2 0 0 1 – 2 0 0 3
Hell and High Water
The year 2001 saw two Johnny Depp films released: in spring, Ted Demme’s Blow featured another of Johnny’s uncanny interpretations of a living person, in this case incarcerated cocaine trafficker George Jung, while the fall brought From Hell, the Hughes brothers’ version of the still-unsolved case of Jack the Ripper. Johnny played Frederick Abberline, the tormented police inspector in charge of the Ripper investigation; From Hell opened at #1 at the box office in its first week of release. During June of 2001, Johnny also scampered down to Mexico to film (in eight days!) the scene-stealing role of Agent Sands in Robert Rodriguez’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
2002 begins on a sad note, with the untimely death of Blow director Ted Demme in January; most of the interviews for this year come from the U.K. release of From Hell and find Johnny fielding questions about Demme and Blow as well. The remarkable documentary Lost in La Mancha debuts at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2002; it recounts the nearly incredible series of calamities that beset and eventually doomed Terry Gilliam’s attempt to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Johnny and Jean Rochefort in 2000.
Although no feature films starring Johnny Depp were released in the U.S. during the year 2002, the actor was busily filming from June onwards. The first project was Marc Forster’s film about the author J. M. Barrie and the writing of Peter Pan. Co-starring Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore, Finding Neverland shot in London from June through the end of August. The second project, a pirate movie for the Disney studios, began filming with little fanfare on October 9, 2002; it would change Johnny Depp’s life forever.
Another life-altering event, of the happiest possible kind, occurred on April 9, 2002, when Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis welcomed their second child, a son named Jack.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl wrapped its principal photography in March 2003 and sailed into multiplexes across North America on July 9th. As Johnny went to work on David Koepp’s thriller Secret Window a week later, audiences around the world were falling in love with Captain Jack Sparrow and making Pirates of the Caribbean a surprise box-office smash. Capitalizing on Johnny’s success, Sony Pictures Entertainment released Once Upon a Time in Mexico on September 12th, and for a while Johnny Depp had two motion pictures in the top ten at the U.S. box office. Johnny ended the year with a November cameo for his friend Yvan Attal, playing Charlotte Gainsborough’s fantasy man in Attal’s Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d’enfants, and with a fistful of award nominations for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, including his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor. He had also vaulted to the top of the Hollywood A-list.
Interviews with Johnny during this period undergo a remarkable sea-change once Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is released. The former labels that journalists used to compartmentalize him—ex-teen idol, bad boy, rebel, hotel trasher, Hollywood outsider, expatriate, star of art-house films—become irrelevant almost overnight. Like the pirate he portrays, Johnny Depp has become a force to be reckoned with . . . and the only one of his kind.
2 0 0 1
March -- Movieline, Martha Frankel
March -- Reel.com, J. Sperling Reich
March 11 -- The Sunday Herald, Graeme Virtue
April 19 -- Salon.com, Stephanie Zacharek
April 25 -- The Express on Sunday, Martha Frankel
May 24 -- The Guardian (U.K.), Danny Leigh
Summer -- Fringecore Issue 11, Dee
October -- Details, Nick Compton
October 19 -- Dark Horizons, Paul Fischer
November 16 -- Film Threat, Heather Wadowski
November 16 -- Upbeat Magazine, David Grove
December -- Vibe, Darius Jam
2 0 0 2
-- Capital FM - London, Radio Interview
2002 -- DealMemo.com, Paul Fischer
2002 -- Take 2
January 20 -- The Independent (London), Saffron Lyons
February 1 -- Hot Tickets (Evening Std., U.K.), David Eimer
February 4 -- The Big Issue, Leslie Felperin
August 3 -- Daily Telegraph (U.K.) Magazine, Jessamy Calkin
August 25 -- France5 TV , Frédéric Ferney
2 0 0 3
6 -- USA
Weekend, Gregory Katz
July 20 -- Night & Day, David Eimer
July 27 -- The Sunday Times Magazine, Chrissy Iley
August -- GQ Magazine, Lucy Kaylin
August 7 -- The Evening Standard, Grace Marks
September 19 -- Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty
October -- Filmink, Philip Berk
November -- GQ Magazine
December -- DVD Monthly
December 1 -- People Magazine, Lisa Russell
December 25 -- Rolling Stone, Gavin Edwards
December 26 -- Entertainment Weekly, Tim Carvell
December 26 -- USA Weekend
Winter -- FW Magazine, Isabelle Caron