Friday, November 23, 2007

Inside the Actors Studio - Johnny Depp

After experiencing the fatuous fabulosity that is James Lipton via the Leading Man series, my interest was definitely piqued at the November 20th release of the DVD of his interview with the swaggering Jack Sparrow, aka Johnny Depp. Depp is notoriously reticent--would this interview consist mainly of Lipton, always in love with the sound of his own voice, answering his own questions?

I recall seeing Depp appear on the Rosie O'Donnell show about ten years ago. Rosie said something like, "You play the guitar?". He said "yes." It was painful to watch; excruciating as O'Donnell tried to get her guest to engage in a dialogue. He clearly didn't want to be there. I can understand why Depp doesn't like to do the whole interview thing--it's a pain in the ass. It's stupid. It's a waste of time. But it also comes with the territory. Seriously, how hard is it to come up with an amusing anecdote to charm the audience--the people buying tickets to your movies--for five minutes?

Despite the appearance of the cover of the DVD where it looks like Johnny is thinking, "Oh God, not the Bernard Pivot questionnaire, you supercilious twit!," Lipton actually manages to get a decent interview out of Depp. Although he is not as engaging or eloquent as his contemporaries, Russell Crowe or Sean Penn from the Leading Men series, Depp does open up (relatively speaking) about his professional craft and even his personal life. Although recorded February 25, 2002, well before his iconic portrayal of a pirate in the Disney trilogy, Johnny Depp had already amassed a solid and eclectic body of work.

The DVD contains an introduction by Lipton, but unlike the Leading Men DVD, there are no other extras. Still, it's a interesting glimpse into an intriguing persona. So for those interested in the craft of acting, fans of Johnny Depp or even those enamored of the unctuous James Lipton (he has no tattoos--does anyone care?), this would make a nice holiday gift.

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