Articles from September 2004

Johnny Depp's "perfect Scots accent" wows critics!

American actors are generally ridiculed for their often feeble attempts to duplicate accents, but the Scottish accent Johnny adopts for FINDING NEVERLAND has met with universal critical acclaim. This is particularly noteworthy since convincing Scottish accents are so difficult to do: “When the BBC compiled a list of the Top Ten worst movie accents, no fewer than three were attempts to imitate the famous rolling Rs, short vowels and unique voice qualities of the Scots,” reports Brian Pendreigh in The Mail. “But now Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp has succeeded where so many great actors have failed by producing the sort of Scots accent experts believe could fool even native speakers. [. . .] The movie business paper Screen International described Depp’s accent as ‘flawless.'”

The BBC’s nominees for worst Scottish accents include Mel Gibson, Mike Myers, and Christopher Lambert in HIGHLANDER, but Johnny need not fear landing in their company. A Glasgow University professor and expert on accents, Dr John Corbett, told Pendreigh that Johnny’s accent in FINDING NEVERLAND “could even fool natives.”

As modest as ever, Johnny gives all the credit for his accent to his vocal coaches, Julia Wilson Dixon and Barbara Berkery. “I was lucky to have excellent voice coaches,” Johnny told reporters in Venice. “The one thing I couldn’t quite say with a Scots accent was ‘burglar alarm’.” His coaches are equally delighted with their famous pupil. “Johnny is a natural,” says Barbara Berkery, a former actress who also helped Renee Zellweger master an accent to play Bridget Jones. Julia Wilson Dixon adds, “Johnny was fascinated by the accent and very much enjoyed being a Scotsman.” The Zone thanks Emma and DeepinDepp for sharing the articles–to read more, visit the News and Views forum.

Johnny Depp in this week's PEOPLE Magazine~~and other magazine news~~

FANtastic JD reports that this week’s PEOPLE Magazine–their annual Best and Worst-Dressed Issue–features three separate pictures of Johnny. On page 7, in a feature on stars who “know how to make an entrance,” there is a full-length shot of Johnny at last Sunday’s Venice screening of FINDING NEVERLAND, in his black pinstriped suit. But he also looks great in jeans, as his citation in “Best Jeans around town” demonstrates–for this, PEOPLE recycles their St. Tropez shot (see page 148).

PEOPLE also covers Johnny’s arrival in Venice on page 10, with a photo of him waving to the crowd. For once, Johnny makes no appearances in the “Worst” categories of the “Best and Worst Dressed.” Thanks to FANtastic JD for her report.

Conny reports that Johnny is featured in three German magazines this week: GALA, No. 38, has a pinstriped-suit picture from Venice; BUNTE, No. 38, has two Venice pictures–one of Johnny with his fans, and one from the screening. AMICO, No. 2, tells the reader how to copy Johnny’s “hippie style” and features a picture from last year’s Venice festival. Thanks, Conny!

And thanks to Isis, who noticed a small insert of the October Premiere cover in an US Weekly article on Angelina Jolie (page 28). Isis reports that one of the featured headlines on that upcoming Premiere is “Johnny Depp’s Inner Child”–so no doubt a story on FINDING NEVERLAND will be coming our way soon. Thanks for the heads-up, Isis!

Two new galleries for the JOHNNY DEPP ZONE!

We are delighted to announce the opening of two new galleries in The Deppartment. In our new NO COLOR gallery, Sleepy shares thirty-two stunning black-and-white photographs of Johnny Depp from her outstanding collection–timeless photographs of an iconic actor. And our new NEVERLAND VENICE gallery contains twenty photographs from Johnny’s appearance at the Venice film festival this weekend.

In addition to the new Deppartment galleries, we have updated Sleepy’s Specials for September–twenty-one more gorgeous photos of Johnny Depp!

The Zone thanks AnaMaria for donating two of her screencaps to the NEVERLAND VENICE gallery–she captured them from Johnny’s interview on Dutch TV. They are the final two images in the gallery. Finally, the Zone webmasters send their heartfelt thanks to our web designer, Mostly Harmless, who came back from a Hurricane Frances evacuation to mount these galleries for the Zone. Her hard work is very much appreciated!

Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis to show FINDING NEVERLAND in IMAX on October 29th!

