Justin Long Opens Up About Working With Johnny Depp In New Film 'Tusk'
Kevin Smith warned the cast of his new film "Tusk" to not be surprised by harsh criticism, but that didn't stop the director's friend, Johnny Depp, from accepting a cameo in the project.
Justin Long, who stars in the film, told HuffPost Live about what it was like to work alongside Depp and revealed that fans can expect to see the famous "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor in future Kevin Smith films.
"His daughter and Kevin Smith's daughter have been friends since they were kids, and so I guess that's how [Smith] knows him, and he reached out to him and Johnny eventually said yes," he explained. "[Depp] was intrigued right away. He didn't know if it'd work out in his schedule, but he came and played for two days and was surprisingly good -- who knew Johnny Depp could act!"
To little surprise, Depp's versatility shined even in his bit part.
"He has that playfulness," Long recalled. "He has that whimsy that he kind of exorcises, and it's fully on display in this movie. If you like old, quirky, weird Johnny Depp, then you're going to love this."
But the mega-star was never a diva, Long noted. The set felt virtually unchanged once he arrived.
"It's a testament to Johnny how down to earth and weirdly normal he is that everything stayed the same," he said. "There was a lot more excitement along the crew, obviously ... but he's so disarmingly down-to-earth. He's just, 'Hi, I'm John. Nice to meet you.' Short sentences."
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South Burlington, VT - The Palace 9
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Auburn, WA - Auburn 17 Theatres Bellevue, WA - Lincoln Square Stadium 16 Bellingham, WA - Barkley Village Stadium 16 Burlington, WA - Cascade Mall Cinemas 14 Everett, WA - Everett Stadium 16 Kent, WA - Kent Station 14 Lacey, WA - Martin Village Stadium 16 Lakewood, WA - Lakewood Cinema 15 Lynnwood, WA - Alderwood 7 Theatres Puyallup, WA - Longston Place 14 Renton, WA - Landing Stadium 14 Seattle, WA - Oak Tree Cinemas 6 Seattle, WA - Meridian 16 Spokane, WA - River Park Square 20 Tukwila, WA - AMC Southcenter 16 Vancouver, WA - Cascade 16 Cinemas
Washington, DC - Georgetown 14 Washington, DC - Gallery Place Stadium 14
Morgantown, WV - Regal Morgantown Stadium 12
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I hope the movie does well at the BO, considering that it's a low budget movie with limited release but of course, i also will have to wait for the DVD
Kevin Smith Embraces ‘Tusk’s’ Weirdness, Reveals Secret of Casting Johnny Depp
Tell me about working with Johnny Depp – a great actor and a great movie star. You let this eccentric character Guy LaPointe kind of go in this loopy direction, and the two of you might have ended up with your own Clouseau.
Yeah. I’ve known him for like a decade through the kids. The kids go to school with each other. And a lovely human being – we talk about movies, but we never go like, “We should work together,” because he works in a way different stratosphere than I do on stuff. But such a nice human being – he’s just a really good guy. So when I was done writing this – I’d written the Guy LaPointe part on an earlier podcast. We did an episode where we introduced the character of Guy LaPointe, and so I put him in Tusk. When I was done, I was like, “All right, who would be the absolute best?” I was, like, if this don’t work, I was never going to be upset. I was like, “Why would it work? F***ing walrus movie!” And so I pushed a little whimsy. So I just looked at Guy LaPointe when I was done with the script, and I was like, “All right – f*** everything else. Scrape away the money, business – scrape it all away. Who would be the best actor for this role?” And I was like, “Depp would crush this. He would crush the fake Montreal, Quebec accent. All this would be f***ing amazing.”
So I’ve known him through the kids, and I texted him. I was like, “Dude – hi. You know, I never wanted to be this guy, but I’m going to be this guy, man.” And I said, “I’m making a movie, and boy, there’s a part you’d be great at.” And so I said, “Before you f***ing turn your phone of, here’s the blog that I wrote about it” – because I had just written about it – “I’m going to make this walrus picture. I’m going to move forward.” So he read it, and after I started explaining while I was reading in text, I was like, “There’s this guy, Michael Parks, who was in Red State …” And I always felt like the way I released Red State that he got f***ed out of the attention he was due. I was creating such a circus atmosphere. Some people hated my guts. They reflected it in their feelings on Michael. He should have gotten – he won an award, but he should have gotten a lot more. His performance was really great. So I was like, “I want to showcase this guy. He’s 73. Man, I want to shine a light on him. He’s f***ing amazing. He’s Acting Yoda and s**t. So that’s what this movie Tusk is kind of about.” And Johnny wrote back, “I love Michael Parks!It’s going to happen!” And so we shot 15 days in North Carolina, and then three months later, we shot two days in California with Johnny. All the Johnny stuff is two days. He’s just that good a f***ing performer. We blew through like 30 pages of dialogue in two days. Now, he’s sitting in one place, so you’re not doing a lot of camera movement and stuff, but my lord, it was fun. That’s the thing. He came to set – your job’s easy. You don’t direct that day because you just make sure, like zoom, focus. Here we go. There’s nothing to do. He’s a genius. He does it all. So he brought like a performance that – our budget was under $3 million – it was like, $2.7, $2.8 movie. Everyone got scale. This was a guy who gave us the same performance he’d give a $20 million, $25 million dollar movie where he was getting paid $20 million bucks. A $100 million performance in a f***ing under-budget movie about a guy who turns another guy into a walrus. And so he came to play, and he had such a good time. So much so that he lent us his daughter, and we put her in the movie. And that spawned the movie that we’re all working on now.
