He’s been the kind you would never shake hands with (Eduardo Mannostieras), nor would you let him shave you (Sweeney Todd), the one who wore an impossible angora sweater (Ed Wood), that of chocolate in duplicate (Chocolat and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), the chaser of Jack the Ripper (From hell), the brother who leaves Leonardo di Caprio in the bathtub (Who loves Gilbert Grape?), Peter Pan’s father, a vampire, the Mad Hatter, the wizard Grindenwald, Dillinger … And it was Captain Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp, who has been all those characters and many more, and who is also an accused of abuse (against his ex-wife Amber Heard) already with a final sentence, is in Barcelona where this afternoon he presented his last at the BCN Film Fest film The Minamata Photographer, by Andrew Levitas, in which he incorporates a new real character into his career, the famous photojournalist Eugene Smith, author of a sensational report on Life about the tragic mercury poisoning from a factory spill in a small Japanese fishing community.
Depp, among whose plans was to visit an antique dealer and the Güell Palace, has caused great anticipation in Barcelona. He has arrived two hours late – he will have made a detour, like the Flying Dutchman – to a massive press conference followed by interviews at the Casa Fuster hotel showing his characteristic bohemian look, untidy, to say the least, and with a rose that he had given him A fan. He has had an entry slip when pointing out that he loved to be “in the city of Guernica”. City that, he deplored, he always visits very fast (!). Also while filming in Japan he had the feeling that he was missing a lot of the interesting “that was on the other side of the hotel window.” Of Eugene Smith, whom he plays with incredible chameleonism, he has said that he really enjoyed diving into the character, which has been like “digging” for treasure. He has defined him as a unique personality for whom he has always felt admiration. He has reflected, with part of his Cherokee heritage, on what the photographer says in the film that when you take a photo you steal something of the soul of what is photographed and you also lose something of your own. “Photography lives in that dance, the give and take of the dance of photography.”
He has praised the Japanese actors in the film, many of them non-professionals. “Marlon Brando already said it: anyone can become an actor.” On his recurrence in playing excessive characters, he has reflected that “excess is part of the creative power of those characters.” And he has brought up artists like Van Gogh or Baudelaire, and their addictions, and has added many comedians whose natural ability to make people laugh “comes from pain.” He has described the actor’s work as showing a series of layers and has said that often the important thing is not in the dialogue but underneath it. “It is not that you have to suffer to make art, but there does have to be a commitment to be able to transmit desire and passion.”
To the question of this newspaper if he does not feel sorry that very possibly he will not be Sparrow on screen again, he has answered: “No, I do not miss it, because I have it every day, I always carry it with me, I travel with the captain Jack in the suitcase. I belong to Jack Sparrow and he is loyal to me ”. He has explained that when he has the opportunity, he visits children in hospitals and improvises with his pirate.
Depp, laden with rings, earrings, bracelets, beads, and tattoos that would fit the entire crew of The Black Pearl, wearing a cap that looked like an inordinate tribute to The Kid of Chaplin (the icon of the festival) and dressed as if he had stolen the clothes of a scarecrow, but with great grace, he has spoken of his work, of art and artists, of The Minamata Photographer, and even Trump, Baudelaire and the I Ching, but has not accepted questions about his relationship with his ex-wife and the sentence of abuse. The actor has said that he does not consider himself an artist “although I approach everything I do with the intention of being one” and that he tries to never settle down, “when you feel satisfied it is time to be replaced”. He has revealed that he has the project, “before I go”, of directing a film again, although this time he will not also interpret it as in the case of The brave -film that is very important to him and that he appreciates being mentioned-, because doing both jobs is like being subjected to “two opposing forces”, and “like horses, when you are an actor you have to wear blinders and look only ahead , only that”.
He has doubted that the world can be changed with cinema and that one person alone can do it, “although Trump did quite well putting us all in a well.” He has reflected, in plan Words for Julia, that a single person “is nothing, but when people come together without feelings of ego and with altruism, the social fabric that is fraying can be rebuilt.” He has referred to the “power of the small”, from the ninth hexagram of the I Ching, Hsiao ch’u – that’s how deep it has become -, and has considered that “if many hit the monster of ambition and darkness at the base, it can be brought down in the end.” He has referred to the “evil of the world”, has said that “at least Trump is gone” and has compared it to an albatross (surely referring to that of The ballad of the old sailor, by Coleridge) that flew over the United States and the world. He has said all this while drinking only a Coca-Cola and smoking a cigarette (tobacco) that he has rolled and lit after asking for permission. Depp was not wearing a mask, but a long rolled handkerchief that made him look even more bizarre and has been removed for the press conference and interviews. “It will not be the pharmaceutical companies that save the world, but the people,” he said.
He has considered that it is vital that the media “give the truth” and has remembered “my friend Hunter S. Thompson”, the king of Gonzo journalism, whom he has taken to the cinema, “who was obsessed with the truth” and whom on one occasion he observed throwing the New York Times “As if it were a Frisby.” He has spoken a lot about Trump and the assault on the Capitol and has warned that we must fight against “the culture of fear” and dangerous words. “You have to find the truth, and then keep it well.”
“There is only one thing you can do in life when you get up, breathe deeply and without fear. I don’t usually get caught up in bad things and temporary problems ”, he pointed out. “I am more interested in dedicating myself to be, and to make music again, and to write and write, songs or words, a book, or to paint, to be happy. I’m not going to limit myself anymore ”. It has been described as “something that flows between things, that changes.” He has remembered his childhood in Kentucky, when they used to beat him. “I can’t say it was the most enjoyable childhood in the world, and that becomes who you are.”
‘On the Road’: Your First Bible
He has said that he was instilled with the passion of reading by his ten-year-old brother and that In the path de Keroauc was “my first Bible: I felt a connection to broken people from a very young age, I understood their insecurities and pains; you have to go over the threshold of pain; At the age of 11 I started doing it, I tried to make myself insensitive but one day you have to face the demons, it is not pleasant but you have to do it, not let the noise inside your skull take over everything ”.
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Johnny Depp: “Jack Sparrow always goes with me” | Culture