Interview Magazine listens in while Johnny Depp and Iggy Pop reminisce over the phone.
Depp first met Iggy Pop in the early 80s when Depp’s band, The Kids, got a chance to open for Iggy. After meeting again on the set of Cry Baby, they’ve been friends ever since.
Last February Depp interviewed with Iggy, although as you might expect from the cool-cat likes of Depp and Pop, there was no formal structure to the interview. Reading Johnny Depp’s interview was more like peeking at the stars’ phone transcripts. The free-flowing conversation zigzags in multiple directions and much like Depp’s choice of movie roles, has you guessing what’s coming next.
In parts of the interview, it’s easy to forget who is interviewing who as Depp questions Iggy on whether he will collaberate again with David Bowie. Iggy, Bowie, and Tony Visconti worked together on Iggy’s first solo album entitled The Idiot, inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel by the same name. Depp asks Iggy –
“Here’s a question for you. The work you and [David] Bowie did that resulted in The Idiot —have you guys ever thought about trying something together again?” Iggy responded that nothing is ever out of the question.
Johnny Depp wasn’t born into the good life. He was born in Kentucky and says he still had a southern accent at the age of seven when his family moved to Miramar, Florida.
“I still had my Southern accent, and down there you got to experience a melting pot in full fury. All the kids I hung out with were, like, Sicilian kids from Jersey and New York. There were also the Cuban families, and those with a redneck-y vibe, so it was a bit of everything.”
Depp’s family spent almost a year in a motel. He hated his new home, and at age 12 began smoking and experimenting with drugs. At age 15, Depp’s parents got divorced. The stress eventually led him to self-harm, bodily injuries that he referred to in a 1993 interview as his body’s journal.
Depp worked jobs selling pens at one point. He tells Interview Magazine, “You promise them all these things if they buy a gross of pens. It was just awful. But I actually think that was the first experience I had with acting.” On his first pen sale, he talked the customer out of buying. Depp felt guilty about the ridiculous promises he had made to the customer, one of which was a trip to Tahiti.
At another job, with no experience or training, he was thrown into the position of mechanic. That didn’t work out as he explains, “I changed all the tires on this guy’s car, did the alignment, put the f*cking wheels back on, pulled it down, guy got in, and his left rear wheel shot off the f*cking vehicle.”
Johnny Depp had a career path change when his girlfriend introduced him to actor Nicholas Cage, who in turn introduced him to an agent. The rest, as they say, is history.
Depp hasn’t allowed himself to be pigeon-holed into one particular character type. Maybe it was life’s unexpected hardships when he was younger, or maybe it was his influences by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Tim Burton, and Iggy Pop that caused Depp to crave diversified roles and leave the safety net behind.
“I love the idea of changing my look. I think one owes it to the audience, to go out there and give them something different each time, so as not to bore them to death. And I always felt that if you’re not trying something different each time out of the gate, you’re being safe, and you don’t ever want to find that place of safety.”
You can see Johnny Depp in his newest film Transcendence on April 8, 2014.
Image courtesy of Flickr.