Johnny Depp talks to Helen Barlow about taking on the role of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in the movie Black Mass.
So Johnny Depp, best-known for playing imaginary characters, how was it playing the very real, very nasty Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass? Much of a change?
“You mean the Mad Hatter never existed? Or Willy Wonka?” the actor teases.
“Seriously, when you’re playing a fictional character you can stretch it out into all kinds of strange places which I’ve taken a lot of heat for,” he chuckles. “But when you’re playing someone who existed or exists there’s a tremendous amount of responsibility to that person, whether they’re deemed good or bad, because it’s their life. You have a responsibility to be as close to the truth as you possibly can.”
Depp had gone the real route before, in 1997’s Donnie Brasco, playing Joe Pistone, an undercover detective who went undercover as Brasco to infiltrate the mob.
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Total Film (UK) – November
The gallery was updated with HQ pictures of Johnny in Rio performing with The Hollywood Vampires and participating to the benefit event with Starkey Hearing Foundation. Thanks to Holly for the pictures.
Public Appearances > 2015 > Sep 24: The Hollywood Vampires And Starkey Hearing Foundation
Performances > 2015 > Sep 24: Rock In Rio – Day 4
For the overwhelming majority of Hollywood Vampires’ Wednesday night set in Los Angeles, Johnny Depp was content to hang stage right and strum his Gibson with a minimum of guitar hero posturing. Fresh off promo duties for his gangster opus Black Mass at the Toronto International Film Festival, the actor seemed content to let his more illustrious bandmates—Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Alice Cooper on vocals—bask and preen in the Sunset Strip limelight.
But just before the curtain went down on the cock-rock supergroup at Hollywood’s venerable Roxy Theatre—Hollywood Vampires’ first-ever live show—Depp stepped to the lip of the low proscenium to crank out the angular opening chords to the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” Call it an oblique homage to Keith Richards. Keef, of course, inspired the movie star’s most famous (and lucrative) dramatic persona, Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
But befitting a loose rock collective that claimed its name from an Angeleno drinking club of a certain distinction that gathered at the Rainbow Bar & Grill (located next door to the Roxy) in the ‘70s—John Lennon, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, Cooper, Bernie Taupin and the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz were charter Hollywood Vampires members—the vibe last night was bar-band jovial. Easy, fun and familiar. Even as the small stage clogged with platinum-selling recording artists, everyone was in it for the love. (All proceeds from the group’s Sept. 11 album are being donated to the charity MusiCares). “We didn’t drink the blood of the vein,” Cooper explained of the group’s name, “but the blood of the vine.”
The gallery was updated with HQ images of Johnny during the Boston Special Screening of Black Mass. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > 2015 > Sep 15: “Black Mass” Boston Special Screening
Johnny Depp is the latest celebrity to pay tribute to Wes Craven, referring to the late horror legend as “the guy who gave me my start.”
The actor reflected on his breakout role in A Nightmare on Elm Street during a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival following a screening of his upcoming film, Black Mass, on Monday.
“Wes Craven was the guy who gave me my start, from my perspective, for almost no reason in particular.” Depp said, according to Variety. “I read scenes with his daughter when I auditioned for the part. At the time, I was a musician. I wasn’t really acting. It was not anything very near to my brain or my heart, which is pretty much how it remains to this day.”
Depp went on to explain how Craven offered him the role in the 1984 film based off his daughter’s opinion; she read with numerous other actors, and decided he was the right fit for the gig. He remarked that Craven was “very brave” to offer him the part.
“But he was a good man – so rest in peace, old Wes,” Depp concluded.
Craven died Aug. 30 of brain cancer at the age of 76. Following his death, Edgar Wright, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and more joined in remembering the iconic writer, director, and producer.