearless bigheaded Queen;and our crystalline snowflake princess, Anne Hathaway — made my job a delight.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the news; you can read more about the Academy Awards for Alice in Wonderland on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

We congratulate Colleen Atwood on her well-deserved Oscar; the always-in-demand designer is currently creating the costumes for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND wins the Oscar for art direction!

Is that Oscar wearing the Mad Hatter’s distinctive hat and flame-orange hair? Why, yes he is, courtesy of Robert Stromberg, the production designer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, who with set decorator Karen O’Hara won the first Oscar awarded at last night’s ceremony. Mr. Stromberg and Ms. O’Hara won for Art Direction; the other nominated films were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1; Inception; The King’s Speech; and True Grit. This was Ms. O’Hara’s first Oscar win; Mr. Stromberg previously won for Avatar. Congratulations!

Accepting her Oscar, Karen O’Hara looked at director Tim Burton and said, “Tim, this is yours.” Robert Stromberg added, “Meet me with a saw, because half of this is yours.” He then produced the miniature version of the Mad Hatter’s hat and said, “There’s one last bit of art direction for a Tim Burton film–there it is,” and he placed the hat on his Oscar’s shiny bald head. We must say, Oscar never looked better! To see a larger version of last night’s best-dressed Oscar, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of the happy winners backstage with their awards, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news and Theresa for the pictures. We congratulate Mr. Stromberg and Ms. O’Hara on their well-deserved victory.

“A pleasure and an honor to be Johnny Depp’s leading lady”–an interview with THE RUM DIARY’s Amber Heard

While doing promotion for Drive Angry, her new film with Nicolas Cage, rising star Amber Heard took time to praise her experience making Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, expected to be released later this year. In an interview with Ian Spelling, Ms. Heard discussed what it was like to play Chenault, the beauty who gets involved with the reporter Paul Kemp, played by Johnny Depp. “I don’t think I have the words to articulate what a pleasure and honor it was to be Johnny Depp’s leading lady,” Heard said, adding, “I’d imagine that any actress would like to be in that position. And the project itself is going to be so beautiful.”

Of The Rum Diary, based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson, Heard said, “I found myself surrounded by artists and people who wanted to create something special, that’s aesthetically beautiful and intellectually heavy.” She describes her character Chenault as “a free-spirited woman living in 1960s Puerto Rico” and as “the heart of the movie — the element that links all the other characters together.”

Heard explained that Chenault “embodies what the characters are thinking, what they want, what drives people. She’s based on a real person, and after learning about Hunter S. Thompson’s life and the world that he was living in when he wrote The Rum Diary, I felt extremely drawn to telling the story and playing Chenault.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the interview with Amber Heard; you can read more about The Rum Diary on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum. You can read the full interview with Amber Heard HERE.

Why Johnny Depp made RANGO–new interview

In a recent video interview with France’s Canalplus, Johnny Depp spoke about his work on Gore Verbinski’s animated feature Rango, which will be released on Friday, March 4th. Asked why he wanted to make the film, Johnny said, “I wanted to make it, first, because it was Gore Verbinski . . . but also, it had a kind of incredible absurdist sense of humor, but at the same time, at the foundation of it, it meant something. It means something. And [the movie] correlates to the sort of current situation that we’re in, or will be in, in the years to come.”

Q: Do you think that the kids will “get” all the existentialist references, and the cameo by Hunter Thompson, and this kind of stuff?

JOHNNY DEPP: I think in a way, yeah. The information comes like this (gestures directly toward his face) and they get it, and there’s this other level that arrives (gestures sideways toward his shoulder), and that makes you think. “Who was that?” “What was that?” “What does this mean?” The questions will come later . . . after the laughs. Which I think is very, very smart.

Q: What are you looking for, [. . .] as an actor, [. . .] from movies, now? What do you want for movies?

JOHNNY DEPP: That’s a good question. I don’t know. Really, for me, it’s just to try to do something different every time, you know. If I can do something different . . . which is at times very difficult because you’re at the mercy of the director’s intentions, or the writer’s intentions, or the ultimate picture of the product that somebody else has. Yeah, I think more and more, I want to focus on what I can do that will be different from anything I’ve done before.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the Canalplus interview. Thanks also to HonestGirl for the photo of Johnny Depp at the world premiere of Rango in Los Angeles; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE.

