France, and the whole of Europe have a great culture and an amazing history. Most important thing though is that people there know how to live! In America they've forgotten all about it. I'm afraid that the American culture is a disaster.
There are necessary evils. Money is an important thing in terms of representing freedom in our world. And now I have a daughter to think about. It's really the first time I've thought about the future and what it could be.
If there's any message to my work, it is ultimately that it's OK to be different, that it's good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.
As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too.
[The huge success of Curse of the Black Pearl] made perfect sense to me on the one hand, and at the same time, it made no sense at all, which I kind of enjoyed. Even now, with the dolls and the cereal boxes and snacks and fruit juices, it all just feels fun to me, in a Warholian way. It's absurd. It doesn't get more absurd.
In terms of it being a first screenplay, literally, my hat is off to him [Wally Pfister]. I didn't see any virgin blather in screen direction, or anything like that. It was just a wonderfully executed piece, and a complicated one. The mathematics involved in putting this film together, between Jack and Wally, and the great support of Alcon, it was not a easy little operetta.
I don't know if you remember me, but I used to work here in the factory." Were you one of those despicable spies who every day tried to steal my life's work and sell it to those paraseeded cop cat, candy making cads?" No sir!" Then wonderful, welcome back!
Interestingly enough, for me, a character like Captain Jack, you feel like you could just continue. The possibilities are endless and limitless. There is any possibility of madness and absurdity that could commence, so you feel that, with this character, you're never really done.
With a character like a Captain Jack, who can essentially set up these verbal land mines around him, and just keep passing the "absurdity ball" around and the "irreverence ball" around, and keep people guessing and keep people confused, there's great safety in that. Me, myself, personally, I learn from it. It's a real pleasure, and I do need him.
There may be something in the fact that when I was a little kid I'd been told growing up that we had some degree of native American blood in us, I always found that a point of pride. So, when it came to cowboys and Indians I most certainly did not want to be John Wayne. I wanted to be one of the Indians.
I actually did do a musical many years ago with John Waters called Cry-Baby, but technically it was only half me - it wasn't me singing. Tim's [ Burton] the only person brave enough to actually let me try to sing.
Ironically, it was only maybe a year prior to Tim calling I had re-read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and what I took away from it was these very strange, little cryptic nuggets that he'd thrown in there.
[Jack Sparrow]'s a blast to play. I'll be in a deep, dark depression saying goodbye to him. I'll keep the costume and just prance around the house, entertain the kids....I mean, at a certain point, the madness must stop, but for the moment, I can't say that he's done.
My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist.
We would just go out and line up a bunch of cans and shoot with rifles, handguns and at times, submachine guns... When I was a kid it was a controlled atmosphere, we weren't shooting at humans... we were shooting at cans and bottles mostly. I will most certainly take my kids out for target practice.
You Can't Plan the Kind of Deep Love That Results in Children. Fatherhood Was Not a Conscious Decision. It Was Part of the Wonderful Ride I Was on. It Was Destiny; Kismet. All the Math Finally Worked.
I was always a fan of the great old spaghetti Westerns, the Sergio Leone films. But the one that always sticks with me, that I just thought was brilliant and perfect is "Cat Ballou." Lee Marvin in "Cat Ballou."
I was poisoning myself with alcohol and medicating myself. I was trying to numb things. I was trying not to feel things, and that's ridiculous. It's one of the dumbest things you can do, because all you're doing is postponing the inevitable. Someday you'll have to look all those things in the eye rather than try to numb the pain.
America is dumb. It's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive. My daughter is four, my boy is one. I'd like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out.
Smooth sailing is what I hope for. No, I'm okay with no big ups, no big downs, it's all right. Just go full steam ahead, all things well and good, yeah. I mean as a family man, all you want is, as a dad, pure happiness for your kids, that's a universal parent thing. Yeah, that's it, that's my dream, happy kids.
People get famous now for I-don't-know-what. People have reality shows because they're a Hollywood socialite, and these things become very successful and they generate a shitload of money for the company. And it's multiplying, to where you're literally looking into your next door neighbor's bathroom with reckless abandon. It is like watching a fire. You can't take your eyes off of it.
I'd never even sung in the shower, I'm too mortified. But once I got over the initial fear it was kind of enjoyable. Sondheim's melodies and lyrics are a real pleasure to tromp around in, it's really beautiful stuff.
The killing of everyone was the easy part, the most difficult part was lathering them up and shaving them, that's the part that freaked me out the most in [Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ].
