Smith: Do you have any actors that you studied from the past, actors from any era, who were helpful either in a specific role or just in general?
Depp: The guys I always adored were mostly the silent-film actors, Buster Keaton first, Lon Chaney Sr., and Chaplin, of course—those three for me. And John Barrymore. The gods: those are the gods. And then you’ve got the people that came out of that, Paul Muni, certainly …
But Marlon, it wasn’t until Marlon Brando came along that … it was revolutionary, it just changed everything. The work he was doing, Streetcar—completely different fucking animal. And everybody changed their approach from that moment on.
(…)smith: It’s interesting when one individual—whether it’s Michelangelo, Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Jackson Pollock—they’re so inspiring, and they help beget almost a whole school, but no one can touch them. They have this place of kingship, but also solitude.
Depp: And Marlon hated it. He hated it, which is probably why he rejected the whole idea of it, you know, and made fun of it. But I know it’s bullshit. I know he was capable of the work and worked hard when he did the work. I saw him do it, you know. He did care.
smith: Earlier, you mentioned those three greats, the silent-film greats. You’re a master of language, voice, script, words. And yet you chose three silent-film actors.
Depp: The amazing thing about those guys is that they didn’t have the luxury of language. So what they were doing, what they were feeling, what they were trying to express, had to come out through being, had to be alive, had to be in there behind the eyes. Their body had to express it, their very being had to express it.
This Winter offers no rest to Europe. Airports are packed and flights are still being delayed. It is a bore. What to do when you are stuck at the terminal for an indeterminate number of hours? Magazines are the salvation for killing time before the anticipated boarding call.
It helps to pass the time when I come to find a good article to read and this on the latest issue of Vanity Fair is one of the good ones. Patti Smith interviewing Johnny Depp and photographs by Annie Leibovitz is one good blend.
The interview flows like a normal conversation and they talk about their passion for books and music, and discuss some of the figures who inspired Johnny Depp in his work as an actor.
This is the kind of things I like to read about. Me being someone always on a search for constant inspiration and motivation, I find it interesting to know where others, being celebrities or friendly strangers, get their inspiration from, who their role-models are, take a little peak inside their work methods… I’m curious like that.
Anyway, it is always nice to read something else than the old talk about “what the last movie was about, what about your co-stars…” and what not…
About the photographs, they are good as Annie Leibovitz work always is but, in my opinion, not as interesting as the ones shot by François-Marie Banier for the July issue of the magazine in 2009.
But the article is definitely worth a read. It is Johnny as we came to know: tattoos, scarves and cigarettes, half rock-and-roll, half boho, being interesting as usual.
For everyone travelling this snowy holiday season, be safe and have a nice trip.
(source: quoted text from Vanity Fair)