Up close and personal with Johnny Depp
Known for his diverse characters which are delivered so impeccably, Johnny Depp is by far one of the most versatile and talented actors of this era He...
Known for his diverse characters which are delivered so impeccably, Johnny Depp is by far one of the most versatile and talented actors of this era. He has always blown us away with his iconic characters of Edward Scissorhands, Captain Jack Sparrow, Joseph Pistone, Mad Hatter and many more.
In conversation about his recently released, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, which will air on October 14 on Star Movies Select HD, Johnny Depp talks about his character of Edward Ratchett, why working for this movie was such a great experience and why Judi Dench is his one true love.
Excerpts from an interview
You play the role of an unscrupulous business, Edward Ratchett. Could you tell us a bit more about the character?
Well, he is not the kind of guy you want to spend a lot of time with. He’ll find a way to ruin you if he can. He is probably the ultimate borderline personality disordered gangster, opportunist, menace, psychopath. Yeah, he is a fascinating character.
‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is one of Agatha Christie’s most acclaimed books of all times. What was your experience on working on bringing this classic to life?
This kind of stuff, I think, translates to cinema so beautifully because really ultimately the job is done for you visually by Agatha Christie. The character work is pretty much done. Everything translates so well because the detail with which she approached her books and these character observations is astonishing. If you think about it, it would be very interesting to get to know the process that she went through as she was writing it. I’ll have to read a book about her to find that out (smiles).
The film boasts of a very impressive cast. What was it working with the likes of Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench?
Kenneth so beautifully constructed the film. He really is a force to be reckoned with; a genius. Ken plays the character how you would expect Kenneth Branagh to play a character- which is not to expect what you think you should expect. He is going to go somewhere else and he did. Even the moustache, my god, what a moustache. It is like a double moustache but it is so genius. He could have done a classic Poirot moustache but he did not and I applauded that immediately. Whereas, Judi Dench, she is my one true love; she levitates. I die in the eyes of Judi Dench. I worship Judi Dench and have done for a long time. I had the opportunity to meet her and work with her for ‘Chocolat’ many years ago. With her work in the theatre and everything; she is impeccable. She is the real thing. It’s an honour to be in the same proximity as someone as filled with gifts and talents. She is stardust.
What was your shooting experience like? How was it different from shooting for other movies?
It was one of the calmest, organized and kind of ready for anything sets that I have ever been on. It all comes down from him (Kenneth) and he is such a gentleman to everyone and I think it comes to him from the fact that he considers everybody there as an artist, from the key group to the deli group to the crafts services, everybody is an artist. Hence, the set itself is so open yet closed and intimate when necessary. He asks people to be and I think that’s one of the best things is that he allows people to be, allows them to do their job to the best of their ability and that does everything in terms of having a set that is conducive to creative sparring, searching, wrenching out something absurd. So you basically have the opportunity to try anything. As far as the sets are concerned, I have been on the Orient Express before and it is almost exact, it’s pretty much exact. It still has that class, that elegance- that was quite something.
Why do you think audiences would like this film?
First of all, every frame of the movie is gorgeous. It is beautifully shot and there is never an opportunity for a boring moment in this thing. I think it is a very clever film. I think it has everything the viewer wants. I think a film like this. It really does. It is time travel in one hand; you’re back in this other era where things were very different. Yet you’ve got stellar performances, you’ve got some of the greatest actors who have ever lived certainly and a filmmaker who has taken Agatha Christie’s work to a level that is beyond.
- Sourced exclusively for The Hans India