None other than Johnny Depp stars as Donald Trump in a mock-documentary created by Funny or Die, and Depp, of course, totally nails it. The 50-minute video is titled Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie and is based on The Art of the Deal. So what was it like for the people he worked with to shoot a film with Johnny Depp? You would think it could be intimidating and could make them nervous. But no, according to the Daily Beast, it was more of a surreal experience than a star-struck one, because Depp was unrecognizable, fully transformed into The Donald.
Director Jeremy Konner, who co-created Drunk History, said, “He got into hair and makeup and he was in there for two to four hours… And I wouldn’t even really see him until he came out of hair and makeup. So there was this very weird disconnect where I felt like I was never actually working with Johnny Depp, which made it a lot easier to work with Johnny Depp.”
Funny or Die editor-in-chief Owen Burke had this to say about Johnny’s talent.
“He’s a chameleon, he’s a fantastic mimic, but more than that, he’s just a tremendous performer and a skilled actor… Whenever he does a role, he brings to it what only Johnny Depp can bring to it.”
Burke approached Depp about the project last fall, telling him that in the 1980s Trump wrote, directed, and starred in a movie about his Real Deal book. Depp was surprised and then Burke proceeded to tell him that wasn’t true, it was a lie, but that it was the premise for the movie and that they wanted him to star in it. Then it was his turn to be surprised when Depp said yes.
— Variety (@Variety) February 11, 2016
Johnny Depp was a good sport about the shoot, which was done quickly. Burke and his team thought that at any moment Trump’s time at the top of the political news would come to an end, and they wanted to get it out while it lasted. When they realized it wasn’t ending anytime soon, they timed it to come out when he won the New Hampshire primary and released it Wednesday morning.
Starring with Johnny in the role of his wife Ivana is Michaela Watkins of Saturday Night Live. Narrating is Ron Howard, who starts the movie by telling viewers that it was created by Trump in the 80s. He goes on to explain that the night it was set to air a football game went into overtime and that Trump became angry and pulled it at the last minute.
The New York Times cites Burke as describing Johnny Depp’s performance as “absolutely bananas.”
“Because we tend to move so fast, we’re usually just slapping wigs on people. But Johnny brought, like, a whole team of professionals to help him get into character. Or at least style his hair.”
The Funny or Die team that created this Johnny Depp film also includes co-founder Adam McKay, who directed The Big Short, Will Farrell, and Judd Apatow. They produced another film titled Mexican Donald Trump in September. That one didn’t star Depp. It starred George Lopez as Donaldo Trumpez, who is pushing his idea to build a wall to “keep the lazy Americans out.”
The Depp film also pokes fun at Trump’s perceived racist comments. In the film, Depp’s Trump is teaching the secrets of his book to a young boy who wanders into his office. He uses his bid for the Taj Mahal as an example of his skills. As they’re speaking, he discovers that the boy playing the part is Latino and insists that the part be recast. This process repeats a few times, until he accepts Room’s Jacob Tremblay for the role.
You can view the film on the Funny or Die website.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]