I do believe that you have to bring some degree of truth from yourself to the role [Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ]in and I'll admit it here, I have shaved a grown man before. I have done it. And it wasn't Tim [Burton].
I experimented with drugs and I experimented with everything that little boys do - vandalism, throwing eggs at cars, breaking and entering schools and destroying a room. But I finally got to a point where I looked around and said, "This is not getting me anywhere. I'm stagnating with these guys." They were getting drunk and high every weekend. I got out.
One of the greatest pieces of advice I've ever gotten in my life was from my mom. When I was a little kid there was a kid who was bugging me at school and she said "Okay, I'm gonna tell you what to do. If the kid's bugging you and puts his hands on you; you pick up the nearest rock...
As soon as we fall in love and we realise we've met the one the rest of our lives can't come soon enough. It's not like you're in a rush to get to the finish line, you're in a rush to feel and experience everything and then do it all again.
That pipe, just so happens to lead to the room where I make the most delicious flavored chocolate covered fudge." Then he will be made into strawberry flavoered chocolate covered fudge, they'll be selling him by the pound, all over the world!" No, I wouldn't allow it. The taste would be terrible. Can you imagine Augustus flavored chocolate covered gloop? Ew. No one would buy it.
Any character that you come up with or create is a piece of you. You're putting yourself into that character, but there's the guise of the character. So there's a certain amount of safety in the character, where you feel more safe being the character than you do being just you
I really approached the film as if it was a white big piece of paper and I was going to draw a picture on it. And whether that picture was good or bad, whatever people thought of it, what they could never take away was that it was my picture.
For me, it's always more difficult and slightly exposing to play something that's close to yourself. I always like to try to hide, just because I can't stand the way I look. But, I think it's important to change every time and come up with something that's as interesting as it can be, for your characters.
I was really intrigued by them, became fascinated by them because they were asking questions that couldn't be answered almost, or were making statements that you couldn't quite understand. Like, 'I'm investigating things that begin with the letter M.' That took me through a whole stratosphere of possibilities, and doing a little research and discovered that the M is mercury.
Thank God I never hooked on anything. I never had a monkey on my back. I just wanted to self-medicate, to numb myself through liquor. It's how I dealt with life, reality, stress, change, sadness, memories. The list goes on. I was really trying to feel nothing.
Even when you're down and blue, just remember that someone out there loves you, even if you don't know it and even if you haven't yet met them. There's someone out there waiting for you, remember that and keep faith. You'll get there.
Here I was going to work with Pacino thinking, "I'm not going to get lucky twice. There's no way. This guy is going to hand me my ass." He looks like the kind of guy who's going to hand you your ass. It's Al Pacino.
I think today we've gone so far technologically and also just emotionally and psychologically, I mean there's a lot of crime out there and there's a lot of stuff going on. People don't care that they're going to go to prison. They couldn't give a rat about the repercussions. They go out and they do what they do and they don't care about hurting anyone else.
It's kind of interesting to experience that kind of a ride after well, essentially so many years of enjoying a career based on failures and then suddenly something clicks. The weird thing is, I never changed a thing. The process is still the process as it ever was. The fact that people decided to go and see a movie that I was in was probably the most shocking thing that I've ever been through.
I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country and for this I am eternally grateful.
I think when you are young, you are hoping that this person will be the right one. The one you are going to be in love with forever, but sometimes you want that so much, you create something that isn't really there.
Growing old is unavoidable, but never growing up is possible. I believe you can retain certain things from your childhood if you protect them - certain traits, certain places where you don't let the world go.
You do the work and you want people to see it; but, um while I'm doing the work, the result doesn't matter at all to me. Ultimately, I don't, I don't care whether the film is - you know - some big giant box-office bonanza and I don't care if its a complete flop. To me, when a film gets made and it's actually finished it's a success. They're all a success in their own way.
I think Alice [Cooper] probably, on some level, recognized that good old self-destructive streak that does happen in some people's lives. So, though I wasn't there with Alice and the Vampires, but I'd give anything in the world to have been, I had my own version, I suppose, a little later.
I toyed with the idea of what it might be like to live with some species of heatstroke that maybe didn't go away all that quickly. He's a pirate, which is about rum, sodomy and the lash, isn't it? So, to be able to keep things like that in my head, when I'm going to do a film for Disney, I'd been through the ringer. That was like infiltrating the enemy camp. I wasn't able to stop smiling.
