Johnny Depp is Vanity Fair’s Jan. cover boy, compares Angelina to Elizabeth Taylor

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Johnny Depp is Vanity Fair’s January cover boy – all to promote The Tourist, which opens in a few weeks. I was slightly surprised to see Depp cover VF again – it feels like he just had a cover… but I guess that was last year? Yeah. So the photo shoot is by Annie Leibovitz and the interview is conducted by Patti Smith. Depp talks about everything, really – he covers working with Angelina (including a comparison to Elizabeth Taylor!), to Captain Jack being gay, to feeling like he should have been born in a different era. Here are VF’s excerpts:

“Meeting her and getting to know her was a real pleasant surprise,” Johnny Depp tells rock legend Patti Smith, writing for Vanity Fair, of working with Angelina Jolie on their upcoming film, The Tourist. “You don’t know what she might be like—if she has any sense of humor at all. I was so pleased to find that she is incredibly normal, and has a wonderfully kind of dark, perverse sense of humor.”

Depp tells Smith of the challenges he and his co-star faced with constant media scrutiny on set. “Poor thing, dogged by paparazzi, her and her husband, Brad…all their kids,” Depp says of Angelina and her famous brood. “There are times when you see how ridiculous is this life, how ludicrous it is, you know, leaving your house every morning and being followed by paparazzi.”

Depp tells Smith about the difficulties that arose while filming together—having to be discreet to avoid unwarranted speculation—which included “having to hide, sometimes not even being able to talk to each other in public because someone will take a photograph and it will be misconstrued and turned into some other sh-t.”

Depp compares Angelina to another famous leading lady. “I’ve had the honor and the pleasure and gift of having known Elizabeth Taylor for a number of years,” he says. “You know, you sit down with her, she slings hash, she sits there and cusses like a sailor, and she’s hilarious. Angie’s got the same kind of thing, you know, the same approach.”

On the set of the upcoming installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Smith asks Depp what it’s like to play the iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. “Somebody once asked [Hunter S. Thompson], “What is the sound of one hand clapping, Hunter?,” and he smacked him. Captain Jack was kind of like that for me, an opening up of this part of yourself,” Depp says. “There is a little Bugs Bunny in all of us.”

“They couldn’t stand him. They just couldn’t stand him,” Depp says of Disney’s reaction to his controversial interpretation of Sparrow. “I think it was Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time, who was quoted as saying, ‘He’s ruining the movie.’ Depp reveals to Smith, however, that he remained unfazed by the studio’s hysteria. “Upper-echelon Disney-ites, going, What’s wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?… And so I actually told this woman who was the Disney-ite… ‘But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?’ Which really made her nervous.”

Depp tells Smith why his role of a mathematician in The Tourist appealed to him: “I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of all.”

Of the complications of having played so many eccentric roles in his career, he says, “They’re all still there, which on some level can’t be the healthiest thing in the world…. I always picture it as this chest of drawers in your body—Ed Wood is in one, the Hatter is in another, Scissorhands is in another…. They’re still very close to the surface.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Depp talks to Smith about their shared fondness for the Monkees’ 60s pop hit “Daydream Believer”; the music career he almost had (“Going into acting was an odd deviation from a particular road that I was on in my late teens, early 20s, because I had no desire, no interest, really, in it at all. I was a musician and I was a guitarist, and that’s what I wanted to do”); being born in the wrong time (“I really believe that, at a certain point, if you’re born in ’60-something or whatever, you got ripped off—you know what I mean? I always felt like I was meant to have been born in another era, another time”); and what he’d still like to accomplish: “[Marlon Brando said,] Why don’t you just take a year and go and study Shakespeare, or go and study Hamlet. Go and work on Hamlet and play that part. Play that part before you’re too old…. So what he was trying to tell me was: play that f-cking part, man. Play that part before you’re too long in the tooth. Play it. And I would like to. I’d really, really like to.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Sigh… Johnny. Love him. It’s interesting that Johnny acknowledges that he and Angelina had to be wary of being photographed together, just to avoid tabloid craziness. Could there have actually been something to the stories about Vanessa Paradis trying to get Depp to withdraw from the film? Eh… I doubt it.

