TRANSCRIPT OF JOHNNY'S "TONIGHT SHOW" INTERVIEW WITH JAY LENO, 6/27/03
(Johnny takes the stage in all his sartorial splendor - see Vicki's screen captures on the Home Page.)
Jay Leno: (Laughing) I wanna know …. How did you get past security? (Pantomimes holding a phone to his ear.) "Jay! Jay! There's a homeless guy out here, yeah, a homeless guy trying to get in!" "No, that's Johnny! I know, let him through." I'm glad success has not gone to your head, man. How are you? You're lookin' good! How are you?
Johnny Depp: Things are good.
JL: It's good to see you … now I'm looking now … you still have the gold teeth from the movie.
JD: Yeah, I do, yeah.
JL: Are those for real, or, are those … you got them for the movie, right?
JD: Yeah, they're gold caps bonded on my teeth.
JL: OK. So, I mean, the movie ended a while ago …
JD: Yeah, six months ago, roughly, yeah …
JL: So you still have them ……. because ………
JD: Because when we finished shooting I got on the plane with the family for France and then suddenly realized I was 5000 miles away from the guy who can take them off.
JL: Oh, the dentist.
JL: But do you like them? Because they look cool …
JD: I don't really notice them, you know.
JL: Well, YOU don't notice them because they're in your mouth!
JD: See? That's the advantage.
JL: It's like living in a house painted pink. Hey, I'm in the inside! Whose idea was this? Was this the character, did the writer decide you gotta have gold teeth?
JD: No, I kinda figured the guy would have gold teeth.
JL: OK. So this was your idea?
JL: So how does this work? Do you show up one day with gold teeth and say to the director, "Hey, I wanna have gold teeth," or how does that work?
JD: No, I just pretty much just showed up with gold teeth.
JL: So there's nothing you can do, if you have gold teeth.
JD: I actually had a couple more and then took them off for political reasons within the company.
JL: Now what would the political reasons be that you got rid of some of the gold teeth?
JD: Well, what I did was, I went to the dentist and I got the teeth put on and then said, you know what? Give me a couple more, because I had a sneaky suspicion that the directors would freak out over them, so then I'd have something to barter with.
JL: I see. So you would drop like three of them?
JD: I would take … dropped two. I'll take two out - there's my compromise.
JL: That makes sense.
JD: It works, yeah.
JL: What was their fear? That you would look more like a pimp than a pirate?
JD: I think …
JL: Because you know, they both go "Yo Ho!" (Drum roll, and audience laughter.)
JD: (Laughing and applauding) Well done!
JL: I mean, was that their fear? Cuz I always think of pirates as "Aye matey" and gold teeth … so it seems like it would make sense.
JD: Yeah, I just think that it was a combination of all the things sort of sticking out of my hair: Bones, beads, teeth and dirt.
JL: And you just had a birthday, right? This month?
JD: Yeah, I did.
JL: The Big 4-0?
JL: Now, how was that, was it alright? A big deal for you?
JD: I felt pretty normal, you know?
JL: I mean, did you expect something to happen?
JD: No, you know, everybody sort of says: 40, 40, 40, and that really happens when you're 30, I think. Soon as you turn 30, you go … ooooo! 40, 40's next. So by the time you reach your late 30's …. You welcome it.
JL: ….. That makes no sense! But yeah, OK! So 40 really happens when you're 30. So you're really 50 now?
JD: In a sense, yeah. I could be 60, you know.
JL: Boy, time flies!
JD: It really does.
JL: So are you still living in France?
JD: Yes, yeah.
JL: OK. Now how is that, cuz you know, I like everything about France except the French. But I do, you know, I love French …
JD: You might have a difficult time there.
JL: But, no, I like French automobiles, I like French design, I love French art, but when I go there, it just seems so … difficult. I mean, I don't speak French - but I try.
JD: So then, do you prefer Freedom Fries to French Fries?
JL: No, no, I like French Fries … but is that an issue over there, like, as in America, do you find you would go places, people would maybe treat you differently? When there was this animosity between the two countries, or is it not a big deal over there?
JD: No, it's not a big deal over there at all.
JL: So it's more in America …
JD: It's more in the press, really, yes.
JL: More in the press, yeah?
JD: More in the press, yeah.
JL: Now do you live … are you right in Paris? Do you have an apartment right at the top of the Eiffel Tower? Where are you exactly?
JD: Yeah, right at the top.
JL: WOW! That's very good!
JD: You know that little light that blinks? Red? That's me.
JL: That's your job?
JD: That's my teeth.
JL: (Laughing) Pain in the ass to get stuck in that elevator all day.
JD: Yeah, it really is.
JL: Are you in the city … in the country?
JD: No, in the country, in the South more.
JL: OK. The country is nice, I like it out there … I'm not a city guy.
JD: Oh yeah, it's wonderful.
JL: How is your French? Do you speak French fairly well?
JD: I'm still kinda shy with it. You know, I mean I can understand, I'd say … about 97% of it.
JL: 97%???!!! Because I can't understand 97% of English, so that's pretty good.
JD: Well, I think, you know, they'd have a very difficult time insulting me without me knowing about it … in the language.
JL: Well, I don't speak any French, and I know when they're insulting me!
JD: But you just said you hate them.
JL: No, no, I don't hate them, it just seems, like, difficult … they don't seem to want to … but maybe that's just cuz you're in Paris, the city. I mean, you go, "Excuse me, I didn't order that … oh." You know, like they bring me a quail head on a Trisket and I ordered something else, and I go, "Hey, this isn't what I ordered," you know what I mean, that French food. Have you had that, that quail head on a Trisket?
JD: Oh, yeah, every morning.
JL: Really? OK, we'll take a break for a moment, Johnny, right after this.
