Category: quote

On Grindelwald’s ownership of the Elde…

On Grindelwald’s ownership of the Elder wand and the power that comes from it.

Johnny Depp: “I was blown away. In my mind, it didn’t register at first that it was the Elder Wand. But then I realized that Grindelwald has the most powerful instrument of magic, be it bad or be it good.”

Some of the things Johnny Depp has said about …

Some of the things Johnny Depp has said about his character in Fantastic Beasts: Gellert Grindelwald

“We don’t have many scenes with him. But…

“We don’t have many scenes with him. But I quietly crept in when he spoke to the public (a fragment from the last trailer). It’s interesting to watch him, his approach to work is amazing. His speech is simply amazing.”Katherine Waterston in Total Film mag about Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

“Well, I still have to work with him. …

“Well, I still have to work with him. Everything goes to this. Here, I just gently look at him through the mirror.” – Jude Law told Total Film about working with Johnny Depp on 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

EW: Heading into Fantastic Beasts: The Crime…

EW: Heading into Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, what do we need to know about the title character?
J.K. ROWLING: The first mention of Grindelwald is in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, so he has been part of the canon from the beginning. He was a very famous dark wizard whom Dumbledore defeated in 1945, a wizard who once owned the Elder Wand (as Voldemort did later). Although he remained rather mysterious in the Potter books, I had a very clear understanding of who Grindelwald was and what his story had been. Grindelwald is essential to an understanding of how Dumbledore became Dumbledore. [x]



“Live and make due of every moment. It’s very easy to get hung up on this or that’s going on or whatever is happening but no, the best thing in the world to do is just to not really give a rat and continue to live for however long you have that gift.
Every breath is a celebration.”

— Johnny Depp, Zurich Film Festival

Live and make due of every moment. It’s …

Live and make due of every moment. It’s very easy to get hung up on this or that’s going on or whatever is happening but no, the best thing in the world to do is just to not really give a rat and continue to live for however long you have that gift.
Every breath is a celebration.

Johnny Depp on ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ and…

Johnny Depp on ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ and His Most Iconic Roles:

What triggers your interest when it comes to scripts and characters? What does a scriptwriter need to bring to you to get your interest?

JOHNNY DEPP: You want to be surprised by something. You look for something that’s not necessarily based on something, something that’s not altogether formulaic. You look for a character that someone has painstakingly written and offered you to play. What I get from it is the actual work, locating and building a character and trying to do something that hasn’t been done to death, that’s maybe a bit different. There is a bit of peril in that but that’s also something that is incredibly important for an actor. To walk in and do the same thing every time every time every film every character is this version of yourself and these characters are all versions of me. I think one must attempt something, and face the possibility of falling flat on your face.

So taking risks is important?

DEPP: If you don’t explore fully, commit yourself fully to the character, to the director’s vision and to your vision and to the author’s vision I feel that I owe it to the people to try something because I’d hate to bore you, so if I don’t try something that could be potentially disastrous I don’t feel like I’m doing my work. I prefer when studios are scared.

In terms of studios being scared there’s been one particular pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. You could have played him like a typical hero pirate but you made him into this crazy surprising great character. Can you tell us how you created Captain Jack?

DEPP: In the original screenplay Captain Jack was written as a swashbuckler, a pirate who swings in, sort of fights a little bit and then swings out, grabs a girl and that’s it. I had different ideas for him. This sounds weird but Captain Jack was born in a sauna. My sauna. I was looking at various aspects of the character and I figured this guy has been on the high seas for the majority of his life and therefore has dealt with inescapable heat to the brain. So I cranked the sauna up to about 1000 degrees and sat in there as long as I could until it started to affect me mentally. It was very, very hot, as was my brain. While you’re in there in that kind of heat you can’t stand still, but the worst of it is if you move, it kills you. So that gave me the idea that his brain has been par-boiled to some degree. Also in terms of his body language I felt that when he was on the ship he would be fine as the ship would be bounding away. He would have sea legs, but when he gets on land he cannot get land legs. He would be looking wobbly and Disney disagreed.

The executives made some comments at film tests for hair make-up and wardrobe when I presented the character. They were like, “What’s he doing?” Then I got phone calls: “You’ve got to lose the dangly things and what’s that sore on your face?” “What’s going on? Is he mentally just gone, left the building a long time ago, or is he just incredibly drunk or is he gay?” So my response was, “Sorry, don’t you know that all my characters are gay?”

They were uncomfortable and I put it to them that they were welcome to fire me or replace me if they wanted, because I wasn’t going to change what I had built. I believed in what I’d built, I believed in the character wholeheartedly and I felt I was onto something. Every time they complained–and peripherally I could see the writers going, “That’s not in the script, that’s not in the script!” and you could see all these worried faces. Actually, it gave me fuel to go further.

The next thing, Michal Eisner, the head of Disney at the time was screaming at the top of his lungs, “Depp is ruining the film! We’re going to have to subtitle it. Nobody can understand what he’s saying. What is he doing?” I can understand where they were coming from because their previous movie was Country Bear Jamboree, which I was not part of.

Pirates of the Caribbean became one of Disney’s greatest success stories and now Disney amusement parks focus on Captain Jack rides.

