"Dillinger became a criminal almost by accident"–Johnny Depp talks about his role in PUBLIC ENEMIES

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp shooting Public Enemies in Columbus, Wisconsin in the very first days of filming last March–and we mean “shooting” quite literally, as the Thompson submachine gun (called a tommygun) is the quintessential Dillinger prop. In a current interview with Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly, Johnny talks about how Dillinger became Public Enemy #1 and how it felt to play the man with the tommygun.

EW: So what details of this character did you try to latch onto?

JD: The interesting thing is, John Dillinger really became a criminal almost by accident. The two main ingredients for his initial incarceration were ignorance and youth. There are moments in life when those two walk hand in hand in a very tight grip. When he went inside, the world was one thing, and when he came out, it was Technicolor. Women dressed differently. It was a different planet. Prison at that time was college for criminals. He went in and basically learned how to rob banks. By all accounts, he wasn’t the best student initially, but he got the hang of it.

EW: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

JD: Well, let’s just say, how often do you get to stand on the running board of an old 1932 Buick blasting a 50-round clip from a Thompson submachine gun? When do you get to do that without getting into trouble for it? And with Michael [Mann, the director], you get to do it again and again and again.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the Entertainment Weekly interview; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

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