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
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