“You’re looking for truth”–Gore Verbinski talks about directing RANGO

Rango director Gore Verbinski recently spoke to Kevin Lally of Film Journal International about his first foray into animation. “Verbinski did not isolate his actors in separate recording booths but gathered them in a room to physically perform the script together,” Lally notes. Why the change from tradition? “It came out of not having done animation before,” Verbinski explained. “Why give up techniques I’ve developed in live action? There’s a process in telling a story that you get used to, and I didn’t want to throw that away.”

Verbinski also understands the chemistry that develops among actors when they have a chance to work together. “[Y]ou’re looking for gifts, for truth or an awkward moment. You’re looking for actors to leave the page and give you something honest, and I think that only happens by having other people present and something to react to. So much of acting is reacting. I never thought about doing it a different way.”

The director concedes that his “playful approach,” which he calls “orchestrated chaos,” required an adjustment from the actors because of the speed at which they worked. “You’re doing nine pages a day, and on some of these big movies you’re lucky if you get through two-and-a-half pages. [. . .] There’s no relighting, there’s no camera setups, we’re just running the scene. [. . . W]e did the whole thing in 20 days.”

Verbinski told Film Journal that he developed the character of Rango with Johnny Depp while they were working on the Pirates of the Caribbean films. “Then he was off working, and for the first story reel my storyboard artist Jim Byrkit and I did all the voices and roughed the whole thing, but always with Johnny in mind. [. . .] We modeled the storyboards on Johnny’s kind of Buster Keaton abilities, both meek and grand at the same time.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the Film Journal article. You can read more about Rango on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum and the News & Views forum. Kevin Lally’s excellent article is available HERE.

Chris Lebenzon and Colleen Atwood receive awards for ALICE IN WONDERLAND–congratulations! Next project, DARK SHADOWS!

Congratulations to editor Chris Lebenzon and costume designer Colleen Atwood; they were honored by their peers this week for their outstanding work on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as Alice. Chris Lebenzon won the ACE award for the best-edited feature film (comedy or musical). Colleen Atwood won the Costume Designers Guild award for excellence in Fantasy Film. No honor means more than the one voted by the members of one’s own profession; these gifted artists are acknowledged to be the best of the best in their chosen fields. Well done!

Chris Lebenzon and Colleen Atwood will reunite with director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for Burton’s next project, Dark Shadows, due to start filming in May. Lebenzon recently told the Hollywood Reporter that the script for Dark Shadows is “terrific. They got it right.” The adaptation of the beloved ’60s gothic TV series is “a relationship movie. It’s a lot of interaction of characters, from past and present.”

Colleen Atwood is already working on Dark Shadows; on Tuesday, she told Elizabeth Snead of The Dish Rag: “I just had a fitting today, my first one, with Johnny, so I’m happy about that.” Ms. Atwood sounded excited about the film, promising that Dark Shadows will be “really good. It’s a funny script and I think people are going to really like it.” Snead reports that Ms. Atwood said Burton’s film version will be “as ‘campy’ as the original TV show.” Good!

The Zone thanks Theresa, SnoopyDances, Joni, and Emma for the news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

“You do the best work you can do”–Johnny Depp on THE TOURIST

When journalist Ruben Nepales of the Philippine Inquirer asked Johnny Depp why his recent film with Angelina Jolie, The Tourist, took such a drubbing from critics, Johnny couldn’t account for the reaction. “You go into a film and do the best work you can do. The second they tell you, ‘It’s a wrap,’ it’s really no longer any of your business,” he explained. “I always walk away, thank everyone and it’s done.”

As always, Johnny had only kind words for his colleagues on The Tourist. Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck “is a terrific filmmaker,” Johnny said. “Angie is obviously a great talent. . . . The cinematography is great. Maybe I’m the one who messed it up,” he offered, with his usual modesty, “but I don’t know because I haven’t seen the film.”

Lots of other people around the world have seen the film, though–worldwide box-office for The Tourist has reached $245 million! And that total is still growing.

The Tourist will premiere in Japan on Thursday, March 3rd; Johnny Depp is scheduled to attend the red carpet event at Toho Cinemas Roppongi at Roppongi Hills, much to the delight of his many devoted Japanese admirers, who will be happy to welcome Johnny back to Tokyo.

