Johnny Depp attends CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY afterparty!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton at the afterparty for their new film CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which had its world premiere in Hollywood on Sunday, July 10th. The afterparty, a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish foundation, took place at the Jim Henson Studios, which Warner Bros. transformed into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Guests could gobble up all the Wonka Bars, Laffy Taffy and Gobstoppers they desired. Most of the party took place outdoors, at game booths and candy stations, reports Variety, but “there was also an inside tent, complete with another sugar stash, an array of videogames and plush couches to unwind on.” One of our favorite photos from the party shows Tim Burton, Freddie Highmore, and Johnny Depp sitting on one of those plush couches, with Tim just about to enjoy some gourmet cuisine–a frankfurter! You can see the picture HERE.

Tim’s partner, Helena Bonham-Carter, did not attend the premiere, although she plays Charlie’s mother in the film. Burton explained that she was filming in Blackpool instead: “She had a choice of either being at a big Hollywood premiere or doing a movie where she plays the mother of seven autistic children. I think she made the right choice.” However, Johnny’s partner, Vanessa Paradis, attended the premiere and the afterparty, and made a very successful raid on the candy stations. Reports USA TODAY, “Depp and Paradis shared a sweet kiss over her Wonka Bar- and Pixy Stix-filled bucket.”

Thanks to emma for reporting the Variety story and DeepinDepp for the report from USA Today. You can read both on our News & Views forum. Thanks again to bonnie for the wonderful pictures–to see a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE.

TV Roundup–All major entertainment news programs cover Johnny Depp at the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY premiere!

The Monday editions of entertainment news programs were filled with stories about the premiere of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, EXTRA!, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and E! NEWS LIVE all featured shots of Johnny Depp walking across the chocolate carpet to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre; most programs also showed footage of Johnny signing autographs for the eager crowd of Deppheads behind barricades across the street from the theater. ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and EXTRA! both erroneously reported that Johnny arrived “solo;” apparently the reporters didn’t notice the discreet Vanessa Paradis gliding into the theater while Johnny greeted his fans.

ACCESS HOLLYWOOD presented Johnny with a gigantic Wonka candy bar; Johnny eyed it rather dubiously and quipped, “If I ate all this, I’d have to run all the way to Guam!” He later told a reporter from EXTRA! that he has been avoiding chocolate lately. “It’s not my favorite,” he explained, sounding more like Roux than Willy Wonka.

Johnny also denied the recent report that he had written to Nicole Kidman to say he wanted to work with her. “No,” he told EXTRA! “I’d like to work with her, but I never wrote a letter. But it’s a cool rumor.”

EXTRA asked director Tim Burton whether his version of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was modeled on Michael Jackson and Neverland Ranch. Burton scoffed at the comparison, which he clearly sees as ludicrous. “There’s a very simple distinction,” he told EXTRA! “Michael loves children. Willy Wonka hates kids. That’s about as different as you can get.”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the EXTRA! story; you can read the transcript and download a video HERE. Thanks also to Reemi for posting the ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT video HERE. Thanks to artistatheart, jdfan, and DeepinDepp for other premiere news. The premiere photo comes from bonnie–thank you so much! To see a larger version, click HERE. There are dozens of premiere pictures of Johnny on the Zone’s Recent Pics board, and many news stories and reviews on the News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp interviewed on NBC's Today Show!

A lively interview with Johnny Depp aired on NBC’s TODAY show on Monday, July 11th, kicking off a week of appearances by the cast of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Johnny was interviewed by Al Roker during the CATCF press junket at Paradise Island in Nassau last June. Did Johnny have any hesitation about accepting the role of Willy Wonka? Roker asked. No . . . Johnny’s invitation to join the cast “came in the form of a phone call from Tim, and I think he got half a sentence out before I said, ‘I’m in,'” Johnny said. As for Wonka’s distinctive pale complexion, Johnny’s idea was that Willy Wonka had cut himself off from society and had remained inside the factory for many years: “He’d look like a porcelain doll that had been kept in a box,” Johnny explained.

Asked if he is “ever satisfied” with his film performances, Johnny replied, “Never . . . no, never.” He added, “If I can avoid it, I won’t see them. I love the process, but actually having to watch myself? I flip out.” The Roker interview is the longest of the CATCF promotional appearances we have seen, and Johnny is relaxed and charming throughout the conversation. Watch for a joint interview with Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore on the TODAY show on Thursday morning!

The Zone thanks Susanne for the beautiful photo of Johnny; you can see a larger version of her screencap HERE. For other screencaps of the Roker interview, click HERE and HERE. Susanne has posted more screencaps on the Pit, and also a video download of the interview. Thanks, Susanne! Thanks also to Reemi, who has posted a different link to the video on the News & Views forum.