Articles from November 2004


Johnny Depp will be a guest on ABC’s GOOD MORNING, AMERICA on Wednesday, November 10th! GMA airs from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific time; check your local listings. He will be discussing FINDING NEVERLAND, of course–presumably this is an interview taped when Johnny was in New York City on October 30th. Thanks to sjc and docplacer for the news.

Johnny’s FINDING NEVERLAND leading lady, Kate Winslet, will be Ellen DeGeneres’s guest on her syndicated talk show on Thursday, November 11th. Kate is scheduled to discuss both “her new movie” and “her co-star, Johnny Depp.” Thanks to L2 for passing along the information.

Finally, remember to watch and/or tape BIOGRAPHY tonight when the subject is Johnny Depp! It should be a keeper.

VCR Alert: Johnny Depp featured on A&E's Biography Wednesday, November 10th!

Johnny Depp is the subject of Wednesday night’s edition of BIOGRAPHY on A&E. The program airs at 10 pm Eastern, 9 pm Central time. (Watch for repeats in the wee hours of Thursday morning as well.) The Emmy-winning series offers stylish hours which usually include interview segments with the subject’s friends and colleagues, as well as an account of the subject’s personal and professional life. Expect to see plenty of stills and brief clips but no new intervew with Johnny; the overall tone is generally upbeat and less tabloidish that E!s TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY. BIOGRAPHY describes Johnny this way: “Eccentric, sensual, bold and uncompromising, he is a master of reinvention, consistently surprising audiences with his film choices and offbeat character portrayals.” I would quibble with the word “reinvention,” however, which suggests the conscious adoption of a persona. True, Johnny does not choose to repeat the same kind of character over and over again, as most movie stars do, but that does not mean that he is “reinventing himself” each time he attempts a new role. He is simply revealing more aspects of his talent. His versatility is part of his genius: that he can be all these men so convincingly has always been what sets him apart from other actors.

Thanks to faithfully and ScratchtheDragon for news about the Biography special. DeepinDepp reports that A&E is selling DVD and VHS copies of the 50-minute program for $24.95, but they are Region 1 only and ship only to the U.S. and Canada. Expect a delivery time of three to six weeks because the program is brand new–but it still could be under your tree for Christmas.

Ebert and Roeper give FINDING NEVERLAND two thumbs up!

Syndicated film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave FINDING NEVERLAND two thumbs up on their program this weekend. They praised the film and touted Johnny’s performance as J.M. Barrie as Oscar-worthy. “Very few actors could negotiate the hazards of this role without asking for trouble, but for Johnny Depp, it is a brilliant balancing act,” said Roger Ebert, as he cast his “Thumbs Up” vote. Roeper said that Johnny definitely deserved an Oscar nomination. “Johnny Depp is emerging as one of the most versatile actors of his generation,” the critics announced–as if it were news. But while it’s high praise and undoubtedly deserved, the Zone would like to remind Mr. Ebert and Mr. Roeper that Johnny emerged as the most versatile actor of his generation fifteen years ago, with CRY BABY and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. In his range, as in his talent, he has no peer.

The Zone thanks sandstorm, micdus, and lizbet for reporting the story.

"Depp deserves an Oscar nomination," says ROLLING STONE

Peter Travers’ review in ROLLING STONE calls FINDING NEVERLAND “glorious entertainment” and zeroes in on Johnny’s performance as the magic that gives the movie its enchantment. “It’s the lost boy in Barrie, conveyed by Depp without sugarcoating, that counts,” writes Travers. “It’s too early to speculate on how Depp, 41, will grow as an actor. Based on FINDING NEVERLAND, it’s not too early to call him a great one.” Thanks, DeepinDepp, for posting the review. You can read all of Travers’ comments HERE, but beware of spoilers!

Sunday New York Times features an article on Johnny Depp!

