1994: Brando passes mantle to Depp

From the Army Archerd Archive

July 1, 1994

GOOD MORNING: “I’ve never felt as well and never been happier,” Marlon Brando told me between takes of “Don Juan De Marco and the Centerfold.” He greeted me with a bear hug as I arrived on the set of his (psychiatrist) office, where he was assuring patient Johnny Depp that he is indeed “Don Juan.” After watching the young Depp and 70-year-old Brando in a moving scene, director Jeremy Leven noted, “It’s like watching the passing of the mantle” … The sign on Brando’s trailer door reads “Please Enter, Do Not Knock.” He led Depp and me into the normal-sized star’s trailer — nothing out of the ordinary — but Depp, as a joke, had decorated the place with bizarre, giant scarves, which made it look like an “Arabian Nights” house of pleasure … Brando compliments Depp’s acting and the young thesp thanks Brando for his invaluable help. “How do you follow working with Marlon Brando?” Depp asks. Marlon believes Depp should have the opportunity to study at RADA to further his abilities. Brando deplores the fact that actors in the U.S. do not have the same opportunities English thesps have — to work regularly in small stage roles — especially in Shakespeare. (And on July 23, 1995, I wrote: “The location looked like the Directors Guild of America,” said director John Badham of his Bonaventure Hotel site for Par’s “Nick of Time.” Howcum? “Almost every day another director came on the set trying to woo Johnny Depp for his next picture!” And with good reason. Badham said Depp “is the most honest actor I’ve met in a long time. He has a sense of truth, of reality that imbues the moment in which he is appearing. In ‘Don Juan’ Depp made you believe the almost-preposterous role he was playing.”) Fade in 2006: Johnny Depp is making moviegoers believe he is the almost-preposterous Jack Sparrow.

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