So I mean, it’s crazy, the whole project was chasing whimsy, but I remember sitting there trying to text him and being like, “Don’t be that guy. Everyone does this to him.” But I was like, “You know what, man? He’ll say no. If he wants to say no, he’s such a class act, he’ll say no in a way that makes you think, he could have done it, but he just can’t because of his schedule.” So I was like “You’ll be able to see him again in public. It won’t be weird and s**t like that. I’m sure he gets asked all the time.” So I felt like, all right. f***ing based on that, let me just go for it. Let me just chase the whimsy because he would love this, I think. And sure enough, when he read it, he fell in love with Guy LaPointe so he called me right away. He was like, “I’ve always wanted to do a French Canadian accent – I have an internal dimmer, and I can dial it up or as low as you want!” And I said “Dial it to comedic.” And he was like, “Gotcha.” So we set cameras on him, and off he went. And it was the least amount of directing I’ve ever done in my life. Like after he was done with the take, I’d go over and be like “Holy f***!” And then just go back to the monitor. Like, what do you say other than that? It was just astounding. So he had a good time doing it, and we had the scene in the movie with the girls – Harley is mine, Lily-Rose is his – and at the end of that scene, he was like, “This was awesome, man!” He was like, “We should just retire and let the girls work for us!” And I was like, one of us has an island. I won’t be retiring any time soon. But I love the idea of working with the girls. It was honestly, the best two hours of my life I ever spent on a movie set, and I’ve been on a few. But I was, like, with my kid, and I’m standing next to, like, the greatest actor of his generation and he was like in a big rubber nose and doing a funny French accent –and it’s like in the middle of this walrus movie and s**t! And there are kids who I’ve seen since they were kids grow up and they’re in front of the camera. So for me, I was like, man. I would love to prolong this experience. It was only like two hours. That was f***ing short.
And that’s where Yoga Hosers came from. I hit him up. First, I hit up Vanessa [Paradis], Lily-Rose’s mom, and was like, “Do you mind if I write a whole movie for the girls?” And she’s like, “You cannot do that.” And I said, “Yeah, I can do anything. I’m a stoner.” And she was like, “If you want to, go ahead.” And I did, and she liked it. And then I hit him up. I was like, “Dude, I don’t know how else to say this, but I think I got a way for you to play Guy LaPointe again.” And he loved playing Guy LaPointe, so he was like, “Oh, I’m in. I’m in!” So we were off and running on Yoga Hosers. And it’s been lovely, man. Again, you try not to think about this man is an icon, the greatest ever. Like, if they did a f***ing Mount Rushmore of actors, his face would f***ing be up there and s**t. And all you see is the guy who just loves character acting. He shows up, and he kind of buries himself and goes nuts. And because of that, it takes a weird movie where you’re like, “Oh, my God!” At one point, we saw the Apple Guy as a walrus, and suddenly, it adds this layer of weird where you’re like, “It’s not weird – his performance is stellar,” but you’re like, “It’s weird that he’s even in this.” That’s what Scott Mosier [Smith’s producer and podcasting partner] said to me: “Dude, this movie is full of weird things, but the weirdest thing of all is that that man is in the movie to begin with.” I was like, “I know! It’s just one more layer of weird!”
Post by MadScntst on Sept 19, 2014 16:08:57 GMT -5
Now that the movie's in theaters, I moved the thread to Johnny Depp Films. Also, be aware that as people start to see it, there may be spoilers.
I had a rare afternoon off from work, so I went to a mid-afternoon matinee. First off, before I say anything else- anyone who goes to see it, make sure and stay until after the credits
I liked the film, but full disclosure- I love horror films, so this one was right up my alley. Also, it was not as funny as I expected it to be. I don't mean that I didn't find the jokes funny- I just mean that there were more serious parts than I expected. That's fine, as I'm not really sure I'm a huge fan of Kevin Smith's humor, anyway.
First, Johnny was perfect as Guy LaPointe. I don't want to go into too much detail yet, until more folks see it so we can discuss it. But there was a character mentioned by some reviewers, and after seeing his portrayal, he HAS to have deliberately used that character as his inspiration. His part was bigger than I expected- holy cow, how could they have shot all that in 2 days?? Also, Lily-Rose and Harley's parts were slightly bigger than I expected, too. They did great, and now I'm trying to envision them as leads. I really liked Michael Parks, though I'll confess that I occasionally had trouble understanding what he was saying- I'll probably use closed-captioning when the DVD comes out Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment were great, too. The only one I wasn't that keen on was Genesis Rodriguez. While she's very beautiful, I felt that her tone was so different than everyone else's (granted, she's Justin Long's girlfriend so she's going to be the most emotional, but still...)
I tried to read most of the credits, and as we've already heard, Johnny is credited as Guy LaPointe. Keenan Wyatt is credited as "sound technician for Guy LaPointe" and Joel Harlow as "makeup artist for Guy LaPointe." However, Lily-Rose Depp gets full credit with her last name. As I said, stay for the credits.
Anyway, I have a funny feeling that this film won't appeal to all Depp fans, so if you go, just go with fair warning that it's a horror film, and I at least hope you'll like Johnny's performance (especially because we're going to see it again with Yoga Hosers )
purpblissthanks for sharing your review. I like horror movies, weird movies and Johnny, so i think i'm in the target for this movie. Sadly I will have to wait until the dvd, but i'm very excited to watch it myself now