"Like walking into something historic:" Johnny Depp speaks to ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT about Tim Burton's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!

Be sure to catch ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT Monday June 27th for an interview with Johnny Depp about his role as Willy Wonka. The ET website has a charming video clip online HERE. Johnny told ET that he sees “no comparison” between the Tim Burton version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book and the 1971 musical film starring Gene Wilder. “I think it’s a completely different animal. I think that film was great, growing up it was ingrained into my memory–especially Gene Wilder’s version of Wonka, [it] is a beautiful performance–but I think this is a very, very different thing. We did our best to be as faithful to Roald Dahl’s book.”

In the spirit of fidelity, ET notes, the sets for CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY were built with candy: the lollipops on the trees and the giant candy canes are real. Nearly a quarter of a million gallons of fake chocolate were required to create Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. “When I walked on to the chocolate set where the chocolate river and waterfall were,” Johnny tells ET, “it was like walking into something historic.”

And what do Johnny’s children think of his performance as Willy Wonka? “My kids haven’t seen the film yet, but they’re very excited to see it [. . .]. I remember when they first came to visit me on the set, the first time they saw me all decked out as Wonka, they stared at me for about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. They could recognize elements of their dad but they couldn’t quite get it.”

The Zone thanks kristen for posting the ET story on the News & Views forum, and DarkAngel for sharing a screencap from the ET clip. Depp fans will want to watch all the entertainment news programs today–ET, Access Hollywood, Extra!, and Showbiz Tonight have CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY features scheduled using interview footage with Johnny from the weekend press junket in Nassau. AnaMaria has already posted screencaps on the Recent Pics forum from a Nassau interview that aired on Dutch TV; thanks so much, AnaMaria! To see how Johnny looked in Nassua, click HERE and HERE.

"We went into the hiatus a bit early:" Johnny Depp talks to the press about the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels

During a press conference June 26th, Johnny Depp told reporters that shooting on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2:DEAD MAN’S CHEST went on hiatus ahead of schedule because “there were bits that we were going to shoot up in Grand Bahama [for which] sets and stuff weren’t ready. But more than that, one of … our actors, one of our main guys, Kevin McNally, who plays Gibbs, ended up with a really nasty ear infection in both ears, and he was England and … was unable to get on a plane. So they just weighed out all the options and said, ‘We’ll just break now. Go on hiatus. And when we start up again, we’ll finish up the bit from 2.'”

Although the press conference in Nassau, Bahamas, was part of the promotion for the upcoming Warner Bros. release CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, reporters could not resist asking Johnny Depp questions about the POTC sequels. Will Keith Richards play Captain Jack Sparrow’s father, or not? Johnny said that he and director Gore Verbinski were still working on scheduling, but “[i]t looks like it’s going to happen. [. . .] But I don’t know when. It’s all going to depend on where we are and where he is, because he’s got a little thing called the Rolling Stones tour to do.”

As for returning to the role that made him a household name, Johnny Depp sounded excited and happy: “We didn’t quite know what to expect before we went back into … PIRATES 2. [. . .]But honestly, we stepped on the set the first day, and it was like, for me, jumping back into the skin of Captain Jack, … it felt like we’d had a week off, you know, from the first one. And it’s been a really great time, you know? Everybody’s been super good and fun, and I think it’s going to be good. I hope. I’ll knock wood again.”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the excerpt from the press conference on the News & Views forum. You can read all of Johnny’s comments about the POTC sequels HERE.

August 2005 EMPIRE Magazine features Martyn Palmer interview with Johnny Depp!

The August 2005 issue of EMPIRE features a wonderful four-page profile of Johnny Depp by Martyn Palmer. “In CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, he’s the ultimate man-child,” Palmer begins. “In THE LIBERTINE, he’s the first punk rocker.” Palmer goes on to explore what he calls “the double life of Johnny Depp,” contrasting the quirky but ultimately innocent Willy Wonka with the decadence and despair of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Johnny’s previous role. Palmer was fortunate enough to interview Johnny at Pinewood on the CATCF set; on the Isle of Man during shooting of THE LIBERTINE; and in between, at the Venice Film Festival last September, so he is uniquely positioned to grasp the versatility and complexity of Johnny Depp as an actor.

“Going back into the ring with Tim is like being home,” Johnny says, referring to his fourth collaboration with CATCF director Tim Burton. To Palmer, Johnny and Tim seem more like “two (big) little boys having a good time together” than A-list talent fronting one of the biggest releases of the year. “It’s fun and it’s meant to be fun,” Johnny confirms. “Tim is doing beautiful stuff; the sets are incredible and the work has been a ball.”

The Zone thanks Reemi for breaking the news and Donna B. for posting scans of the EMPIRE article on the News & Views forum. Photographs are by Nigel Parry from his gorgeous 2003 Paris shoot. In this article, again, Johnny sounds remarkably happy and contented with his life and his profession: “I’m lucky to have this job and I’ll do it until they don’t give me gigs anymore.” That’s not likely to be a pressing problem; one of the Parry photos bears the caption “Rebel without a pause: Depp currently has eight films in production.” Lucky us!