Oh no he did not! I can’t believe he said that! Are you freaking kidding me? No. Way. What a snob. What?! WHAT?! I’m officially mad at you now, Johnny Depp.
Those were just some of my thoughts when I read the following excerpts from an article on Depp from the British magazine The Guardian. Emphasis added by me, douchiness added by Depp:
Early US box office returns suggest The Rum Diary may not break even – but he says he couldn’t care less about the money. “No, God no, no. It’s always a crap shoot, and really if you have that in your head while you’re making a movie the process would become something very different. No, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse really, not really.”
The publicity blitz in the past week might make cynics suggest otherwise. But the film is Depp’s homage to Thompson, who died in 2005, and also the first release by Depp’s own production company, which would account for his uncharacteristically energetic media campaign. “I believe that this film, regardless of what it makes in, you know, Wichita, Kansas, this week – which is probably about $13 – it doesn’t make any difference. I believe that this film will have a shelf life. I think it will stick around and people will watch it and enjoy it.” Does he suspect it will go down better in Europe than the US?
“Most definitely. It’s something that will be more appreciated over here, I think. Cos it’s – well, I think it’s an intelligent film.” He leaves a meaningful pause. “And a lot of times, outside the big cities in the States, they don’t want that.”
Yeah, we hicks is too stoopid tu ‘preciate nething ‘cept some nice big Michael Bay explosions! Speaking as someone who lives in Kansas, who grew up outside the big cities, and as someone who regularly analyzes every one of the numerous movies I watch, and, yes, enjoys intelligent films, I find Depp’s statements to be highly ignorant and offensive.
Let’s start with ignorant. First he picks out Wichita, Kansas as an example of a place where he expects his movie to do very poorly, so poorly he can make a sarcastic comment about it. Then, he explains why he doesn’t care by reasoning that outside of the big cities, people are too dumb to appreciate “intelligent” films. Dear Mr. Depp, were you aware that Wichita is the largest city in the state of Kansas? So, when you say “outside the big cities,” do you really pretty much mean not New York? Or do you know nothing of Midwestern geography and assume that the entire state of Kansas is full of Auntie Ems, Dorothys and Totos running around in black and white?
Secondly, what a simplistic and ridiculous theory to say that people in cities appreciate “intelligent” films and rural folk do not. Surely you can’t really believe that living in a metropolitan zip code actually makes one smarter? Don’t you think that maybe the reason films that don’t appeal to broad audiences fare better in more densely populated areas is because there are just more people? The ratio of people who like a particular film versus people who don’t can’t be that different from region to region, but if 5% of the people like it that might only be 200 people in a town of 4000, compared to 15,000 in a town of 300,000. That doesn’t mean people in the bigger town are smarter or more artistically appreciative. It just means the bigger town is bigger.
And you know what else, this is all in reference to his newest movie, The Rum Diary. I’ve seen said movie. Watched it in a theater in Kansas, and there was a decent crowd there. Several of them appeared to enjoy it. I personally did not. And not for one minute did I think of classifying it as an “intelligent” movie. It just wasn’t very good. The reporter of this Guardian article agrees with me, too.
The film is based on an unpublished novel Depp found in Thompson’s basement in the 90s. Heavily autobiographical, it tells the story of a hard-drinking young reporter called Paul Kemp who goes to work for a paper in Puerto Rico in 1960, and becomes outraged by the corruption and devastation wreaked by American capitalism’s arrival on the island. It turns into a tale of heroic journalistic integrity – but not, in truth, a good film.
Almost the entire article is annoying to me, the way the reporter keeps gushing over Depp while the actor keeps making statements that make him sound like another out-of-touch, whiny-about-the-price-of-fame celebrity. Which is why this line may have made me laugh the hardest:
Depp comes across as thoughtful, friendly and good fun.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry Mr. Depp, but to the people in Kansas, you come across as thoughtless, mean and ill-tempered. But what do we know. Most of us live outside the big cities.