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Soul Man

April 08, 2001

William Keck's aptly titled article on Johnny Depp ('A Window Into His Soul," April 1) was highly insightful, offering an honest and almost naked glimpse into the mind of a minority in Hollywood: a successful and popular actor who has chosen the path of artistry over-or perhaps in spite of-celebrity.

Depp's keen ability to navigate the razor's edge that separates the dark from the light, in life and in art, has served him well. Right on, Johnny, keep on walkin'.




Years ago, Depp invited me to spend a couple of weeks on location with him in order to discuss a script I'd written and intended to direct.

His attention to detail about a script I spent more than a year writing revealed a level of understanding about both the story and characters that at times outdistanced even my own. He was thoughtful, incisive and quite brilliant on issues of theme, tone and dialogue, and his willingness to seriously consider putting himself in the hands of someone who had never directed a feature film before spoke volumes about the level of trust and faith he was prepared to invest.

Depp's attitude about Hollywood might be casual, but his passion for art and truth are as deep as they are rare. To characterize an actor with his obvious gifts on the basis of the fact that his choices tend to be of the noncommercial variety is actually to pay him the ultimate compliment (although I doubt that was the author's intention).


Los Angeles


It was hard to get through Keck's piece because of all the rudeness and smoke in the air. Depp's arriving almost 90 minutes late for the interview was not "charming," as Keck would have it. And the actor unapologetically waving his cancer stick in Keck's face was shocking.

Then I realized this was the April 1 issue. They were only joking, right?


Granada Hills


Depp described the U.S. as the most "violent," 'gluttonous" place on Earth and said he wouldn't raise his kids here.

Both his accusations are debatable, but if Depp had any depth, maybe he'd stay and use his wealth to help solve these problems. If not, he might include apathy as another undesirable American trait.




Depp is an extraordinary actor, and after reading his interview, I discovered that he is also a complex man of insight and depth.

Depp's outer and inner beauty was obviously a bit too overwhelming for Keck to stomach. He came off sounding petty, mean-spirited and, most of all, extremely envious of Depp's good looks. It's unfortunate that The Times didn't assign a female writer to interview Depp.


Woodland Hills

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