The Zone thanks Marijose for the Ruben Nepales interview and Charlotte Depp for news about the Tourist premiere. You can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Update on MY AMERICAN LOVER with Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis

Another film on Johnny Depp’s horizon is My American Lover, to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who previously directed Johnny in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Chocolat. The highly-anticipated project will pair Johnny (as the American novelist Nelson Algren) with Vanessa Paradis (playing Simone de Beauvoir). “Lasse has been e-mailing Vanessa and me,” Johnny told journalist Ruben Nepales of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “We’ve been back and forth with various ideas, talking to the writers . . . . It will be something that we can hopefully try to do sometime next year.”

While Johnny and Vanessa have performed together as musicians, and he has directed four of her music videos, they have never acted together in a film. “The project interests us both but is also a bit scary,” Vanessa said in an interview in Paris-Match last December. “Finding myself face to face with him, having to act, lie in a way, still seems complicated to me. At the same time, it would allow us to spend time together while working, but I really don’t know whether I would be up to it.” She added, “I think that it would be a lot simpler for me to play his sister or his landlady or something like that. We didn’t go looking for a movie in which I would be his lover, the proposal came out of the blue and we liked the idea.”

The film’s locations would include Paris — of course — and Algren’s home town, Chicago, which Johnny learned to love during Public Enemies. “It would be really nice for us to be in the same spot for a good chunk of time, especially with the kiddies,” Johnny told Ruben Nepales. “Chicago and Paris are not bad locations. Also it will be great to tackle the subject matter and those characters, Simone de Beauvoir who was this very strong woman with a wonderful sense of humor, and Nelson Algren who was a writer and someone that I’ve always been fascinated with.”

The Zone thanks Marijose for the interview with Ruben Nepales, and FANtasticJD for the interview from Paris-Match. You can read the Nepales interview on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and the Paris-Match article on the Porch General Discussion forum.

Future film roles for Johnny Depp–new interview!

Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows will be Johnny Depp’s next film, followed by the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Lone Ranger, to be directed by Gore Verbinski. What films might follow those? Johnny has mentioned several projects in recent interviews. “[T]here’s still some stuff definitely that I’d like to do out there,” he told Hollie McKay of FoxNews. “There’s certain books that I’ve been in love with for years that I’d love to bring to life — things like Tom Robbins’ Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates; that’s a great, great book. We’re in the works now to put The Ginger Man by JP Donleavy up, get that on its feet, so that’s a very exciting possibility.”

One fascinating character Johnny Depp will not be playing, however, is Pancho Villa; scheduling conflicts will prevent him taking the role of the Mexican revolutionary opposite Salma Hayek in Emir Kusturica’s Wild Roses, Tender Roses [the project has also been known as The Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers]. In an interview during promotion for The Tourist, Johnny said he questioned whether he was the right choice for the role. Although he loved the idea of working with Kusturica again, ” . . . [W]e’ve also spoken about the idea of, you know, not just me but any American somehow playing one of the greatest heroes of Mexico . . . . Yeah, I feel somewhat irresponsible doing that. My opinion is that the part should be played by a Mexican actor.” According to recent press reports, Kusturica is now considering either Gael Garcia Bernal or Benicio del Toro for the role.

The Zone thanks Myfave for the FoxNews interview, and Sleepy, Emma, Historicalpassion1 and FANtasticJD for articles about the Kusturica film. You can read much more about all these projects on the Zone’s News & Views forum and Pit General Discussion forum.

Tonto as Sancho Panza? Gore Verbinski gives an update on LONE RANGER

Now that Gore Verbinski has saddled up to direct the new Lone Ranger for Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, he plans to show us the tale through Tonto’s eyes. Seems like a good idea, since this Tonto will be played by Johnny Depp. Expect “a sly, somewhat subversive version of the classic Old West adventure that presents the ‘faithful Indian companion’ as the wry central voice of the story,” advises Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, who interviewed Verbinski during the recent press junket for Rango.

“The only version of The Lone Ranger I’m interested in doing is Don Quixote told from Sancho Panza’s point of view,” Verbinski told Boucher. “And hence I was honest early on with Johnny that Tonto is the part. We’re not going to do it [straight], everyone knows that story. I don’t want to tell that story.” What does Verbinski have in mind? Boucher suggests Tonto will be a character like Captain Jack Sparrow — someone “good in a fight but also a bit slippery compared to some of the boy-scout personalities around him.” Verbinski explained, “I want the version from the untrustworthy narrator who might be a little crazy — but somehow the question is, is he crazy or is the world crazy? That, I find fascinating.”