And then, 'Why is a raven like a writing desk?' Those things just became so important to the character. You realize that the more you read it, if I read the book again today, I'd find 100 other things that I missed last time. It's a constantly changing book.
I got to take my kids to the London eye with no one looking at me like I was Johnny Depp. They did look at me like I was some kind of sicko walking around with beautiful kids, but I had a perfect disguise.
Not being well-versed in that arena myself, it's a little bit frightening because I'm not very good in those situations with lots of people and lots of famous people and cameras and all of that. It's not my specialty.
I suppose nowadays it's all a question of surgery, isn't it? Of course the notion is beautiful, the idea of staying a boy and a child forever, and I think you can. I have known plenty of people who, in their later years, had the energy of children and the kind of curiosity and fascination with things like little children. I think we can keep that, and I think it's important to keep that part of staying young. But I also think it's great fun growing old.
Every relationship has problems but when those problems arise you have to realise that they don't mean your relationship is broken, it's just a little bent. Bent things can be fixed and like so your relationship can too. The first step however is realising that.
Jesus, music has always been my first love. I use music in my work because it's the fastest way to an emotional place. You hear a song, and that memory comes right back-- you're there... Making music is immediate, and it's all about you. If you're playing guitar, the feeling comes through-- the way you bend the note, the intensity with which you hit the strings. With making films, although it's real emotion, it's false emotion. You're lying.
I had never experienced anything like the response I got from people for Pirates of the Caribbean, where you meet a 75-year-old woman who had seen Pirates and somehow related to the character, and then five minutes later you meet a six-year-old who says, 'Oh, you're Captain Jack!' What a rush. What a gift. That was the challenge with Wonka, too--to be, in a sense, like Bugs Bunny. I find it magical that a three-year-old can be mesmerized by Bugs, but so can a 40-year-old or an 80-year-old. It's a great challenge to see if you can appeal to that huge an age range.
Out on the street, you never know what you're getting, and suddenly two days later you're beating yourself in the head with a tennis racket, wearing a towel, quoting Poe. You don't want that for your kid. You really don't want that.
I'd just thank the people out there who have been with my up-and-down, weird-road, strange career and supported me and stuck with me all these years. I mean, they're my boss. That's what keeps me working.
One of the greatest things I've ever seen happen was the morning I opened the newspaper and it said that some very powerful government officials had decided to change the name of "french fries" to "freedoom fries" and "french toast" to "freedom toast". It was impressive. I wanted to write a letter to them just to thank them, just for proving globally that they were absolute imbeciles.
When I'm at our house in France I totally cut myself off from the rest of the world. I never have to listen to phones ringing and that's because - and Vanessa would confirm this - phones are banned from the house. We have a beautiful life and I feel that spending time in France has just calmed me down and made me stop worrying about things which aren't really important.
I've weaned myself down to about, on a great day, on a really great day, three cigarettes. For a nicotine junkie the essential cigs are three: the first-of-the-day cigarette smoked after lunch, the after-dinner cigarette and then the one taken whenever you want - the luxury-wild-card smoke. It used to be quite a bit more. It used to be, I'd smoke the table. I'd smoke the patch. I'd smoke the gum. So I feel good about it.
When I was a kid, we watched the Vietnam War on the six o'clock news, and it was desensitizing. You felt you were watching a war film; meanwhile you were really watching these guys getting blown to bits. Parents need to protect their kids from watching that stuff.
There are guys, the weekenders, who can go out and get loaded and they're having fun and partying - which is a term I deplore, partying - and it's all recreational and they're having a ball. I never had that. It was never about recreation. Not. Ever. That was never my motivation. Not once!
You never think you're on the verge of disaster while you're looking over the edge yourself. It's your friends and family who are trying to get you to stop destroying yourself and after a while it kind of sank in and I just cleaned up my act.
When faced with two choices simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for. If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one, because if you really loved the first one you wouldn't have fallen for the second.
If there's a message to pass to people, I'd say that it's normal to be different from others, it's good to differ from one another, and we'd better look at ourselves first before we start criticising someone who looks, acts, speaks different or has a different skin colour. I'd like to continue, even at a minimal level, what John Lennon had started. If I could do as much as a bit of what he did, if I could contribute to the elimination of hatred among us, that would be a great deal.
I always figured that once I wrapped a film, then anything beyond that is none of my business. If I can avoid seeing the final product, then all I have in my head is feeling good about the experience.
My self-image it still isn't that alright. No matter how famous I am, no matter how many people go to see my movies, I still have the idea that I'm that pale no-hoper that I used to be. A pale no-hoper that happens to be a little lucky now. Tomorrow it'll be all over, then I'll have to go back to selling pens again.