Heartland Film Festival president Jeff Sparks announced today that the Indianapolis festival will conclude on October 29, 2004 with an IMAX showing of FINDING NEVERLAND! Indianapolis Star reporter Bonnie Britton reminded her readers that “Despite a more than two-hour late start at about 2 a.m. Sunday at the Venice Film Festival, the movie about PETER PAN creator J.M. Barrie received a standing ovation from the audience.”

Ticket prices are a very reasonable $15. FINDING NEVERLAND will be shown at the IMAX Theater in White River State Park. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:30, with the screening to begin at 7:30. Tickets for all special events go on sale Friday through Heartland’s toll-free ticket line at (866) HFF-1010; or at Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting this story. The Zone hopes plenty of Hoosiers will be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

Johnny Depp photos in September 20th US Magazine and IN TOUCH Weekly!

Johnny’s appearance at the Venice Film Festival is featured in the new US Magazine, cover date September 20, 2004. Sam reports a full-page picture of Johnny and FINDING NEVERLAND co-star Kate Winslet appears on page 20. The photo was taken at the press conference and features Johnny in a black-and-white striped shirt. Meanwhile, page 8 of IN TOUCH offers a smaller photo of Johnny in the black pin-striped suit he wore to the screening, and includes the following caption: “Johnny looks better than ever [. . .] Johnny Depp, looking much younger than his 41 years, sent fans a smoldering gaze at the Venice Film Festival. The sexier-than-ever star was in town for the premiere of his new movie, FINDING NEVERLAND, in which he plays J.M. Barrie, the author of PETER PAN.” IN TOUCH also features Johnny and Vanessa Paradis as #8 in their ranking of The 10 Most Devoted Couples in Hollywood. Johnny’s quote “She’s the woman of my life” leads off a brief recap of the Depp-Paradis romance on page 53. There is a medium-sized photo of Johnny and Vanessa at the Governor’s Ball at this year’s Oscars, and a small inset photo of Johnny and Vanessa, with Johnny holding a toddler Lily-Rose in his arms. The Zone thanks Sam for keeping a sharp eye on the newsstand!

Attention, Toronto Film Festival-goers . . . John Malkovich to attend THE LIBERTINE screening!

The Toronto International Film Festival has added John Malkovich to its list of celebrities attending this year’s festival. No doubt Mr. Malkovich’s appearance will be in connection with the showing of THE LIBERTINE as a work-in-progress at the festival on Thursday, September 16th. As the producer as well as a star of the film–Malkovich plays King Charles II to Johnny Depp’s Earl of Rochester–Mr. Malkovich is responsible for securing US distribution for THE LIBERTINE. Industry insiders have forecast a lively bidding war for rights to distribute the film to the US market. We certainly hope that proves true, and that Mr. Malkovich has a wonderful and highly successful visit to Toronto! The Zone thanks Joni for breaking this story.

New dates for Johnny Depp's U.S. press junket for FINDING NEVERLAND ~~October 23-25

The dates for Johnny’s press junket in support of the U.S. release of FINDING NEVERLAND are now October 23rd through October 25th, Emma reports. Johnny will be in New York City, giving interviews to the media. Although there is no official word about where Johnny will appear, we hope he books return visits with David Letterman and Charlie Rose–their previous interviews with Johnny were outstanding. Thanks, Emma, for keeping the Zone updated with Johnny’s ever-changing schedule!

UK premiere of FINDING NEVERLAND, scheduled for October 17, 2004, to benefit J. M. Barrie's favorite charity!

The UK premiere of Marc Forster’s FINDING NEVERLAND, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, is scheduled for October 17, 2004 at the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square. No time has been announced yet. UK fans who can muster 200 pounds can attend the film and an after-show party which includes a champagne reception and dinner. Prices to attend the film only–no after-party–are 50 pounds for a seat in the circle and a mere 25 pounds for a seat in the stalls. The premiere will benefit the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity–the same hospital which the royalties from Sir James Barrie’s PETER PAN have supported for the past one hundred years. A lovely touch . . . and one which J. M. Barrie himself would have thoroughly approved.

At the present time, you can’t actually purchase a ticket outright–when you call the contact number, you can leave your name and address and ask to be sent an application for tickets. The contact telephone number is 020 7916 5678. Callers outside the UK will need to add the appropriate international phone prefix. It is not clear whether tickets will be awarded on a first come, first served basis or if they will be awarded by lottery to qualified applicants. Prospective ticket buyers might want to ask that question when they call for an application.

