Johnny Depp Talks Angelina Jolie & His Gay Characters
Actor Johnny Depp sat down with Vanity Fair for a cover profile. He was interviewed by long time friend Patti Smith. Depp touched on working with Angelina Jolie, Disney, the media and paparazzi, and what drew him to The Tourist.
On Angelina Jolie: “Meeting her and getting to know her was a real pleasant surprise,” Johnny Depp tells rock legend Patti Smith, writing for Vanity Fair, of working with Angelina Jolie on their upcoming film, The Tourist. “You don’t know what she might be like—if she has any sense of humor at all. I was so pleased to find that she is incredibly normal, and has a wonderfully kind of dark, perverse sense of humor.”
Whom he compares Angelina Jolie to: “I’ve had the honor and the pleasure and gift of having known Elizabeth Taylor for a number of years,” he says. “You know, you sit down with her, she slings hash, she sits there and cusses like a sailor, and she’s hilarious. Angie’s got the same kind of thing, you know, the same approach.”
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The paparazzi and media: Depp tells Smith of the challenges he and his co-star faced with constant media scrutiny on set. “Poor thing, dogged by paparazzi, her and her husband, Brad…all their kids,” Depp says of Angelina and her famous brood. “There are times when you see how ridiculous is this life, how ludicrous it is, you know, leaving your house every morning and being followed by paparazzi.” Depp tells Smith about the difficulties that arose while filming together—having to be discreet to avoid unwarranted speculation—which included “having to hide, sometimes not even being able to talk to each other in public because someone will take a photograph and it will be misconstrued and turned into some other shit.”
On Disney’s thoughts of Jack Sapparow: “They couldn’t stand him. They just couldn’t stand him,” Depp says of Disney’s reaction to his controversial interpretation of Sparrow. “I think it was Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time, who was quoted as saying, ‘He’s ruining the movie.’ Depp reveals to Smith, however, that he remained unfazed by the studio’s hysteria. “Upper-echelon Disney-ites, going, What’s wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?… And so I actually told this woman who was the Disney-ite… ‘But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?’ Which really made her nervous.”
What drew him to The Tourist: “I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of all.” Of the complications of having played so many eccentric roles in his career, he says, “They’re all still there, which on some level can’t be the healthiest thing in the world…. I always picture it as this chest of drawers in your body—Ed Wood is in one, the Hatter is in another, Scissorhands is in another…. They’re still very close to the surface.”