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VF photos courtesy of VF online (there‘s a gallery of new and old images).

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74 Responses to “Johnny Depp is Vanity Fair’s Jan. cover boy, compares Angelina to Elizabeth Taylor”

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  1. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    Awwwww Depp is freaking cute in these pics. Adorable.

    Love what he said about Angie. I always get the feeling she is just a cool chick and just awesome.

  2. Louwho says:

    He is the sexiest man alive.

  3. Sunshine says:

    He’s getting creepy

  4. nan says:

    haggard and its about time he stops dressing like a 90′s teenager.

  5. Praise St. Angie! says:

    whew…the bloat is gone and the hotness is back.

    I’ve heard that about Taylor before…it’s always awesome when you have an image of someone (not necessarily negative) and they totally blow that out of the water when you meet them.

    One of the bf’s cousins is like that – she’s a prim and proper little thing, who always dresses in Talbot’s type wear. you’d think she was a school-marm type, but she is so hilariously bawdy.

  6. Hollowdoll says:

    He’s still got it! UNF UNF UNF!!
    Daydream Believer my fave karaoke song.
    “But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?’ Which really made her nervous” Love his sense of humor!

  7. Sara says:

    Still my favorite, loved him since 21 Jump Street!!!!

  8. Samigirl says:

    Great father? Check!
    Great actor? Check!
    Funny? Absolutely!
    This guy can do no wrong.
    Love him!

  9. samihami says:

    No way, Nan. Some people should never change. Johnny is definitely one of them. Stephen Tyler is another.

  10. RHONYC says:

    “I’ve had the honor and the pleasure and gift of having known Elizabeth Taylor for a number of years,” he says. “You know, you sit down with her, she slings hash, she sits there and cusses like a sailor, and she’s hilarious. Angie’s got the same kind of thing, you know, the same approach.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    uh…yeah!

    she’s got same approach to MAN-STEALING as Liz alright!

    down to a science.

    jonny got jokes. :-)

  11. anti says:

    love it!

  12. mslewis says:

    I’ve never been a Johnny Depp fan. Never disliked him, just wasn’t a fan. I’ve seen several of his movies but never particularly liked any of them. However, in every interview he sounds like an interesting person; a person who has actually read books, traveled, met interesting people and has done interesting things. His interviews are never boring. I hope “The Tourist” is really good and I’ll fall in love with Johnny the way one of my best friends loves him. She’s probably drooling as she runs to the bookstore (in the rain) to get her copy of VF!! I may do the same so I can have Johnny and Angelina’s interviews together on my bookshelf. I like the cover photo.

  13. crab says:

    He was also awesome in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!

  14. Cheyenne says:

    Get over it, Rho. The man-stealing bullshit is older than dirt.

  15. Bodhi says:

    HELLOOOO NURSE! Damn, that is a good looking man…

  16. PrettyTarheel says:

    Hmmm…Brad is Angelina’s husband? How did I miss this? Dammit, now I’ve got my hopes up that they got married and it was all super-secret and they didn’t tell a soul…
    Oh, and I love Johnny. Just not as much as the Brange.

  17. mln says:

    I’ve always loved Johnny Depp he is my forever crush I can’t wait to read this interview. I am actually reading Furious Love( the Taylor/Burton bio) right now and there are definitely parallells. I cannot wait to see two of my faves on screen in the Tourist.

  18. serena says:

    OH.GOD.
    He’s so fucking hot. I want to eat him.
    Anyway I love him, as a person, I like the way he is and replies and talk. And what he says is always very smart, he sounds so confident.
    Sigh-
    He actually dared to say to Angie “poor thing”. I’m sure nobody actually dared to say it out loud. He’s so awesome, and he’s right.