Although this seems like an event Johnny would probably attend–at least for a stroll down the red carpet and into the theater, after which he might quickly exit–his participation has not been confirmed, so let the buyer beware. The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the story. You can read the details here.

TV alert–Johnny Depp on entertainment news shows on September 7th!

Johnny Depp was featured on all the entertainment news shows on September 7th, as part of the coverage of the Venice Film Festival. Linda B caught him on Access Hollywood, which showed footage of Johnny arriving in Venice, followed by a clip from FINDING NEVERLAND; Donna B. and TX Depphead saw a clip of Johnny on Extra!, and TX Depphead saw him briefly mentioned on E! News Live as well. Mellymel reports that ET put a slightly different twist on their Venice coverage; they featured Johnny in a roundup story of celebrities sending get well wishes to President Clinton.

The September 7th USA TODAY also carried a brief story about Johnny’s appearance at Venice. Headlined “Youthful in Venice,” the story repeated Johnny’s quote that “it’s great fun growing old,” and mentioned the FINDING NEVERLAND premiere. Part-Time Poet reports that the brief newsclip was accompanied by a 2″ x 3″ black-and-white headshot of Johnny by Pascal Le Segretain which amply justified their reference to the “boyishly handsome Johnny Depp.”

Emma posted a Daily Variety story on the woes of Miramax which explained some of their strategies for the fall and made some predictions about the studio’s future. According to David Rooney, Martin Scorsese’s THE AVIATOR and Marc Forster’s FINDING NEVERLAND, both from Miramax, look to be top contenders for Best Picture honors, and the studio is likely to push both Johnny and Leonardo Di Caprio for Best Actor. Let’s hope their efforts don’t cancel each other out.

Johnny Depp delivers "a winning star turn" in FINDING NEVERLAND, says HOLLYWOOD REPORTER!

“Johnny Depp adds to his growing rep as a wonderful screen actor with a guileless performance as playwright James Barrie, the man who created Peter Pan,” writes Ray Bennett in his review of FINDING NEVERLAND in today’s Hollywood Reporter. Bennett adds, “FINDING NEVERLAND is a rewarding piece of filmmaking that has all the makings of a classic weepie with boxoffice returns to match.” Both of the big Hollywood trade publications, Variety and Hollywood Reporter, have now given rave reviews to FINDING NEVERLAND–they single out Johnny’s performance for the highest praise, but they also love the film, Kate Winslet, the supporting cast, Marc Forster’s sensitive direction, and the overall look and style of the movie. The trades are predicting great success for FINDING NEVERLAND at the box office, and they also expect its excellence to be recognized at awards season. Thanks, Emma, for sharing this great review with the Zone. You can read Ray Bennett’s complete review on the News & Views forum, but once again beware of spoilers–for some reason these critics seem compelled to give away the entire plot of the movie!

VARIETY gives Johnny Depp and FINDING NEVERLAND a rave review!

Variety’s Todd McCarthy calls FINDING NEVERLAND “impeccably made and genuinely moving [. . .] .Marc Forster’s astutely judged follow-up to MONSTER’S BALL is the rare modern film that, like Hollywood fare of the classic studio era, can play well to all age groups.” McCarthy notes that it is Johnny Depp’s “delicate and inviting portrait of an unusual man” that makes the film work: “Impeccably groomed and as boyishly handsome as ever, Depp takes a cue from the soft lilt of his beautifully rendered Scottish accent to create a gently nuanced portrayal of an artist who at least this once found a way to transform troubled reality into an imaginative work for the ages.”

McCarthy salutes Kate Winslet, Freddie Highmore, Julie Christie, and Dustin Hoffman as well–the ensemble worked beautifully together. The Variety critic also has high praise for Marc Forster’s subtle direction, David Magee’s imaginative screenplay, the production design, cinematography, costumes and score. Although he did not care for the closing song by Elton John, everything else in the Variety review is a rave! Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the review on the news board, but once again beware–there are many plot spoilers in the full review.

FINDING NEVERLAND wows the audience and the critics at the 2004 Venice Film Festival!