The Arts and Leisure section of the Sunday New York Times will feature an article on Johnny Depp in their “Holiday Movies” special edition. Johnny is the only actor to be so honored, which means his work in FINDING NEVERLAND must have really impressed at least one of the Times’s movie critics. Elvis Mitchell picked PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN as his favorite movie of 2003; if he is also the author of Sunday’s article, perhaps we should make him an honorary member of the Zone.

The Zone thanks Donna B. for breaking this story, and JD’s First Mate, who reports that according to the ET website, Johnny Depp will appear on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT on Monday, November 8th (check local listings for the time in your area). This is not a story about Johnny, however, but about Darlene Cates, the woman who played Gilbert Grape’s mother. Ms. Cates has embarked on a stringent weight-loss, health-recovery plan, and Johnny sends her a message of encouragement, we’re told. Very sweet of him.

First showing of Johnny Depp in the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY trailer!

Warner Brothers plans to unveil the first trailer for Tim Burton’s retelling of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, in less than a week! You can see Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka when you buy a ticket for THE POLAR EXPRESS, which opens on November 10th. The Zone thanks My Man Depp for breaking the story.

Meanwhile, today’s Variety contains an interesting background article on CATCF, called “Great Collaborations.” Tim Burton describes his version of the story as “darker, more sinister” than the Gene Wilder version, which Burton considers “sappy.” Amanda Conquy, Director of the Dahl literary estate, confirms that Burton’s film “will be far more faithful to the book” than the 1971 Gene Wilder film (which Dahl “never liked”). This time around, the Dahl literary estate has “had a lot of input in the film, including being consulted by the director and lead actor,” Conquy confides to Variety. As for that lead actor, Variety notes: “Although Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Nicolas Cage were keen to play Willy Wonka, there was little doubt that when Tim Burton signed up to direct CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, it would not be long before Johnny Depp would be measured for the tall hat.” Well, we know how much Johnny loves hats–and how much Tim loves working with Johnny.

One final bit of news from the CATCF set: Roald Dahl actually lived quite close to Pinewood [Studios], “in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden,” Variety reports. “Next year the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, supported by the film’s producers, is set to open to coincide with the film’s release.” What a lovely tribute! Thanks to Sleepy and Gina for reporting this story; you can read the full article on the News and Views forum.

Vote for Johnny Depp for the People's Choice Awards!

My Man Depp reports that the polls are now open for voting in the People’s Choice Awards. Johnny is nominated in the category “Favorite Male Movie Star,” which is the second of the six film categories open for voting at this time. Johnny’s fellow nominees are George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, and Denzel Washington. You can cast your ballot HERE . Thanks, My Man Depp . . . let’s all go vote for Our Man Depp!

I can’t help wondering, though, how Johnny feels about being called a “movie star.” I bet he thinks it’s obtuse, stupefying, and weird . . . .

The Zone opens a new gallery for THE BRAVE!

The Zone is happy to announce a new addition to our BY FILM galleries. THE BRAVE gallery is a little bit different: it includes text from Johnny’s interviews to accompany the pictures.

This gallery is unique in another way–it depicts the filming process rather than simply recording the finished product. In many behind-the-scenes photos, Johnny appears in discussion with his director of photography, Vilko Filak, or with members of his cast; this is our only chance to see Johnny working as a director as well as an actor, and we wanted to honor both this experience and the film that he created with a special gallery.

These photos are some of Sleepy’s favorites, and we think you will love them, too. The photos are all thumbnails–just click on them to get a large, crisp image of the shot. The Zone gives a big thank-you bouquet of roses and lilies to our web designer, Mostly Harmless, for all her work on this project.

The Zone also thanks the inimitable Shadow for creating the final image in the gallery. Her beautiful collage perfectly captures Johnny in his dual role as actor and director, living the time of his life.

Two new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN galleries for the Johnny Depp Zone!

We are delighted to announce the opening of two new galleries devoted to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. The first gallery, which can be found in the BY FILM section, contains thirty-nine beautiful stills of Johnny’s unforgettable performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. The second gallery, called POTC PROMO, is located in THE DEPPARTMENT, and features photos from Johnny’s public appearances in support of POTC. There are pics from the U.S. premiere, the Critic’s Choice Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Oscars.