  19. Rex says:

    He’s such a joke! – so out of touch with reality!

  20. Cheyenne says:

    Rex: He’s such a joke! – so out of touch with reality!
    =======================================
    In what way?

    Kaiser: “It’s interesting that Johnny acknowledges that he and Angelina had to be wary of being photographed together, just to avoid tabloid craziness. Could there have actually been something to the stories about Vanessa Paradis trying to get Depp to withdraw from the film? Eh… I doubt it.”
    ========================================
    So do I. But imagine if a photo had surfaced of Angie and Depp even greeting each other with a smile on the set. In Touch’s “body language experts” would have been all over it finding “hidden meanings” and predicting that the two of them were going to run off with each other before the end of the week.

  21. Solveig says:

    The funniest part of the interview is the one where he talks about Disney’s reaction on his portrayal of Jack Sparrow. The rest is quite boring, and as a fan of both Johnny Depp and Patti Smith I am disappointed.
    And I’m not loving the pictures, either. :(

  22. Raven Sparrow says:

    This man is so much sexiness !!! I have no words! I just want to spread him on a cracker!

    I can’t believe Vanessa lives with him, laughes with him, shares a bed with him, had kids with him….imagine…

    :D

  23. Roxanne75 says:

    @nan! HAHAHAHAHHA, thank you for pointing out the obvious!

  24. Eve says:

    LOVE HIM! He can do no wrong in my book. And yes, he’s super sexy again — not that I thought he wasn’t sexy while “bloated”.

    P.S.: Also loved what he said about The Jolie.

  25. flourpot says:

    Did he really get a jolly roger tattoo? He can raise my sails anyday.

  26. Stronzilla says:

    At this point I’d be more interested in Elizabeth Taylor’s comments on being compared to Angelina Jolie.

  27. kelBear says:

    I miss the Johnny Depp from What’s eating Gilbert Grape. Great Movie!

  28. spinner says:

    Aye, Johnny…prepare to be boarded!!

    SWOON!!!!!

  29. teri says:

    I really started to pay attention to JD when his young daughter was really sick and close to death in the hospital. My heart just broke for him and Vanessa. Their bond was so tight and from then on I knew nothing could break them apart. This guy really loves Vanessa and his children. Johnny Depp is a great guy and here these mags try to tear him down by spreading lies, just sick. Looking back on your threads about rumors and these trolls tearing Jolie and Depp apart is crazy. They so much wanted to see some drama and cheating.

  30. Javagirl1 says:

    Loved how he messed with Disney about the gay stuff!

  31. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    My God! I can do this pictures!!!

    I love him and love his philosphy on his life. I wish I could look into myself and get it. Damn that man is MY TOTAL PACKAGE>

    I love you Johnny!

  32. junipergreen says:

    ” “Poor thing, dogged by paparazzi, her and her husband, Brad…all their kids,””

    Huh? They aren’t married.

  33. gabs says:

    Vanessa Paradis = Luckiest woman alive

  34. guesty says:

    imma gonna go with vanessa did indeed have reservations about her man filming with that vixen angelina. & that is why johnny looked like a bloated middle aged kinda reserved character.

    too bad he didn’t bring a little of the hotness factor into that film.

  35. Eleonor says:

    He is smockin’ hot.

  36. Aqua says:

    I never get tired of him.He’s very interesting and he has his priorities straight.

  37. Kim says:

    Junipergreen-Johnny has also referred to Vanessa as his wife.Interestingly I rarely see interviewers ask him when they are getting married.

  38. latam says:

    he looks hot!

    i like him, he seems like a cool guy. I know that he has a reputation with being great with fans and as does angelina which I think is a good indicator of how nice someone is.

    I like how he describes her, like she’s shes all funny and mischievous is you get to know her and shes not just sitting in an interview.

  39. citysuede says:

    love that last picture of him sitting in the room….ah, the colors are amazing!

  40. Vanessa says:

    He looks gorgeous, that is how a man with personal style & edge dresses. Brad Pitt should take notes.

