Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck talks about the “spectacular cast” of THE TOURIST–Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie

In a recent interview with MTV News, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, disclosed how he persuaded Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie to topline his next film, The Tourist.

MTV: How did you assemble such a spectacular cast?

Von Donnersmarck: I think if you create a part in the screenplay and what you describe to actors where they can show some of their acting muscle, then great actors will be attracted to those parts and will be game for it. I think what people forget often when they talk about such great stars as Angelina and Johnny, they forget that what they are, really, are actors. They’re actors with a capital “A,” but they’re much more actors than they are stars, and I think that these parts were just right for them as actors. They can really show what they can do. Angelina is so charming and delicate and feminine and strong and everything at the same time that I think when I talked to her about that part and when we worked on the screenplay together, she saw that she could really be able to do something with that part, and the same for Johnny. He shows so much of his own complexity in this part. He’s so winning, so charming, so funny, like he is in real life. I think in many ways, this part is quite close to who he is in real life. He is the most funny and charming person you’ll have ever met.

MTV: Well, we already know Paul [co-star Paul Bettany] fell in love with him . . .

Von Donnersmarck: It’s impossible not to. Everybody does. Same with Angelina. She is so much fun. Also, Johnny and Angie just got along so well, that was something I could sense straight from the first meeting that we had, the three of us. Believe it or not, Angie and Johnny had never met. Through all the years that they’ve been king and queen of Hollywood, they had never actually physically met, so I was the first person to ever bring them together. So if nothing else, that was a really historical moment. They just got along so well from the first moment they met that I knew it was going to be a lot of fun making this film. I probably have hours worth of bloopers where they were just laughing because they had so much fun inventing stuff on the fly and letting their incredible creativity run free.

The Tourist will be in theaters throughout North America on December 10, 2010.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the MTV interview; you can read more about The Tourist on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The full MTV interview with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is available HERE.