Boucher notes that “in Verbinski’s office, one high shelf behind his desk has a solitary book on it — a hardcover history of the Texas Rangers.” The director is doing his research. “It’s just at the primordial stage,” Verbinski said. “We’re working on the screenplay but if we can pull that off — find that story I want to tell — then it will be worth doing.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the Verbinski interview; you can read more about Lone Ranger on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum. You can find the Los Angeles Times article HERE. The photo of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp was taken at the world premiere for their most recent film, Rango, in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Aida for sharing the photo.

Michelle Pfeiffer to join DARK SHADOWS cast?

Casting talks continue for Tim Burton’s new film version of Dark Shadows, which will star Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins. According to Mike Fleming of Deadline.com, Michelle Pfeiffer is in talks to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the owner of the mansion where the supernatural events unfold. Ms. Pfeiffer played Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992). A more recent leading lady, Burton’s partner and Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter, is likely to join the Dark Shadows cast as Dr. Julia Hoffman, Fleming reports. Dr. Hoffman is a specialist in psychology and rare blood disorders; initially a threat to the vampire Barnabas, she eventually becomes an ally who hopes to cure Barnabas of his thirst for blood.

Also on board for Dark Shadows, which should begin filming for Warner Bros. in May, are Eva Green as the witch Angelique, Jackie Earle Haley as con artist Willie Loomis, and Bella Heathcoate as Victoria Winters, the young governess of the Collins estate.

The Zone thanks Cindy for sharing the news; you can read more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp attends Vanessa Paradis’s concert in New York City

Johnny Depp applauded enthusiastically from the balcony as Vanessa Paradis gave her first concert as a headliner in New York City on Wednesday night. A major music star in Europe since 1987, winner of the French equivalent of an “album of the year” Grammy for her 2007 album “Divinidylle,” Vanessa charmed the Town Hall crowd with an acoustic greatest-hits set that the New York Times called “a feat of ethereal elegance.” Alyssa Shelasky of People reports that Johnny “sat in the front row of the balcony, his eyes fixated on her throughout the two-hour show. She sang mostly in French, dedicating one song to ‘love and fire,’ and producing a beautiful, feminine rendition of [Leonard Cohen’s] ‘Hallelujah.’ At the end of her performance, Depp joined the crowd in a standing ovation, which lasted several minutes.”

The photo above shows Vanessa and Johnny leaving Town Hall after the concert (the royal blue shirt belongs to a security guard for the event); you can see a larger photo HERE, and a photo of Vanessa entering an SUV HERE. That’s Johnny standing behind her with his hands protectively on her back. For a photo of Vanessa during the concert, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks mytreasure and Scout for sharing articles; thanks to Kitaika (JohnnyDepp.ru) and Roxanne (vanessaparadis.info) for photos. The New York Times review of the Town Hall concert (with another lovely photo of Vanessa in performance) is available HERE. You can read more about the Town Hall concert, including comments from Zoners who attended, on the Zone’s News and Views forum.

Acting, RANGO, and Hunter S. Thompson: A new interview with Johnny Depp

Jake Hamilton–otherwise known as “Jake the Movie Guy”–conducted one of the freshest and most original interviews with Johnny Depp during the Rango press junket last weekend. Here are a few of Jake’s probing questions and Johnny’s thoughtful replies:

Q: I think one of the things that I most love about Rango is that he’s an actor, and he takes pride in being an actor. And I feel like he almost feels more comfortable in the skins of his characters than he does in his own skin. Is that something you relate to? Do you feel more comfortable in your characters than you do as yourself?

JOHNNY DEPP: Oh, yes. That’s one of the dangerous pitfalls of doing this kind of thing for a living, is that you feel infinitely more comfortable in the skin of your character, on camera, doing whatever weirdness you’re doing, than you do in life. It makes sense, you know, when throughout 365 days of a year, you’re saying somebody else’s words more than you are [saying] yours. It’s kind of strange.

Q: Is there a character of yours that you could walk around, every day, as that character and feel comfortable? That you would choose to do that? Is there one in particular?

JOHNNY DEPP: Well, there’s one in particular that comes back to me quite a lot, just because you get in certain situations . . . and you just don’t feel that you’re capable of handling that situation as you. And the one guy that comes back is this sort of protector. This great protector has been Raoul Duke [from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas], the Hunter S. Thompson character. He tends to come back a lot.