With Johnny receiving the Lee Strasberg Award for Artistic Achievement from the Actor’s Fund last Saturday, and with the release of the new three-disc version of POTC today, it seemed a particularly appropriate time for the Zone to honor the best pirate it has ever seen. Just click on the GALLERIES button on the home page to find the new additions. Enjoy!

Three-disc version of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN released today

The corporate pirates at Disney released the three-disc version of one of our all-time favorite movies, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, today, November 2nd. Buyers be warned: the version of the movie is identical to the one Disney released last year. The best feature on the new “Lost Disc” is a nearly eight-minute interview with Johnny Depp, in which he discusses creating Captain Jack Sparrow; there is also a five-minute interview with Geoffrey Rush, and fifteen minutes of “A Fly on the Set” features, including the walk-the-plank scene, the tavern scene, and the dock scene (in which Captain Jack loses his wig while rescuing Elizabeth). However, although many fans were hoping for additional deleted scenes, there aren’t any new ones on the Lost Disc. The Zone thanks Emosniw in Hong Kong for sharing the details.

On a more encouraging note, Emma reports that Variety’s Film Production chart now lists February 5, 2005 as the start date for filming of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2. Bring me that sequel!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp interviewed by Oprah Winfrey!

Johnny Depp sat down for an hour interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired today, and thoroughly charmed her and the audience at Harpo Studios. Joined by his FINDING NEVERLAND costars Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore, Johnny answered some very familiar questions with an appealing mixture of shyness and aplomb. Unfortunately the show was pre-empted in some areas of the U.S. by election coverage. A thirty-second video clip is available on Oprah’s website , as is a nine-picture slideshow. You can also buy transcripts of the show: a hard copy costs $7.00 and a downloadable version $6.00. Unfortunately, no videotapes of the show will be available.

In case you were thinking of sampling that wine Oprah poured for Johnny, be prepared to write a big check. Still-Rather-Timid has investigated the label and reports that the wine was Chateau Petrus, makers of rare bordeaux which retail from $1,850 – $4,700 per bottle! Just the thing to serve the sexiest man alive!

"I'm flattered, dumbfounded, and amazed"–Johnny Depp accepts the Lee Strasberg Award from the Actor's Fund

Johnny Depp was honored by the acting profession on Saturday night, October 30th; he accepted the Lee Strasberg Award for Artistic Achievement from the Actor’s Fund at a gala dinner which raised a million dollars for the charity. “The night was all about Depp, who was recognized for his body of work,” notes Donna Freydkin in USA Today. Commenting on that body of work, Johnny told the crowd, “I have always been told that my film choices are weird. In reviewing these clips now”–clips of Johnny’s films were shown as part of the presentation–“I guess they were weird.” Johnny paid tribute to the evening’s other major honoree, stage and screen legend Angela Lansbury: “To be here with the great Angela Lansbury who actually was the inspiration to my Ichabod Crane character,” he marveled. The producers “wanted a girl detective,” Johnny said with a grin, “and they got it!” Johnny thanked the women who shared his table: his sister Christi, who is now the president of his production company, Infinitum Nihil, and his longtime agent Tracey Jacobs, “for putting up with me for seventeen years. This award should be hers,” Johnny said, concluding, “I am very, very touched and honored.” Thanks to Emma for breaking the USA Today story, and to Angie for the text of Johnny’s speech. You can read the text of the USA Today article here .

Zoners in attendance report that Johnny was just as gallant off the dais. Check the accounts on the News & Views forum from recentJDOCDvictim, who had a table at the gala directly above Johnny’s, and got an autograph; Sam, who vividly describes what it’s like to be in the crush of autograph-seekers; and paperrose, who actually met Johnny outside the Waldorf-Astoria and got him to sign her Dead Man book. Pictures from the event are up on the Recent Pics and News & Views forums, the newest set from Susanne–feast your eyes!