Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

My new friend Johnny Depp

To the press conference for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. There was a more than usually violent mill at the entrance to the press bash for the latest entry in the bum-achingly tedious Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. …

Sat, May 14, 2011, 22:18

   

To the press conference for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. There was a more than usually violent mill at the entrance to the press bash for the latest entry in the bum-achingly tedious Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While I was at the front of the crush, some grey suited oik actually asked me to stop pushing. I’ve never “pushed” in my life. What he should have said was: “Stop allowing yourself to be swept forward by the surging wave of impatient Spaniards and elbow-happy Italians.”

At any rate, the press conference was pretty much as you might expect. Everybody said everybody else was wonderful. Jerry “tiny beard” Bruckheimer was so dull that planes fell from the sky during his droning answers. To be fair, Depp — as always — came across as a bit of a charmer. One odd thing. This is the second time I have encountered him in France — where he spends much time with his Frenchie wife — and, when doing press in that territory, he seems to involuntarily adopt a slight Gallic accent. Quite disconcerting.

Unsurprisingly, nobody asked him why, with all the great scripts that must come through his door, he continues to appear in these tedious, overblown epics. I did manage to ask the great Ian McShane a question (with Cruz and Depp at the table, nobody else was going to). He was as gravelly and wearily amusing as you might expect.