Johnny Depp goes normal - almost
There are at least two things about Japan that Johnny Depp likes—the sweets that fans always give him at Narita airport when he arrives, and toys. “I’m a toy addict. Whenever I am in Tokyo, they have to pull me out of Kiddyland,” said Depp, 47, who has a daughter, Lily Rose, 11, and a son, Jack, 8, with French actress Vanessa Paradis.
Making his 8th visit to Japan since he first came in 1994 for “Dead Man,” Depp said, “It’s such a fascinating culture and I am never disappointed when I come here. I always get a magical reception from Japanese audiences who are very accepting of the various strange things I have done in cinema.”
In his latest film, “The Tourist,” directed by German Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others“), Depp plays Frank, an American trying to mend a broken heart in Venice. He soon attracts the attention of a mysterious woman named Elise (Angelina Jolie), and starts to fall for her. However, she has different plans for him. By Depp’s standards, Frank is almost a normal character. Almost, that is.
“What is normal? Who deems what is normal?“ said Depp, wearing his trademark gray trilby hat (looking a bit worse for wear with a hole in the top), black-rimmed purple shades, bracelets, necklaces and rings, but minus the beard he has had for so long. “I think this character runs between the raindrops of normalcy. Actually, I think I’d freak out if I had to play someone on a very straight level with no hang-ups or obsessions.”
Depp’s character is no ordinary tourist. “Actually, when I hear the word tourist, I think of Americans wearing Bermuda shorts in Paris, ordering a Coke and French fries,” he said. “As for me, I only have one obsession when I travel. I always have one gold coin on me at all times. I’d hate to have to pull out one of my teeth if I got into a jam.”
Depp, who was named the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2009 by American magazine People, said he relished starring alongside Jolie, but joked that the love scenes might get him into trouble at home. “I avoided talking about it. What love scene with Angie What’s-her-name? I deny it all. One day, I’ll pay for it. Actually, I think Angelina is a shockingly great mother and a great actress. She’s got many sides. She’s truly committed, talented, smart, funny and down to earth. I don’t know how she and Brad (Pitt) manage with all their kiddies running around. Everywhere they go, there are paparazzi and she keeps cool. I’d probably be in jail.”
Depp will be back in Japan in May to promote the 4th installment of the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, in which he reprises one of his most famous roles, that of pirate Capt Jack Sparrow. “I wish I could stay longer in Japan,” he rued. “I really want to go to Kyoto and see the traditional side to Japan. If I could do some time traveling, I’d like to go back to 17th-century Japan.”
And with that, he’s off to Kiddyland and “to eat some more of those sweets.”
“The Tourist” opens in Japan on Saturday.