    Not convinced him and Angie got on. That’s pretty vague praise for a co-star, it’s just good manners/being professional to be complimentary, no matter how you really feel. Nothing about her talent, beauty, personality etc.

    You’d think they’d have better chemistry onscreen too, but this movie doesn’t convince me at all. Waiting for the DVD me thinks.

  41. latam says:

    nah think they got on, its not a kind of bland, yeh shes nice to work with

    its more the whole cussing like a sailor, shes funny, he called her a “cool broad”, great fun and a walking poem too

  42. Kim says:

    Vanessa -Well he has talked about her beauty and talent in other interviews like the Entertainment Weekly interview and on ET . He called her beautiful, amazing actress and “a walking poem” They both have said many complementary things about each other.As for his style Have you seen him on the RC? Torn Clothes ,greasy hair, dirty boots,etc. Both he and Brad look like a hot mess IMO

  43. latam says:

    red carpet johnny isnt great, but i like his casual style. But yes brad pitt looked like a hot mess yesterday

  44. pebbles says:

    He can do now wrong in my book. A friend of mine had the pleasure of meeting him, and according to her, he was completely unassuming and very down-to-earth. Love.

  45. mln says:

    I think comparing her to the legendary beauty Elizabeth Taylor is akin to giving her a stamp of approval. Its funny how people think Johnny Depp is going to be as judgemental of Angelina as they are. The man dated the lovable klepto Winona Ryder and the party girl Kate Moss. Johnny wrecked hotel rooms and owned the night club where River Phoenix O’Ded. I doubt Angie would be too shocking for his sensibilities.

  46. Ilaria says:

    He’s so hot! He looks very good in these pictures!
    I met him in venezia 2007 and Venezia 2010 and he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen! He’s fantastic cheek bones, hair and deeply dark eyes! I love him so much!

  47. jen says:

    What an insult to Elizabeth Taylor.

  48. mymy says:

    He is trying way to hard. Lose the eyeliner. I mean how old is he? he looks like he is trying to hold on to cool and is losing the battle. Men need to let it go. Nothing sexy about a man who refuses to get older and let go of the past.
    Remember
    JMO

  49. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I think he and Brad are both aging pretty well. Normall, not a fan of a guy wearing eyeliner but I dunno … he’s a smart guy … who does what he wants … and who am I to judge on how he should or shouldn’t dress. We all dress how we want and its personal. He seems like an amazing father and to me that pretty sexy

  50. Vanessa says:

    I don’t hate AJ at all, I just didn’t feel much warmth in his comment. I didn’t read EW or see ET, I live in the UK, so missed any other references to her. I guess he’s been more generous in other interviews, but here, not so much.

    I still am no convinced they got on, I just don’t see any chemistry (romantic or otherwise) in the clips, but maybe I’m wrong.

    And he wasn’t comparing her looks to Elizabeth Taylor, but her bawdy sense of humour. I mean come on, Angie’s beautiful, but not quite in Liz’s league.

  51. Missfit says:

    That’s who he is, what is style has always been for many years, why should he change it for anyone just because “they don’t like it?” People are either going to love him or hate him, just like any other celebrity, regardless what they wear…people will either like it or not, so they can take it or leave it. I like him not only because he is really attractive, but also how eccentric he is and a lot of the roles he’s taken on…especially with Tim Burton…but then he can also take on a “normal” role and pull it off, he can almost play just about any character, just like Angelina Jolie herself. Him and Angelina are meant to be…and not even necessarily as a couple…but they can totally be bffs and just hang out.

  52. Isabel says:

    Wonder what nationality (ies?) he is? Interesting looks I would wonder if he has some native american in there somewherE?

  53. southerncheerleader says:

    Don’t like the DIRTY / SMELLY look on anyone. Gotta pose in dirty looking places – all, just nasty. Grosses me out.

    It’s not pretentious to LOOK CLEAN.

