Legendary American actor Johnny Depp, who was in the Russian capital for the just-concluded Moscow International Film Festival, expressed a keen interest in the country’s history and literature.
Depp, who was accompanied by the film crew of ‘The Lone Ranger,’ including co-star Armie Hammer, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, is not new to Moscow. He visited the city two years ago on his ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ tour together with co-actor Penelope Cruz.
“Russia has a serious history. My favourite writers and poets are Russian. So there are some places in Russia I would like to have a look at but I never have enough time since I come here with a crew, and they are always dragging me around on some important business,” Depp said at a news conference.
The Lone Ranger Official Trailer. Source: YouTube
The actor would like to visit sites associated with his favourite authors: Fyodor Dostoevsky and, strange as it may seem, poet of the October Revolution Vladimir Mayakovsky. To top it all, the controversial advisor to the last Russian Czar’s family, Grigori Rasputin is his favourite historical character. Depp would gladly accept the part of the man believed to be a mystic.
“Rasputin is certainly a very unconventional character, a surprising, curious one. The incredible story of the man's life is so powerful,” Depp said. “I'd also say Raskolnikov, although I do understand that I'm a little too old to play the main character in Crime and Punishment.”
Even so, the 50-year-old Depp, appearing in the Lone Ranger as the native American Tonto, barely looks even 30. “I worked out a lot, had to work with my personal instructor. It was really important for me to portray American Indians in an accurate and appealing way, to show them for what they have always been – fighters”, the actor explained. He had to perform some horse riding stunts and climb up to the top of a train travelling at full speed or climb down underneath it... No wonder they chose the Moscow Railway Museum as the venue for a photocall against the backdrop of old trains and locomotives. “I'd really love to travel across Russia by rail,” Depp said, adding jokingly: “Just not on the rooftop, as in the movie.”
At the museum, Depp posed for a photo-call with his charming co-star Armie Hammer, who performed the part of John Reed. It turned out that the up-and-coming 26-year-old star had a close connection to Russia: his great-grandmother on his father's side was Russian actress Olga Vadina, nee von Rut, a daughter of Imperial Army General Vadim von Rut. His great-grandfather, in turn, was the famous millionaire of Ukrainian origin, from Odessa, Armand Hammer, respected by all Soviet leaders, from Lenin to Gorbachev.
The two actors told RIR that the Lone Ranger had left them with a positive impression. “It was really fantastic that we were granted permission to visit America's most mysterious places, where no one had been allowed to come, let alone shoot, for years. Native Americans were invariably welcoming and supportive wherever we went”, Hammer said. He also mentioned a funny incident, when he accidentally fell into a cactus coming out of a bathroom and it took him a month to pull out all the cactus needles. “Don't worry, though, he did not fall forward, he fell backwards, so in that sense he was not injured,” Depp added laughingly.
Depp also recalled how he had to let scorpions crawl across his face in one scene. “They don't scare me at all. I tried putting one in my mouth, but it did not like that, so I had to let go. Clowns and mimes are what really scare me.”
As they headed for the Rossiya Concert Hall for the Lone Ranger premiere, fans were chanting hysterically “Johnny Depp! Johnny Depp!”. His bodyguard literally held him in his arms for fear the actor might be torn apart by the crowd. Some of the fans, however, even managed to get his autograph.
After the premiere, Depp met with his new girlfriend, Amber Heard, for dinner at a top notch Moscow restaurant. They first became romantically involved when they were shooting ‘Rum Diary,’ based on a novel by iconic author Hunter Tompson.
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