DEPP: It was something that was completely and totally unexpected for me because I’d essentially had a career in terms of Hollywood business and box office, of 20 years of failures. Ed Wood or any of those stranger films was a flop to them. When I initially thought about Captain Jack another thing to keep in mind is that I had a three-year-old daughter Lily-Rose, so for three years I’d watched nothing but animated cartoons like Tex Avery. Watching these things you start to think, why are the parameters so wide? Why is it that the coyote when he’s chasing Road Runner has a boulder dropped on his head and then you cut to the next scene and he’s just got a little bandage on? And people buy that, that suspension of disbelief. Five-year-olds who love Bugs Bunny you’ve got 25-year-olds, you’ve got 75 and 85-year-olds who love these characters who can get away with things that we can’t. So that was really my approach. How do I instigate that kind of performance where people from 5 to 85, 95 can appreciate it because he represents the side of us that we aren’t able to get away with in everyday lives. He can say things that don’t make sense and people say “All right.” So I suppose he has the ultimate irreverence and that was what I was looking for and I found it.

In Richard Says Goodbye your college professor is facing death and starts to get away with doing things he didn’t do before being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

DEPP: Things go a little sideways for Richard.

What attracted you to the role?

DEPP: I met with the director [Wayne Roberts] and those meetings normally last one hour and we ended up taking nine hours, talking and riffing. I thought the script was beautifully handled. It’s rare that in the first 30 seconds of a film the main character is given the news he’s about to croak any time soon and that there’s no chance. Then what I loved about it, he never took a moment to feel sorry for himself. I think it’s a very smart thing to do to avoid asking the question, why me? So in a weird way he was making peace with it and therefore was able to have a sense of humour about it and then saying, “I haven’t done this before, maybe I should try this?” The news of his impending death gives him the freedom to live, to say this is the card I’m dealt and I’m going make the best of it. Were I in the same situation I’d do exactly the same thing, just go out and live, man, and experience as much as I could, avoid bitterness, experience people and have a good time.

Tim Burton and ‘Edward Scissorhands’

DEPP: I reluctantly flew to Los Angeles to have a meeting with Tim because I felt there was no way in the world he was going to give me that gig. I’d read the screenplay and it touched me deeply and I knew what the character needed to be. We met in a coffee shop and I didn’t know what he looked like and I saw this skinny fidgety dude with sprigs of hair sticking out all over the place drinking coffee and drawing. We proceeded to talk about the role, about our childhood, and discovered we had remarkably similar beginnings. I didn’t hear anything for a month and the phone rang and I just heard this voice say, “Johnny, you’re Edward Scissorhands.”

So I went full tilt into finding Edward based on newborns and toddlers seeing things for the first time. They can find beauty and fascination with everything. With the dog that I had there was unconditional love. If you scolded him he’d slither into a corner but the second you’d call him back his eyes were filled with love. So that dog became my basis for the character.

It was the first time Tim and the screenwriter Caroline Thompson had an actor cutting out 85 percent of the dialogue. It seemed to me Edward’s vocabulary would be limited but in an innocent way. When Dianne Wiest finds me in the castle and asks me where my father is, the line was written, “he died” and I thought that was too knowing of Edward. So I changed it to “he didn’t wake up”, which opens up a whole purity to the character because death doesn’t exist in his mind. Tim was very patient even if for the first couple of weeks everyone was flipping out. Tim was nervous but it seemed to work out.

You’ve made nine movies together now.

DEPP: Oh yeah we trust each other. That’s the most important thing between a director and actor.

Is there anything on the horizon?

DEPP: We’ve talked about a number of things and I’m sure there’ll be something down the road that we’ll figure out to do together. I certainly hope so. Tim’s one of those guys if he literally picked up a piece of paper and wanted to shoot it, I’d gladly do it. I don’t care what the subject matter is. He’s my best friend in the world really.

Let’s talk about two of your upcoming films, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Waiting for the Barbarianswith Mark Rylance and Robert Pattinson. Tell us about the Grindelwald experience and entering that universe.

DEPP: It was amazing. It came out of nowhere. Someone said J.K. Rowling would like to talk to me. I spoke to a few producers and the director and to J.K. and had long conversations basically about the Grindelwald character. J.K. said something I did not expect to hear because obviously her detail to her characters and those wizarding worlds is astonishing. The fact that she said, “I can’t wait to see what you do with the character.” Just to hand it off to me with that degree of trust, I was really touched, blown away by that. So I jumped into locating the character and I had my ideas. I came in and it all seemed to work out. Grindelwald is an interesting character. His intentions in his mind are for the greater good, but there have been other people in world politics and such who felt the same way. [chuckles] He’s very dedicated to his beliefs. He’s not a fun character; he’s not funny.

Did you enjoy playing him?

DEPP: I loved it yeah. I loved it because that’s really an arena where you can fly around and try different things and approach a character with a lot more…um…to take someone who is teetering on being a fascist, yeah he’s a fascist, he’s one of those, but to play him as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard. The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.

Waiting for the Barbarians is a film I’m getting ready to go and do. It’s based on a book by Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee and it’s to be directed by Ciro Guerra, a fantastic filmmaker. It’s with an actor I admire greatly, Mark Rylance. Here’s what’s amazing about Mark Rylance: he’s considered and probably is the leading Shakespearean actor today and he refuses to acknowledge that. He sort of makes fun of it. So the film is with Mark, myself and Robert Pattinson and I’m super excited. We’re going to shoot that in Morocco towards the end of October.

If you were to give your life the title of an album or song what would it be?

DEPP: What a lucky dick.

It’s suddenly unexpected, it’s very warm.. The…

It’s suddenly unexpected, it’s very warm.. They’re all very very kind to come here and support myself and the film this way.. probably beyond than anything else I could have imagined. I’m incredibly thankful



“If I can only touch someone’s life for a second with my work, I will do it for the rest of my life,”

— Johnny Depp [x]