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‘I loved it’
Johnny Depp talks about the remarkable Jack Sparrow and his experience playing the role.
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen in the eagerly awaited final part of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Depp, 43, has created one of the most memorable icons of contemporary
cinema with the lovable rogue Captain Jack Sparrow, a remarkably vivid character who, he admits, was based in part on one of his own heroes, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who appears in At World’s End. Depp, who is currently filming Sweeney Todd in London with director Tim Burton, took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on playing Captain Jack and the completion of the Pirates trilogy. Excerpts from the interview:
How does it feel now that you have finished the three Pirates films?
Even though we finished the third one roughly six months ago, I’m still kind of swimming in it. I loved the experience.
Was it gruelling?
Oh yeah. Sure. More than anything physically not just for me but for the crew having to hump seriously heavy equipment up those mountains. It was pretty intense. Like when we were on Dominique. And sometimes when you are out at sea the water may get real rough. Everyone says that filming on water always takes twice as long. Is it true?
Oh yeah it’s an obstacle course, right up close to impossible. But somehow these guys did it.
as it like that final day as Jack Sparrow? That must have been a big moment in your life?
It was one of those moments where you are just doing anything you can to postpone it. I remember going to Gore (Verbinski, director) and he was saying ‘I think we’ve got everything man but do you want another take?’ And I’d say; yeah, yeah, let’s do another take. Let me try something else...’ And then once we’d got it I said to him ‘Are you sure there is nothing else we can shoot?’ Because you just don’t want to say goodbye to that guy. You’ve been that person for umpteen months and you don’t want to say goodbye, it’s very strange.
Where were you on that final day?
We were in a studio that is just north of Los Angeles. One of the last things I shot was a scene where Jack is talking to himself.
Did they mark the occasion in any way?
Yeah, the crew and Gore put together a really beautiful collage of photographs, framed it and signed it. We had a big cake and champagne. It was very moving. It was like we were all saying goodbye to Captain Jack in that moment.
e is a character that has changed your life?
Oh yeah. He’s brought a lot of good things into my world and into my kiddies’ world so I will always hold him in very high regard even aside of the fact that it’s been an absolute pleasure to play him. It’s been a total blast.
So would you play him again?
Under the right circumstances with all the right and proper elements and a good script I would definitely give it some serious thought.
About Keith Richards…
Oh that was great. He was just so cool. Not just for me, but also for the entire crew it was so special.
When you look at the roles over the years, is there a common thread?
I don’t know. I think it might be that you need some years of distance to look at that. Maybe then you can go ‘oh yeah, I see the connection here...’ If you look at them from way back I guess the connection would be that they are a bit outside these guys, whether it’s Cry Baby or Edward Scissorhands or Sam from Benny and Joon or Axel from Arizona Dream, Ed Wood, yeah, they are a bit outside..
And with Sweeney Todd too…
(laughs) Yeah, you don't get more outside than that poor guy.
(Courtesy: Sony Pictures)
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