I never wanted to be the guy people looked at. I felt I could only be myself when I was alone, that I turned into some kind of novelty. The only way I could get through that time was to drink. I poisoned myself with alcohol for years but I've never been into drugs in the way it was sometimes made out.
Obviously, technology is moving and reshaping itself, radically, every day. We're all capable of answering that question within ourselves. Would you do it for the person that you love? Would you be married to a hard drive, essentially?
You could make an analogy to a security guard who, three weeks prior, was mowing lawns for a living. The second he puts a uniform on and that badge, he's a man. I imagine the majority of us have felt the wrath of the over-zealous security guard guy. Is there something lying dormant in the man, that's waiting to be pumped up with that kind of power? I don't know. Does it reveal him? I don't know. Does it change him? I don't know.
And because technology is moving so rapidly, things become obsolete very, very quickly. In 15 years time, Will Caster is probably going to be in some weird room in Vegas where people are plugging quarters into him. Who has a mini-disc of a laser disc player? It's over!
My children's favorite, and it's funny because they've seen it but they have a difficult time watching it because it's their dad and they make that connection, but Edward Scissorhands is, by far my kids' favorite. They just connect with the character, and they see their dad feeling that isolation, that loneliness. He's a tragic character, so I think it's hard for them. They bawl when they see that.
It really depends on what the screenplay is asking of you, and what your responsibility is to that character. You have the author's intent to deal with, you have the filmmaker's vision, and then you have your own wants, desires and needs for the character. It's collaborative. But I knew, right off the bat, that there was no way to go into some sort of pink-haired, clown-nosed character with Ronald McDonald shoes.
Knowing that a great bit of the technology is active and actually happening, and that the technology that we're talking about, in terms of uploading a human consciousness, is probably not all that far away, to be honest. Indeed, it will happen. It's pretty close.
It's funny what [producer Richard Zanuck said about even though you can't quite place when the book or the story came into your life, and I do vaguely remember roughly five years old reading versions of Alice in Wonderland, but the thing is the characters. You always know the characters. Everyone knows the characters and they're very well-defined characters, which I always thought was fascinating. Most people who haven't read the book definitely know the characters and reference them.
If I can avoid the mirror when I brush my teeth in the morning, I will. I find security and safety in the most profound degree of ignorance. If you can just stay ignorant of almost everything you'll be OK. It's fine to stay informed and look at things, but to judge things will bog you down.
After having been confined to a television series - and it's a luxury job - where you can't play anything but one particular character for nine months out of the year, it will make you insane. It didn't affect me. I got out quick enough.
When you take on the idea of playing someone like Jimmy Bulger, it's a radically different process because you're going into make-up. The only way you can do it is to come out of make-up looking like the guy. If you don't look like the guy, it's going to bug you, all day.
They said, "You get $2 million to make the film, if you're not in it. If you are in it, you get $5 million to make the film." There was no way to make the thing for $2 million, so I made it for $5 million. And then, it turned out there was no way to make the thing for $5 million. That's when it got weird.
Marlon Brando was the absolute opposite of everything they told me he was going to be, which is that he was a testy guy who wants to know that he's in control of everything. But, that's not who Marlon was. No matter what he did, the most important thing on his mind was justice.
While they'd be setting up shots, suddenly, there were 17 make-up chicks, just listening to Marlon telling these amazing stories that were probably lies. He was a fascinating individual. I learned a lot from him.
Things go wrong for me, all the time, with technology. I'm not familiar enough with it, and I'm too old school a brain to be able to figure it out. I'm dumb. Anything that I have to attack with my thumbs, for any period of time, makes me feel stupid. So, I try to avoid it, as much as possible, to protect my thumbs.
When you had the fangs in, you wanted to be a little bit careful that you didn't actually pierce the jugular, kind of like my experience shaving Alan Rickman, which by the way neither of us want to do again, especially Alan.
One thing that's been a great, uplifting experience through all this is, since the first "Pirates" [movie], the people who've gone to see the films, the audience members. You meet people on the street - whether they're 5, 25, 65 or 85 - they've all had the same experience, and they've all enjoyed it. So that's what keeps me moving forward in this crazy process.
Somehow you've been voted something for a magazine, and it's a complete mystery to me. I mean, I wake up and I have to look at that head when I brush my teeth every morning. And it's weird and it's unpleasant at times.
