EGO NOT SO DEPP FOR ART

Johnny Depp hopes to reprise his role as the overly aris­to­cratic Charlie Mort­de­cai if any more books on the character make it to film

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - LIAM FITZGIB­BON

He is one of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest stars but Johnny Depp has the small­est ego in the business, says his Mort­de­cai costar Paul Bet­tany.

Depp and Bet­tany team up for the third time as an act­ing duo in the film about an op­por­tunis­tic art dealer caught up in a race to re­cover a stolen paint­ing.

“Frankly, a lot of ac­tors that you work with are try­ing to beat you,” Bet­tany says.

“It’s not meant to be a com­pet­i­tive sport or any­thing but you find your­self in that bat­tle some­times.

“But with Johnny, there’s none of that, there’s only try­ing to make a scene bet­ter with ab­so­lutely no ego at­tached to it.

“There’s no ac­tor in the world I can think of that I would ever sug­gest some­thing to. But you can throw up an idea and Johnny’s al­ways there to catch it.”

The David Koepp-di­rected ac­tion com­edy film is based on Kyril Bon­figli­oli’s tril­ogy of nov­els, first pub­lished in the 1970s.

The pair pre­vi­ously worked to­gether on The Tourist and Tran­scen­dence and English­man Bet­tany is con­vinced there is no­body bet­ter to work with.

The feel­ing is mu­tual, ac­cord­ing to Mort­de­cai co­pro­ducer Depp, who hand­picked Bet­tany.

“He has an in­cred­i­bly bizarre sense of hu­mour and was in­cred­i­bly funny and no one had ever used him with hu­mour in cin­ema,” Depp says of his co-star.

The overly aris­to­cratic Charlie Mort­de­cai is played by Depp while his wife Jo­hanna is played by Gwyneth Pal­trow.

Bet­tany plays Jock Strapp, Charlie’s stone-faced but loyal se­cu­rity guard and an un­likely ladies’ man.

Also star­ring Ewan McGregor, Jeff Gold­blum and Olivia Munn, the film is fast­paced and vis­ually stylish.

While some of the jokes fall flat, Depp and Bet­tany in­sist that was not the case on set where “too much fun” was had.

“We laughed from dawn till dusk and laughed un­til the elec­tri­cians pulled the plugs on us at the end of the evening and kicked us out,” said Bet­tany, who acted op­po­site Rus­sell Crowe in A Beau­ti­ful Mind and Master and Com­man­der: The Far Side of the World.

“Usu­ally you’re sort of des­per­ate for a film to be over when you get to the end of it but I was very sad when we wrapped on this movie.

“It was de­li­cious and I think you can see it in the film.

“It’s dis­gust­ing that we ac­tu­ally got paid to do this thing.”

Depp has long adored the Mort­de­cai books and played an ac­tive role in re­viv­ing the story as co-pro­ducer.

He says Charlie has joined the group of oddball char­ac­ters who will al­ways live inside him – along with the likes of Cap­tain Jack Spar­row – and he badly wants to reprise the role.

“If we had the op­tion to do a ( Mort­de­cai) se­quel or even the op­por­tu­nity to do a tele­vi­sion se­ries, I would do it in a sec­ond,” Depp, 51, says.

Hol­ly­wood star Johnny Depp ap­pears in the ti­tle role in the David Koepp-di­rected ac­tion com­edy

Mort­de­cai.

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