JL: Alright, welcome back, we're talking with Johnny Depp and the movie is Pirates of the Caribbean. Now, how are the kids, how old are the kids now?
JD: My daughter is 4 and my boy is 1.
JL: Oh? OK. That's cool. Now do they speak French or English?
JD: My boys speaks …. caveman at the moment. Primitive. "Uggghhh."
JL: Really, that's good, you know. The ancient languages are always .. they're the basis of all languages.
JD: I'm trying to learn it.
JL: Now what are they like, your kids, I mean … Do you see …
JL: Yeah, yeah.
JD: Oh yeah, severe, yeah … radical. 4-year-old girl: Princess, elegant, delicate .. that whole sort of … girly-girl thing and my boy is like this …. warrior.
JL: Warrior? At 1? You don't see many warriors at 1!
JD: He's a warrior.
JL: Wow, OK.
JD: He kinda looks at the walls, screams at it … rrrrrroar … then runs for it … hits it …. falls down … gets back up … same thing over and over again.
JL: So what you're saying, he's not able to learn by his experiences.
JD: Yeah. He's stubborn.
JL: So the girl does the whole doll thing? You play with her, with the dolls and all?
JD: Oh yeah. I play Barbies all the time.
JL: You play Barbies all the time? We were just talking about that with our two, talking about undressing the Barbies. Do you ever undress the Barbie doll?
JD: No, I fear him. Took him too long to admit it.
JL: (Brings out Barbie dolls in costume) You see, I had some Barbie dolls made for your kids. See, these are Barbies we turned into pirates for your kids. This is kind of a …
JD: That's impressive.
JL: It's either this or it's a gay pirate. I don't know what this is … cuz I know your kids … you see, this is Barbie .. we dyed her hair and this like is nice and this is the slutty pirate. I guess this would be a wench.
JD: You didn't do this yourself?
JL: I did this myself, yes I did, yes I did. Hours. Hours. But your kids are coming, that's why I gave them. Do you have a favorite Barbie, like the stewardess … hooker Barbie …?
JD: No, no. I like them all. I like all the Barbies, they're all nice.
JL: Now tell the folks about the character you play in the movie. I really did enjoy this. I have to admit, you know, I kinda thought … Disney … pirates …. What's this gonna be? But it's a real story and it's really good. Tell people who you play.
JD: I play a character named Captain Jack Sparrow … yeah … who's probably a cross between Keith Richards and Pepe LePew.
JL: Yeah, that's it, right there! Right there. I don't think of a pirate as being between Keith Richards and Pepe LePew. But I heard that, and once I saw the movie, I went, "Oh, I can see that." Have you ever met Keith?
JD: Yeah, yeah.
JL: He's an interesting guy, isn't he?
JD: He's a terrific guy.
JL: Yeah, because I met him once in a restaurant. I always to these Keith strung out jokes every night, how he comes out with "Ah wah ha how ays." He's actually very cool.
JD: Oh, he's sweet, sweet as can be, really funny guy.
JL: And this is kind of a comedy part. I mean, there's some laughs in it.
JD: I hope so. I hope so.
JL: I mean, you get some good laughs in the film. And let me ask you about the eye … because your costume … you have like heavy eye makeup and kinda like things in your hair … it's different. Was this your idea again, or was this … the …
JD: Yeah, no that was, yeah … I'll take the blame for it.
JL: Yeah, I mean, had you seen a pirate in the gay pride parade, or something like that, because he looks like a cross between a couple of different elements, a couple of different elements happening.
JD: (Rolling) You caught ! (Audience roars.) What can I say, yeah, you caught me.
JL: OK> Were you ever a pirate as a kid, was that one of your fantasy things? Did you …
JD: Oh yeah, yeah, I was obsessed with pirates.
JL: SO this is sort of a grow up and you become a pirate thing?
JD: Yeah, I used to have the record "Blackbeard's Ghost" when I was a little kid, and it's all the dialogue in the film. And I used to listen to it over and over and over again … which slightly worried my parents, I guess.
JL: Did you ever go on the Pirate of the Caribbean ride?
JL: Because there are elements of the ride in the movie which really make people laugh, it gets a good laugh, that's very funny, with the dog … I don't want to give anything away. Let's show people a clip. What is this setup? It's kinda dark ... I'm not sure what scene this is … Do you know what scene this is?
JD: It looks like racehorses to me …
JL: Alright, let's see. Here's the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curst of the Black Pearl, which makes me think there's going to be another one, cuz it sounds like it. Would you like to do another one?
JD: That would be fine.
JL: Did you enjoy doing the character?
JD: I loved playing the character.
JL: Yeah, it's great. Let's take a look. Here it is, Pirates of the Caribbean.
JL: Listen, uh. I know you have to go, but even in France, I'm sure they've heard about our legendary wiener dog races - have you ever seen one?
JD: No, I've never seen one.
JL: Would you like to see a wiener dog race? Is this something I could convince you to stay and watch?
JL: Awright! That's what I wanted. Be right back with wiener dogs right after this!
The wiener dog races are held after the break, and Johnny is seated off-camera in a director's chair. Jay urges the participants to put on a good race, because "Johnny came all the way from France to watch this." The camera cuts to Johnny sitting in the shadows laughing. After the dogs are introduced and the race is about to begin, Jay asks Johnny "Johnny, you wanna pull the cord here?" (to open the boxes.) Johnny replies, "Yeah," and crosses the stage holding a folder of papers while the audience applauds. Jay directs him, "Pull it up on a count of three." When the 5-second race concludes, "Pretzel" is declared the winner, and Jay asks Johnny, "Aren't you glad you stayed?" Johnny chuckles and pets the winner. Jay closes by shaking hands and saying, "Johnny, thanks for staying buddy. Great job on the film."