    People all over the world without clean food, clothes & no hygiene products to speak of – yet, he thinks it cool to portray this look. NOT.

    NEVER been a fan. Yuk!

  54. Victoria says:

    what did he do to his eyes…? lady-ish..!

  55. dj says:

    That first picture is delicious! This man is hot because he doesn’t give a crap what anyone else thinks about him (except his partner & his kids). Which makes him twice as sexy. ICON.

  56. Jeri says:

    Still love Johnny. Good to see the bloat appears to have been only for the Tourist. I’ve always been a big fan of his.

  57. lala in nYc says:

    this guy keeps getting hotter! like a fine wine – he’s aging very, very well.

  58. mina says:

    He is wearing eyeliner because he was filming the fourth film of the POTC series when this photoshoot is done.Photographer probably wanted him to show his piratey side,on the cover picture you can see his new skull and bones tattoo clearly.Johnny is the last man to refuse aging,the man has been trying to beat his pretty boy image for years,hiding his face behind weird make-ups etc.About referring to Vanessa as his wife,I don’t think they got married secretly but in his eyes they’re married.His marriage idea isn’t consist of signing papers.They have been together for 12 years and have 2 kids,he has every reason to refer her as his wife.Also this is why he calls Brad as Angie’s husband.

  59. Camille says:

    Great photos and great interview. Love what he had to say about AJ too. :D

  60. carrie says:

    he wears more make-up than Christina Aguilera on this cover

  61. Maritza says:

    @Sunshine – I agree with you!

  62. e-non says:

    i think elizabeth taylor probably loves jolie. she’d likely respect the humanitarian work she does; her commitment to her family. taylor was one of the first to speak out on behalf of aids sufferers — she’s raised millions of dollars and done tremendous outreach in the past. i bet they’d have a blast together.

  63. Cheyenne says:

    @e-non: ITA.

  64. Crash2GO2 says:

    “There is a little Bugs Bunny in all of us.”

    Heehee!

  65. Peachy says:

    Johnny: Aye, Aye my Captain!

    Elizabeth Taylor: Anchors Away!

    Angie: Land, HO!

  66. birdgherl says:

    God, I love him. I think I would drop dead if I was ever in his presense.

  67. Lauren says:

    He’s still got it. I wonder how he and Cruella are going to do in that movie?

  68. kelly says:

    JD always cracks me up with the random, cobbled-together boho act, the kitchen sink references, lame namedropping, ‘naughty’ gestures etc etc. Whatever, dude. I mean, you can’t even really call him louche, which is a sad indictment on someone who slops around France with a geetar strummin ex model, smoking ostentatiously and wearing eyeliner and silly hats. If you really gave a shit about Disney being anti-gay, you wouldn’t have taken their money and promoted their shit like a big dirty whore.
    And is he rehabilitated now, after supporting that rapist mate of his? Remember that? Nice.

    He’s always struck me as a lazy fake-arse who fell into acting on the strength of his looks and now tries to come off like he’s some committed artiste. Please. He and Brad Pitt should get engaged.

  69. Lynda says:

    Don’t like the third pic…makes him a little try-too-hard. And VF can have him on every cover, IMO.
    It’s interesting that wee don’t see his children platered all over the place like St. Jolie etc. Not like he has been in seclusion in a nunnery or sumptin…

  70. fallen says:

    johnny’s a great actor, i was so happy when i found out that 21 jump street was filmed at my old high school

  71. Mota says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the eyeliner is way too much.

    Also, he’s almost fifty … I think his style should evolve with age.

  72. Angie says:

    Good God this man is gorgeous….the last photo is so breath-taking beautiful.
    I always knew Angelina is just this awesome girl, everyone she meets is so intrigued by her!

  73. Trippin says:

    If Johnny likes her than she’s cool. Of course he probably wouldn’t say anything bad about her but I’ll bet they had fun making the movie together.

  74. stacey says:

    Is that a new tattoo the sexiest man alive is wearing on his right bicep?