Sporting a black wool newsboy cap, a gray three-piece suit, and a blue shirt, Johnny Depp greeted the New York City press corps at the Big Apple premiere of The Rum Diary at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night (October 25). To see a larger version of the portrait of Johnny, CLICK HERE, and to see a full-length view of Johnny posing for photographers, CLICK HERE. Asked by the Associated Press if he felt the need to keep Hunter S. Thompson’s spirit alive on the film set, since The Rum Diary is based on the late author’s first novel, Johnny replied that Thompson is “kind of always there” for him personally. “Every time I put my head on the pillow to go to sleep, I have his words in my head. Every day I wake up, every sort of waking moment in between he’s always there. Because he’s so saturated in my very being, you know?”
But for the others working on The Rum Diary who hadn’t known Thompson personally, Johnny found a way to make The Good Doctor a tangible presence, by keeping a director’s chair with Thompson’s name on the set at all times. “[K]eeping his spirit alive on set for people who didn’t know him, was that — let’s have his chair with his name on it, let’s have his script, he’s producing the film, let’s keep it at that. He had his scotch, he had his chalice of whiskey, he had his smokes.”
Co-star Amber Heard, who plays Chenault, assured reporters that Johnny deserves his standing in the film industry. “It’s an honor when you get to work with someone that’s truly talented and they deserve the respect and the reputation that they’ve acquired. Johnny’s an icon, yes, but more than that he’s a good person. He’s smart, he’s fiercely, fiercely intelligent and very creative and he offers so much more. And working with him I really do see why he’s the icon that he is.” You can see photos of Johnny and Amber at the premiere HERE and HERE, and a photo of Johnny and Amber sharing a laugh with director Bruce Robinson HERE.
As is his custom, Johnny went out to sign autographs — you can see him signing for the crowd HERE — but some of the autograph-seekers were too aggressive. According to one media report, “Depp, who always attracts large groups of fans, had to be escorted away by his personal security when fans tried to grab hold of the star.” You can see Jerry Judge hustling Johnny away to safety HERE.
Many thanks to Emma for the interviews and Aida, Evochka, and Theresa for the pictures. You can read much more about the New York premiere of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum.