BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Venice to film THE TOURIST

One of the world’s loveliest cities got even more beautiful on Saturday (February 27) when Johnny Depp arrived in Venice to begin filming The Tourist. A romantic thriller in the Hitchcock mode, The Tourist is based on the 2005 French film Anthony Zimmer and co-stars Angelina Jolie. Oscar-winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is directing. Shooting is expected to continue in Venice for several weeks, no doubt causing paparazzi to jump for joy.

Johnny Depp joked about the media frenzy around The Tourist when he spoke to reporters during the promotion for Alice in Wonderland. “I feel I’m not getting photographed by the paparazzi enough, so I figure I’ll go and hang out in Venice with Brad and Angelina,” he quipped. Of his new co-star, Johnny said graciously, “I’d never met Angelina before but I found her to be a real treat, I mean a real doll. She’s a nice woman, serious about what she does and loves her man and loves her kids. I was very impressed.”

The Zone thanks Emma for the interview with Johnny; you can read more about The Tourist on the Zone’s News & View forum.

“Keith has been unbelievably generous with his time”–Johnny Depp talks about his Keith Richards documentary

You can always count on Ruben V. Nepales, the Los Angeles correspondent for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, to ask intriguing questions when he gets the chance to interview Johnny Depp. Many thanks to Mr. Nepales for asking Johnny to explain the genesis of his documentary on Keith Richards, Happy. “The Keith Richards documentary came about in a very strange way,” Johnny said. “Keith and I have spent a lot of time together over the years, whenever he’s off the road and I’m off a film. We would usually end up in the living room of his hotel suite or my house or his place in New York. We would talk and I get all these incredible stories that just haven’t made it out there in the world. I suggested to him that maybe we could try something like that on film and he went, ‘Yeah.’ For a number of years, he was like, ‘Yeah, we’ll see.’ Finally, bless him, he deigned to give it a shot so it’s something that we’re doing together.”

Johnny, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and other special guests were spotted filming at the Los Angeles Theater at the end of January. “Keith has been unbelievably generous with his time,” Johnny said. “We shot for about five days which I consider the first installment of the piece.” And how does he feel about directing again? Typically modest, Johnny replied, “The only reason why I’m doing it is because I wanted to capture stuff. There’s no directing really.”

What a fascinating project. We can’t wait to see this one!

Many thanks to Theresa for sharing the Nepales interview. You can read a lively discussion of it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. To read the entire interview, CLICK HERE.

Johnny Depp plays guitar on charity single for Haiti: “I Put a Spell on You”

Here’s proof that doing good for others can be great fun! Johnny Depp plays slide guitar on an all-star version of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 1956 classic “I Put a Spell on You,” by Shane MacGowan and Friends, recorded to benefit victims of the Haiti earthquake. The charity single is the brainchild of former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan and his girlfriend, writer Victoria Clarke.

Joining MacGowan on vocals are Nick Cave, Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie, the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Paloma Faith, and Eliza Doolittle. Playing guitar on the track are James Walbourne, The Clash’s Mick Jones and Johnny Depp, who recorded his parts in LA.

Cait O’Riordan plays bass, Carwyn Ellis plays Hammond organ and piano, Rob Walbourne handles the drums, and (we kid you not) Mick Jones “plays” the fire hydrant.

All proceeds from the track, being released March 8, will go to the Irish-based charity Concern Worldwide’s Haitian relief efforts. The charity has been at work in Haiti for 16 years. “I Put a Spell on You” can be preordered from the Concern website HERE. Right now it can be pre-ordered in pounds sterling and euros, with other international currencies to be added soon.

The Zone thanks Theresa, Emma, RamblinRebel, FANtasticJD, Gilbert’s Girl, AnaMaria, and Madscntst at JDRocks for sharing news on this wonderful project. Buy a download and help Haiti!