Johnny Depp charms a screaming crowd in TONIGHT SHOW appearance!

Wearing a black Gonzo t-shirt, a brown jacket, a newsboy cap, and a plaid shirt tied around his waist, Johnny Depp exuded relaxed charm during his interview with Jay Leno on the TONIGHT SHOW on Wednesday, July 13th–but he drove the mostly-female crowd into a screaming frenzy. Leno was far better prepared for this interview than for Johnny’s previous visit for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Although he had not yet seen CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Leno was very complimentary to Johnny, calling him a “brilliant actor,” and to director Tim Burton. Johnny talked about accepting the role of Willy Wonka without even seeing a script, so great was his faith in Tim. Asked to name his influences, Johnny cited hosts of children’s shows he had seen as a kid; their voices were all so “weird.”

Leno also managed to bring some fresh topics to the table. A shot of the vintage Packard Johnny drove to the studio (which greatly impressed Leno, who collects antique automobiles)led to a discussion of Johnny’s brief career as a mechanic. Leno also asked about Johnny’s relationship to Hunter S. Thompson. Johnny spoke about granting Hunter’s last wish, to have his ashes blasted from a cannon atop a 150-foot high tower. As he spoke, the camera lingered on the Gonzo t-shirt Johnny wore to honor his late friend. You can see the shirt clearly in this screencap posted by Theresa; click HERE.

The thumbnail accompanying this story was created by Susanne; to see a larger version, click HERE , and to see Susanne’s full-length view of Johnny, click HERE. Thanks very much to Susanne and Theresa for sharing their screencaps.

Coincidentally, the guest following Johnny on Wednesday’s TONIGHT SHOW was Eva Mendes, who played Sands’ hard-as-nails lover opposite Johnny in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO. Blushing, Eva admitted she had a crush on Johnny in his JUMP STREET days, and that she was still giddy and starstruck when she saw him in the hall at NBC.