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Jack Sparrow is back! And, his creator, Johnny Depp, has put a little extra jig-like dance into his step that will make you giddy with laughter. This time, there’s no doubt about it, Jack is Captain of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

The first Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl was the biggest – most surprising – hit of 2003. In fact the studio immediately set into motion two more films. They’ve decided upon a trilogy. Part two, Dead Man’s Chest, is a combination of visual spectacle and hand held old fashioned movie making. The film is loaded with spirit and soul, humor and popcorn moments one expects in a Bruckheimer blockbuster summer soiree.

The franchise’s success has been highly credited to Johnny Depp’s unorthodox version of a pirate. Johnny has said, his character of Jack Sparrow was based on,” Keith Richards and Pepe LePew.” His Jack Sparrow is a combination of swagger, confidence and charm, mixed in with a rebellious sense of mischief. Audiences everywhere loved him, and embraced "Jack's" idiosyncrasies. Depp himself has a few; he doesn't do his own stunts -ever- he ,"prefers they pull in for the close up and leave that jumping about to the professionals."

The world is in love with Johnny Depp at present. Once the beau of indie and off-beat films, Johnny's been more “commercial” lately. (That horrific faux pas about the syphilis ridden 18th century bad boy The Libertine aside. Depp was good, it was just the film around him that was remarkably strange and down right rotten - I digress.) In Pirates of the Caribbean, even within a studio big budget behemoth with many restraints, Depp took a risk and managed to bring depth to an otherwise generic pirate character, and launch a trilogy. A tangible testament to his talents to be sure.

Johnny stopped by a Hollywood hotel, decked out in a gray fedora, and wearing runway chic grunge, with bobbly scarves, oodles of necklaces, and looking uber sharp in his decidedly pirate infused street gear. We sat down and talked a bit about the film and life in general.

----
Emily: How are you?

Johnny: Great. How 'bout you. Nice to see a familiar face.

Emily: Your teeth are looking a tad more golden this time around. Can you talk a bit about your teeth?

Johnny: Well, I've had many problems over the years. I’ve had many tooth issues throughout the years…a few root canals. One time they found an 8mm drill tip in my tooth - that was a six hour ordeal. [laughs] For the pirate teeth they do some sort of filing to make the tooth surface rough like a normal kind of bar moving thing for and then hot glue or laser them on onto my own choppers. And to take them off sometimes it’s just [makes a ding-ping sound] and they pop off. And others you have to really address the issue more intensely. I don’t really notice them any more. They're only on until the end of last filming, and I then I have to go through the whole process of removing them again. But, there are not staying on after the last scene though. [laughter]

Emily: Was it fun to revisit, Jack sparrow. You seem to have such a ball playing this man.

Johnny: I kind of like everything about playing him. He’s just fun to play. Ted [Elliot- writer] and Terry [Rossio – writer] and Gore [Verbinski – director] kind of set a course; in terms of the story and all that. Then you take that those really strong bones of the structure and I get to play around with it a little bit. Add stuff. Try things and get away with it. I’ve been very lucky so far. He's just a fun character. I wasn’t ready to say good by to him... after Pirates one, there was more fun to be had.


Emily: You seem even more flouncy – Keith after a bingish this time around. Jack had a certain spring in his step and many folks are wondering if Jack is gay.

Johnny: [laughter] Right. Ya know it probably helped in the lightness that I wasn’t getting those worried phone calls. Like the first time around. You know the panicked phone calls, “You’re ruining the film. What the hell are you doing?” I didn’t get those and it may have helped. I haven’t seen the spring – but I haven't seen the film. I am afraid to see it – now [laughter]. Polite way of putting it, "spring in the step." [laughter] Subtle. No, it might just be happening naturally. God only knows what's on the horizon -- Johnny Depp in the Mae West story. [laughter] no, I didn't make an effort to put a spring a step in Jack's walk etc. or to make him more gay. But gay used to mean something else didn't it. Who knows maybe Jack is gay [laughter]. I'll check and a get back to you.


Emily: Do you sit around at the Depp abode and watch Pirates with the kids?

Johnny: Oh god no [laughter] Nononononono. For awhile there, but not so much these days my kiddies have seen it a zillion times, but for a while I’d walk into the room and hear the familiar score, or voice and just exit as quickly as possible, so I didn't have to see it again. Not that the movie the movie itself isn't incredible. I just don't enjoy seeing myself..

Emily: Does it affect your relationship with the kids in a strange way to see their father constantly playing different characters in moving pictures?

Johnny: No no. It's kind of normal and expected at this point for them to see pappa on television. You know, or on a DVD cover. We keep him away from the magazines. It’s not weird to them at all -- they can go from sort of watching the movie to the dinner table, and not mention the film at all. Besides, thankfully they’ve kind of graduated to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my son’s into Spiderman now. Once in awhile, like recently my daughter asked about something about Willy Wonka, she said, “What was that line” about the hep cats and motor bike riders – will you do the voice papa.” I’ll do the voice and she’ll say then thank you and we’ll move on.