Q: Speaking of Hunter S. Thompson, that’s one of my favorite films of yours, and one of my favorite performances, so naturally it was a treat for me to be able to kind of see him in the movie . . . . And I kind of feel like, in a way, there’s a bit of Mr. Thompson in Rango, because they’re both kind of searching for this dream, they’re looking for hope . . . . Do you feel there’s a bit of Hunter S. Thompson in Rango?

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah, sure . . . there was definitely a sort of reptilian edge to Hunter, certainly. [chuckling] And yeah, you do feel like there’s a . . . first, for me, I just thought it was a great idea to have two characters that I’ve played meet in a film. Yeah, Hunter’s sort of quest for the American dream is very similar to Rango’s quest for whatever . . . his sojourn to find himself.

The full Jake Hamilton interview is posted on You Tube; many thanks to Serendipity for sharing it with the Zone. Thanks also to HonestGirl for the photo of Johnny at Monday’s press conference for Rango; you can see a larger version of the photo HERE. As always, you can read much more about Rango on the Zone’s News & Views forum!

Enjoy a video of the RANGO world premiere and a new interview with Johnny!

Last night’s world premiere of Gore Verbinski’s animated Western Rango brought lots of smiles and considerable charm to Westwood Village in Los Angeles, which was temporarily transformed into the desert town of Dirt, the film’s setting . . . complete with a dirt-brown carpet instead of the customary red one. Here’s a video interview with Johnny Depp and his co-stars Isla Fisher and Abigail Breslin, conducted on the brown carpet:

Many thanks to Corinna Ortiz at Screenslam.com for sharing the interview with the Zone! You can read much more about the Rango premiere on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives at RANGO premiere in Los Angeles! New photos!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp smiling at the crowd at the premiere of Gore Verbinski’s animated film Rango tonight in Westwood Village, Los Angeles; to see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. The style for the evening was Western casual: Johnny wore a brown leather jacket, a denim shirt layered over a blue t-shirt, ripped jeans, and his favorite fedora. Instead of the customary red carpet, stars walked down a brown carpet and posed by whimsical props and set pieces that included a life-sized cutout of Rango (he’s the green chameleon in the Hawaiian shirt) and a mock-up of a Sheriff’s office. What fun!

To see Johnny walking down the brown carpet, CLICK HERE, and to see him posing with his alter ego in front of the Sheriff’s office, CLICK HERE. See a resemblance? Leading lady Isla Fisher looked stunning in a strapless blue gown; you can see Johnny and Isla HERE. And of course Johnny spent part of the evening signing autographs; you can see that HERE.

The Zone thanks Lu, Aida, FANtasticJD and Theresa for sharing photographs; you can read much more about Rango on the Zone’s News & Views forum. For a lively discussion of the premiere pictures, visit the Pit General Discussion forum.

BREAKING NEWS–RANGO World Premiere in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a lovely Valentine’s Day present for Johnny Depp fans everywhere . . . Paramount Pictures will hold the world premiere of Gore Verbinski’s first animated feature, Rango, on Monday, February 14th at Regency’s Village Theatre in the Westwood Village area of Los Angeles (near UCLA). Johnny Depp is expected to attend . . . red carpet arrivals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday night. Anyone hoping to watch the stars arrive should be in place by 4 p.m., although normally crowds begin to gather much earlier in the day.

The Zone thanks Emma, FANtasticJD, and Vampgirl for sharing the news. You can read much about Rango and its world premiere on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Surprise visitor at Johnny Depp’s RANGO press conference–Justin Bieber!

How much star wattage can fit in a single room? Reporters gathered for the press junket promoting Gore Verbinski’s new animated feature Rango, starring Johnny Depp as the voice of the title character, got a crossover headline bonanza on Saturday when teen music sensation Justin Bieber dropped in to say hello. In an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday, Johnny Depp explained the situation: “One of the journalists asked me yesterday if I was a ‘Belieber.’ I had never heard that term, and thought it was fantastic. I said, ‘Of course I am a Belieber.’ He is a sweet kid, a sweet guy. Very talented.”

