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!