FINDING NEVERLAND continues to wow audiences and leave critics searching for superlatives. Mike Goodridge of Screen Daily writes, “Anchored by another knockout performance by Johnny Depp, FINDING NEVERLAND is destined to get plenty of big screen attention later this year. Miramax Films can count on runaway word-of-mouth and big-time returns both on awards podiums and at the box office for Marc Forster’s finely-crafted period tearjerker [. . .].Director Forster, who made his name with another heart-string-puller, MONSTER’S BALL, walks a tightrope between cliche and sentimentality here but manages to avoid too much of both. [. . .] Then again maybe he wouldn’t be so successful if he were working with a lesser actor than Johnny Depp. Adopting a note-perfect upper-crust Scottish accent, the American actor is in almost every scene and he is the model of restraint. He is assured another Oscar nomination for his work.”

Goodridge’s review is typical of the sort of raves Johnny’s portrayal of J. M. Barrie has been receiving from the critics. But at the Venice press conference, Johnny shrugged off the early Oscar buzz. Asked if he was in Venice to help his Oscar chances, Johnny replied, “I don’t know what’s happening; they point me in the direction and tell me to start flapping, and I’m here to flap.” Thanks to DeepinDepp for sharing the interview and to Emma for posting Mike Goodridge’s review. You can read the entire review here but beware–there are plenty of spoilers.

Johnny interview from 2004 Venice Film Festival: "It's great fun growing old~~"

Since Johnny plays J.M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND, and Barrie created Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, Johnny fielded several questions about aging at the Venice Film Festival press conference. Asked if he would like to share Peter Pan’s ability to never grow old, Johnny quipped, “Nowadays, it’s all a question of surgery, isn’t it?”

Turning serious, Johnny spoke of the need to retain the energy and enthusiasm we have as children: “No, of course the notion is beautiful – the idea of staying a boy or a child forever. But I think you can. I’ve known plenty of people in their later years who were like little kids, had the energy of little children, the curiosity and fascination. I think we can keep that,” he added. “It’s important we keep that.” As for getting older, the process holds no dread for the perennially youthful Depp. Uttering words seldom heard from a Hollywood star, Johnny told the Venice press: “I think it’s great fun growing old. I think it’s great.” Thanks, Emma, for sharing the AP story.

FINDING NEVERLAND premieres at the 2004 Venice Film Festival–at two a.m.!

Yes, you read that right . . . the screening of FINDING NEVERLAND at the Venice Film Festival was delayed for three hours on Saturday night, which resulted in the screening date being wrong in the press guide. FINDING NEVERLAND actually screened at Venice on Sunday, September 5th, not Saturday, September 4th, at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the news.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances, Johnny and co-star Kate Winslet showed up in top form for the red carpet, greeted fans graciously, and signed autographs. “A premiere at 2am, it’s certainly unusual,” Winslet told reporters. “But you have to be game for anything in this business.” Kate looked stunning in a pale green gown by British designer Alice Temperley. Johnny wore a dark pinstriped suit, a black shirt and matching tie, pirate beads on his belt loop, and shiny new black patent leather shoes. Two of his favorite accessories were missing, though–he sported no hat and no cigarette. None of the pictures from Venice show Johnny smoking–that’s a huge change, and one that merits congratulations.

Thanks to nah, a Zoner from Brazil, who posted great pictures of Johnny at the premiere on the Recent Pics forum. And a big Zone bouquet of lilies and roses to Susanne, who has posted dozens of links to Venice photos–work that must have taken her hours. Thanks so much–the pictures are fantastic!

So quotable~~news from the 2004 Venice Film Festival press conference with Johnny Depp~~

As usual, Johnny is full of praise for everyone else. Asked how he achieved his perfect Scottish accent to play J. M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND, Johnny replied: “For me it was a great challenge. There is something so musical and rhythmical about the Scottish accent. Initially I couldn’t quite get a handle on it, but luckily I found a dialect coach who was from Scotland and she helped me a lot.”

He also praised his young co-star Freddie Highmore, who plays Peter in the film. The two actors–who share the same birthday, June 9th–enjoyed their work together so much that Johnny recalled saying goodbye to Freddie at the end of the shoot as the most emotional part of filming. “We weren’t able to look each other in the eye because we just started welling up,” Johnny told reporters in Venice. “The last day of filming is always hard but especially something like this with little kids, your emotions are ricocheting all over the place.” Now they are reunited on the set of Tim Burton’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, where Freddie is playing Charlie Bucket to Johnny’s Willy Wonka.

