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Depp shoots 'em up

22 Comments
By Chris Betros

Here are a few things you may not know about Johnny Depp. He likes to bring his 1956 Fender Telecaster electric guitar with him to Japan, he was voted Sexiest Man in the World for 2009 by People magazine, he doesn’t watch his own movies and his grandfather used to run moonshine during the Prohibition era in the U.S.

The 46-year-old star was in Japan this week, his 6th visit here, to promote his latest film, “Public Enemies,” directed by Michael Mann. Ever popular, the quietly-spoken Depp – wearing his trademark shades and gray hat – was greeted by screaming teens from Narita airport to the movie’s Japan premiere at Roppongi Hills. “I always get a beautiful welcome in Japan,” said Depp, who was last here in January 2008 for “Sweeney Todd.”

In “Public Enemies,” Depp plays 1930s bank robber and murderer John Dillinger (1903-1934), who is dogged by G-man Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). French Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") is the naive hat-check girl Billie Frenchette who becomes Dillinger's devoted gun moll). Dillinger's exploits (he robbed more than 20 banks and broke out of prison twice) turned him into a sort of Robin Hood figure before FBI agents shot him dead outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

Depp certainly is a devotee. “Dillinger had charisma. That’s what attracted me to the script. He was a very solid man who did what he wanted without thought of compromise,” Depp said. “He was built into a criminal by being jailed for 10 years. Jail was crime school for him and he graduated with flying colors. When he got out, it was the Great Depression. The real enemies were the banks that were foreclosing on everybody. Dillinger’s attitude was ‘I’ll go and get what is mine,’ and he did it with class. If anyone was a public enemy, it was the FBI. Dillinger’s execution outside the Biograph was inexcusable.”

Depp added that he can identify with Dillinger on a lot of levels. “For some reason, I was always fascinated with him. I used to watch a lot of Chaplin and Keaton movies from his era and somehow, Dillinger struck a chord with me that I can’t explain. Maybe it was because my grandfather used to run moonshine during Prohibition. The more I learned about Dillinger, I saw a lot of parallels in our lives and I could have gone in that same direction very easily,” he said. “Sometimes, the cards are laid out. I think one of Dillinger’s traits I have applied to my life is to not allow myself to conform to others’ expectations.”

Under Mann’s direction, “Public Enemies” is meticulous in its detail. Filming was done in the same places where Dillinger had his shootouts with police and FBI agents, the jails he escaped from and places where he laid low. “Mann is an uncompromising, powerful figure,” Depp said of the director. “He’s very passionate about what he wants to get out of scenes and he’ll push the actors to do that, even if it means a bunch of takes. His action scenes were particularly realistic. In one shootout scene, we fired 7,000 rounds and I was constantly getting hit with bits of wood and plastic.”

The movie, which was released in the U.S. in summer, has not got very good reviews overall. That doesn’t bother Depp much. In fact, like most actors, he doesn’t watch his own films. “But I’ve heard good things about it,” he quipped. “In my profession, I just like to do different things and put my spin on it. Sometimes, as an actor, that means traveling to places emotionally that are too close to home. It’s no fun and can be difficult to watch.”

Depp will next be seen as the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” his 7th collaboration with director Tim Burton. That will be followed by “The Rum Diary,” a 4th “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, “Dark Shadows” (again with Burton), and then as Pancho Villa in a new Emir Kusturica biopic about Mexico’s 19th-century bandit-turned-revolutionary.

In between movies, Depp enjoys playing the many vintage guitars in his collection and lives in France with his partner Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children, Lily-Rose, 10, and Jack, 7. Depp said it is a challenge keeping the horrors of the world from his children. “You turn on the TV and see what’s going on across the globe; that’s more traumatic than anything we do in the movies. It’s getting hard to protect the kids from the reality of what’s going on in the world,” he said.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


22 Comments
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Lets face it: this guy is COOL

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Johnny

Don't try to protect your kids from seeing what's going on in the world.

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How about a sequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

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Overrated! And he needs a shower. Hugh Jackman is way cooler.

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oh so that's what all those women were queuing up for in Ropongi Hills yesterday..

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I love, love, LOVE Johnny Depp. That's not a good photo though, haha.

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At least he didn't say something false like "I love Japan" like a lot of Hollywood actors do while only coming to Japan on business trips and never private holidays.

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At first glance, I thought the headline was "Depp Shoots Up"...as we all know, he certainly did his share of that back in his Viper room days! LOL

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An actor with style I can truly respect.

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I think he's a wonderful actor, and managed to live through a wild time and come out the other side a seemingly mature, healthy and happy individual. What's not to like?

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"And he needs a shower"

And did you sniff him to come to that conclusion?

I like the scene in Scissorhands where Edward punches a hole in the waterbed, ha ha ha! Also, the scene in Pirates 2:

Sparrow: "Dirt. This is a jar of dirt." Tia Dalma: "Yes." Sparrow: Is the jar of dirt going to help?" Tia Dalma: "If you don't want it, give it back." Sparrow ( holding the jar of dirt tightly ): "No." Tia Dalma: Then it helps."

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actually most people know all those things

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I loved Public Enemies.

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Gamera - Without giving away the ending and spoiling it for those of us who haven't seen it yet, can you tell us why you loved it?

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His fashion is tasteful, but a tad too studied for my liking.

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Just saw Public Enemies on a flight I was on. A bit boring if you ask me.

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with that '56 tele you'd need a small tube powered amp, maybe with 12AX7's, to get the classic sound; a buddy of mine was sound man 20+ years at the VR, we had some pretty wild hanging times.

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I liked him on 21 Jumpstreet and Cry Baby.

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I agree biglittleman: anything Depp is in post-21 Jump street is kind of lame and past his best. That show was his peak.

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really the rum diary. That was a great book

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He's a good actor, tho once in awhile he's in bad/mediocre movies. His best movie (I think) no-one seems to have heard of, Deadman. (Jim Jarmusch dir). Check it out. Even in Japan some tsutaya stores will have it.

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best Depp film: Don Juan Demarco. You can watch the whole thing on youtube.

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