If you really take a step back and observe people who are considered super-normal and watch them a bit, you'll realize that they're actually completely out of their minds! Most people are really nuts, and that's fascinating.
When you play a character that exists or existed, there's a stronger responsibility that you have. You owe that person and then you owe the family, you owe history, you owe the victims, the victims' families.
If I ever thought of directing again, I mean - I don't know, even the idea of directing a film is a strange one for me, because I feel kind of anti mathematics in a way in that sense. Anti - I don't like when things make sense, I prefer if they don't, so if I made a film, it wouldn't make any sense and no one would see it. So maybe I'll just make little films at home with my phone, never to be released.
The funny thing is you oddly don't really say goodbye to all the characters you've played. There's like a chest of drawers in your head that you can always access. They're always around. I'm not sure if that's healthy. But they're all there.
With every character you play, as these guys will tell you, there's a part of you goes into that in terms of the ingredients of making this stew. There's most definitely a part of me in Captain Jack and now, fortunately or unfortunately, there's a great part of Captain Jack in me as well. Basically, I can't shake him. He won't leave me alone. He just sort of keeps showing up at odd times.
I've played English a number of times, and used an English accent a number of times, so it becomes a little bit of an obstacle course to go, "Oh, that's teetering into Captain Jack-ville," or "This is teetering into Chocolat or Wonka." You've got to really pay attention to the places you've been. But, that's part of it. That's the great challenge. You may get it wrong. There's a very good possibility that you can fall flat on your face, but that's a healthy thing for an actor.
Marriage can be whatever you define it as. For example, I don't feel like I need a piece of paper that says I own her and she owns me. I think signing a piece of paper doesn't mean anything in the eyes of God or in the eyes of people. The thing is, if you are together and you love each other and are good to each other, make babies and all that, for all intents and purposes you are married.
I've been lucky enough to work with a make-up artist, Joel Harlow, who you can throw anything at. I said, "Joel, I need to go to the London eye with my children and I want to look like a roadie from Lynyrd Skynyrd."
Having been familiar with "drunk" once or twice myself, that lick just came to me - and yeah, it sounded very drunk, so I presented it to Alice [Cooper]. It felt like he wrote the lyrics in about a minute.
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. I like that, each time, before I even go in front of the cameras, the studio's reaction will be fear.
There were so many great teachers that had so much to offer. The idea of being rigid, why would you do that? People have their things, but why be rigid with any education when you can take things from here and take things from there?
You do a movie, depending on the character, there's some degree of makeup involved, especially when you're playing a vampire and you're all white and kind of dead. Sleeves, regarding costumes, there are generally sleeves, which I appreciate. I think we all do.
Yeah, in every film that I've been lucky enough to do with Tim, there's always some form of torture, and the nails were Tim's idea. They were the length of the fingers and stuff, but it was okay because I had a troop of people who would help me go to the bathroom. They had to have treatment afterwards but they're okay now. That is true.
I certainly had this fascination with monsters and vampires as did Tim and whatever this darkness, this mystery, this intrigue. And then, as you get older, you recognize the erotic nature of the vampire and the idea of the undead.
Alice and I, we'd met before, but we were able to kind of sit and chat on the set of Dark Shadows, and talk about maybe writing some songs together. We started doing that, and then one thing led to another and it became this Vampire project - because he was telling stories about all those days, which were fascinating.
I've always enjoyed hiding behind these characters. It's a strange thing, you're more comfortable as a character than you are in life. I could stand up in front of, it doesn't matter how many people, as a character. But if I had to do it as myself and give a speech, I would be liquid.
I had just had a daughter, who was three or three-and-half years old, and I had been watching nothing but cartoons. That's really it. There was no YouTube. You're in France and you're raising a kid, so you break out the Tex Avery.
Barrie and the wonderful characters he created, Lewis Carroll, even French literature, like Baudelaire or over in the States, Poe, you open those books, you open The Flowers of Evil and begin to read. If it were written today, you'd be absolutely stupefied by the work. It's this incredible period where the work is timeless, ageless. So yeah, I just love all those guys. It's my deep passion in those great 19th century writers.
There's the whole Mad Hatter's dilemma, it was the amount of mercury that they used in the glue to make the hats. Everything was damaging. So, in terms of the Mad Hatter, looking at it from that perspective of this guy who literally is damaged goods, physically damaged, emotionally a little obtuse, and taking that and deciding that he should be - as opposed to just this hyper, nutty guy - he should explore all sides of the personality at an extreme level.