Asked about J. M. Barrie’s efforts to distract grieving children by creating the fantasy world of PETER PAN for them, Johnny spoke approvingly of the power of the imagination to soothe pain: “If any one of us turned on the television to see the horrors that are happening to people in the world now, there’s no better time to strive to have some kind of hope [. . .] through imagination, through the ability to close your eyes.” Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting several updates from Venice on our news board, and to Savvy, Susanne, Emma, Sleepy, Bonnie, and Mortnme for many, many great new pictures of Johnny in Venice!

Johnny Depp arrives in Venice for 2004 Film Festival!

Reuters news agency reports “Johnny Depp swooped into Venice on Saturday on a wave of Oscar optimism for his portrayal of Peter Pan’s creator J.M. Barrie in the fantastical new film FINDING NEVERLAND.” Johnny arrived by water taxi, accompanied by his FINDING NEVERLAND director Marc Forster and co-star Kate Winslet. Reuters notes that FINDING NEVERLAND got a very warm reception from the critics in its preview screening here, where even the crusty press corps dissolved in tears at the film’s conclusion: “Critics are already touting Depp, who boasts a flawless Scottish accent as Barrie, for an Oscar nomination,” writes Reuters reporter Shasta Darlington, adding that Johnny modestly refused to speculate about his Oscar chances: “I don’t know anything about it.”

Darlington says that Johnny “shows a gentle and impish side” in his portrayal of PETER PAN creator J. M. Barrie. “But the 41-year-old actor assures fans that in real life he is not the boy who refuses to grow up,” she writes. Johnny told the Venice press: “The notion is beautiful … but it’s also fun growing old.” Thanks to DeepinDepp for sharing the Reuters story; you can read the full account here . Check the many wire photos on the Zone’s News & Views board and Recent Pics board for stunning visual evidence that Johnny looks as amazingly young and beautiful as ever. A special Zone thank-you to Savvy, who posted many great shots on the Recent Pics board! Also watch for reports from Zoner Angie on the News Board–Angie is in Venice for the festival and saw Johnny’s arrival!

The TODAY show's Fall Movie Preview says FINDING NEVERLAND "has Oscar written all over it!"

Words to delight a Deppfan’s heart–in the Fall Movie Preview on this morning’s Today Show (Friday, September 3rd), FINDING NEVERLAND was one of the featured films. Entertainment Weekly editor Dave Karger told Katie Couric that “FINDING NEVERLAND has Oscar written all over it!” Karger added that it was a beautiful film and that, since Johnny Depp missed out on the Oscar for POTC last year, this performance should give him another chance. Karger was very effusive in his praise for the movie, repeating several times what a lovely film it is. Katie Couric could not resist adding, “And Johnny Depp is soooo cute!” Noted . . . . Thanks to FANtasticJD for sharing this story with the Zone.

Miramax lists FINDING NEVERLAND release date as November 12, 2004!

In the September 2, 2004 issue of Variety, staff writer Dana Harris reports on Miramax’s updated schedule of fall film releases. Although the cash-strapped studio is postponing several planned 2004 openings to 2005, FINDING NEVERLAND’s North American release date is listed as November 12, 2004. Thanks to DeepinDepp for the good news!

Variety’s information is supported by the Miramax website. As Hibblette reported, the site was updated yesterday and it also lists the FINDING NEVERLAND release date as November 12th (this is a change from their previously reported date of October 22, 2004). Although several media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, have been reporting that the November 12th release would be limited to the top ten markets, with a wide release to follow the day before Thanksgiving, the Miramax advertisement on the Upcoming Films page on its website now says “In theaters everywhere November 12th.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this is Miramax’s final word on the matter. We want to make plans and buy tickets!

TV Alert–Johnny on Entertainment Tonight on September 1st!

Set your VCRs–the September 1st edition of Entertainment Tonight has a segment on the Venice Film Festival. One of the films ET previews is FINDING NEVERLAND, and they show a couple of clips from the movie–with Johnny prominently featured, of course! Don’t watch ET you’re avoiding spoilers . . . but since the film’s release date keeps getting delayed, you might want to watch and tape all the footage of Johnny you can get. Look for stories on the Venice Film Festival all week long on the entertainment shows, and watch the weekend shows especially carefully. FINDING NEVERLAND screens on Saturday, and Johnny is scheduled to be there to promote the film, so you know what that means–new pictures! Thanks to DeppintheHeartofTexas for the ET news.