Johnny attended a Justin Bieber concert with daughter Lily-Rose and son Jack in December, so the drop-by was not their first meeting. “He was very kind to my kids. I brought them to a show,” Johnny explained. “So after that ‘Belieber’ incident, less than five minutes later, here comes the Bieber. He came in to say ‘hi,’ which was very sweet.”

MTV News reports that when Bieber came up to greet the Rango cast, he told Johnny, “I’m a big fan of you, so I had to come support you. I just wanted to say ‘hi.’ I heard you were in the building.” On Sunday, MTV’s Kara Warner asked Johnny whether his kids were green with envy about the encounter.

“My daughter was most definitely jealous,” Johnny said. But there was a surprise for 11-year-old Lily-Rose, too. “Justin, bless him, he’s a very sweet guy. He had a pair of his purple glasses in his pocket,” Johnny told MTV, “and he said, ‘Oh yeah, give these to Lily-Rose.’ She was very chuffed [that is, extremely pleased] about that. She was very touched.”

“He’s a good guy,” Johnny said. “A sweet guy.”

The Zone thanks Emma and FANtasticJD for breaking the news; you can read more about the Rango press junket on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The MTV interview with Johnny Depp is available HERE. Thanks also to HonestGirl for the photo of Johnny from the Rango press conference; you can see a larger version HERE.

From the RANGO press junket, a new interview with Johnny Depp!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp during an interview he gave to Screenslam.com during the press junket for Rango, which is taking place in Los Angeles this weekend. Johnny talks about how his children reacted to his role as a lizard, relates his personal acquaintance with a giant iguana, and addresses a couple of topics that have been in the news lately.

When asked about that beautiful villa on the Grand Canal in Venice that he is supposed to have purchased recently, Johnny responded, “No, that’s actually not true. As much as I would love to have a place in Venice, live in Venice and spend more time in Venice, I didn’t actually buy that place they’re telling me that I bought.” With a chuckle, he added, “But if they want to sell it, they can certainly call me and we’ll see about it.”

So he didn’t buy a mansion in Venice? “No,” Johnny replied. “Somebody made that up.”

Having recently returned to the role of Captain Jack Sparrow for a fourth time for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, would Johnny consider playing the Captain again? “I can keep going,” Johnny said. “You know me. As long as the story makes sense . . . as long as it’s doing a service to the character. As long as it’s doing a service to the audience, I’d be happy.”

Many thanks to Corinna Ortiz at Screenslam.com for sharing the video with the Zone; you can see the full video clip HERE.

Thanks also to FANtasticJD for screencaps from the interview; you can see photos of Johnny HERE and HERE. As always, you can read much more about Rango on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp talks about playing RANGO–see a new video interview here!

The press junket for Gore Verbinski’s new animated film Rango, starring Johnny Depp as an adventurous chameleon stranded in the desert, got underway today in Los Angeles amid tremendous positive buzz. Here’s a video interview with Johnny talking about his latest role:

Many thanks to Corinna Ortiz at Screenslam.com for sharing the interview with the Zone! You can read much more about Rango on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp talks about shooting ON STRANGER TIDES in 3-D

Peter Howell of The Toronto Star was lucky enough to visit Pinewood Studios while Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides was filming there last fall. Howell had the chance to chat with Johnny Depp, whom he calls “one of the most easygoing of Hollywood A-listers,” about playing Captain Jack Sparrow. “Jack is good and fun,” Johnny replied. “There’s always more to explore in him. It’s nice to be as irreverent as possible and get paid for it.”

On Stranger Tides did present new aspects for the familiar Pirates franchise: a new director (Rob Marshall), a new female lead (Penelope Cruz), a new villain (Ian McShane as Blackbeard), and a new technology–the film was shot in 3-D. “It’s my first time shooting in 3-D,” Johnny told Howell, “although Alice in Wonderland was rendered into 3-D” after the fact. “When they reload, normally, for the last 25 years, it’s been this giant magazine that they clip onto the back of the camera,” Johnny observed, “and now the reload is a chip — a computer chip, that kind of thing. It’s fascinating, though, because your relationship to the lens becomes different.”

Not that Johnny Depp will be viewing the final product of his relationship to the camera lens. “I don’t watch myself ever on screen,” he told Howell. “I mustn’t!” But we’ll be watching Captain Jack when On Stranger Tides comes to movie theaters on May 20, 2011.

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the Peter Howell article; you can read much more about On Stranger Tides on the Zone’s News & Views forum.