"I've been taking a few left turns:" Johnny Depp talks to EMPIRE Magazine about portraying Willy Wonka

The Summer Preview issue of EMPIRE, the UK’s most popular film magazine, focuses on potential blockbusters, so of course there is an inset photo of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka on their cover, and a story on CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY inside. Although it is only one page long, the EMPIRE story is as crammed with goodies as a Wonka chocolate bar: there is a large cast photo, smaller inset photos of director Tim Burton and the movie poster, a brief Q & A with Tim, and a short interview with Johnny about his approach to the character. EMPIRE even manages to investigate that rumor that a camera fell into the chocolate river during last summer’s shooting. Not only did the camera fall in, but it could not be retrieved: it’s still in the chocolate river! (Ewwwww.)

EMPIRE calls the pairing of Tim Burton, “the Willy Wonka of the movie world–fanciful and eccentric, with a hint of darkness” and his “Muse,” Johnny Depp, “Perfection!” Asked how it felt to work with Johnny again, Tim replied, “He always surprises me. I love actors who don’t care how they look. There’s a freedom to that.” However, Johnny “has his doubts” about his performance. “I’ve no idea what I’ve done, really,” he tells EMPIRE with his characteristic humility. “I don’t know if it’s any good, but it feels like I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been taking a few left turns.”

EMPIRE certainly enjoys the ride, calling Johnny’s portrayal “batty, screwy, wonky and totally out there.” And producer Richard Zanuck is thrilled with his star: “What he’s done is unbelievable; it’s pure Johnny Depp.” The more we hear, the more eager we are to see CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!

The Zone thanks sue c and In-too-Depp for posting the EMPIRE story on the News & Views forum, and Gilbert’s Girl for sharing the May 2005 cover.

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