Emily: Are you glad they are branching out and watching Spiderman and not just DeppTV or does it hurt your feelings a bit?

Johnny: I am absolutely fine with it. They have to branch out and explore other worlds. Can you imagine? It would be horrible to be that guy who’s like, “Hey hey you put that film BACK on…put that film back on right now…” [laughter]

Emily: What’s it like to have Disney’s famous ride revamped with you highlighted as Jack Sparrow among the half century old legendary ride?

Johnny: It’s totally surreal. You know teetering on absurd. But I mean, it's a kind of great absurd. I mean I’m honored. But really who’d have ever thunk it. I mean really “who’d have thunk.”

Emily: Can you talk about “being slimed” by the Kraken in the film? That seemed really brave of you frankly.

Johnny: Yes, he was really strange. Basically, they dump, you know, kind of a large amount of an incredibly foreign substance. You don't know what to expect until it hits you. [Blech] You don't really rehearse that kind of thing do you? So there's a part of you that starts saying, “god I hope this doesn't you know, shoot up my nostrils or down my throat." And you just inhale the stuff really, you know, it's like being drowned in slime -- on film -- so yeah that scene was a little bit of concern.[laughter]

Emily: What was it that made you want to reach for the stars, was it something someone said to you, or someone that influenced you.

Johnny: I don't know. It really wasn't. There wasn't any one person or anything. Yes, yes I know what happened. I was about 12 years old, I guess. When I really felt like I found my calling -- it was when I start to play the guitar. I taught myself and got pretty good. I had a good feeling! For that to me the guitar was my life. I felt as if I finally found myself and it touched something deep inside. I felt like I was going to do good with / and persevered until my early 20s. Then that spun out, and I was put on a different road. And I've been walking that road ever since. I don't know, really. I don't know if I had anything to do with any of it. My parents were always supportive. Why not? The guitar got me out of their hair [laughter] and completely got me through puberty. I don't even remember puberty. I just remember, constantly playing and changing guitar strings and listening to records and learning songs off records.

Emily: Well, glad you took that road. It hasn't always been easy for you. I understand that Tim Burton openly fought for you to get into his films. Things have certainly changed. How does that feel?

Johnny: I can't, lie it's nice to not have to have a director fight tooth and nail to get you in a movie - particularly for the number of years like Tim did. To have him say what he did was very special. And now it's very special. I don't have to fight. And It wasn't like that for a long long time, so if it's like this for a bit. That's great. But the chances are pretty good that at some time or another it will be like it was again. Which is okay to me, if the studios didn't want to hire me. I was kind of known as box office poison. But honestly, I was still able to do the things I want to. I was still able to do all those films that mean so much to me. So, if I'm a "decent flavor." this week and next in three weeks that changes, well I am okay with that. I've been where it's OK. [laughter].

Emily: while Pirates of the Caribbean big blockbuster budget studio film. For those fans that still think of Johnny Depp, from Benny and June. Tell me has Johnny Depp sold out?

Johnny: People can say, and think what they want, but I know it as good as the experience was on say, '21 Jump St', where I was thrown into the whole start of thing if you will. But '21 Jump St,' that was my college. Great training; five days a week and constantly in front of the camera. Learning learning learning, it was great schooling. But the show was also pushing in a direction that I was not going. I really hated the idea of being a product on someone else's firms. I'm savvy enough to understand that there is a business side to all of this, but I swore to myself back then, I would do what a need to do. If I fail, I fail. If it works, it works But I'll stick with it. So for many years now, I have done just that. I know, doing Pirates of the Caribbean, Charlie the Chocolate Factory, where the movies are more commercial - things seem strange. But it is totally consistent with everything I've done since Crybaby, as far as I'm concerned. There's never a moment when I said, “All this would be a good career move.” Or I commit to a project, because I can make whole slew of cash and escape for while. I haven't changed any of my sort of processes or personal policies. I'm still dedicated to the same thing.

Emily: Bavo. So what's this I hear about you, and Tim Burton, reuniting? A musical film version of Sweeney Todd?

Johnny: Yes. That's something that Tim and I talked about talked about years and years ago. We've been speaking here and there are recently, and it looks like it's looking very good. We gotten together and talked about stuff seriously. But it still takes drawing. Because then there's that setting off of a whole domino effect where all these other people having to do stuff that Tim and I don't know how to do. So it's looking very good, and I sure hope it happens. God, just to go back to working with Tim. It would be our sixth movie -- very exciting. Very very exciting

Emily: And finally what's this about a collection of shanties on one album to tell.

Johnny: Yeah, Gore and I sort of had talked about how great it would be to get some of those old hundred centuries old shanties then have all contemporary artists to do them. And it happened and it's just amazing. It's one of the greatest records, I have ever heard of my life and really a shocking, shocking. I am super excited about it.

END

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