Burton films a step above for Depp

Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:43am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - For Johnny Depp, there are films and there are Tim Burton films. The Hollywood actor has teamed up with director Burton for the sixth time in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," a blood-spattered adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical that has impressed the critics.

The New York Times' A.O. Scott called it "something close to a masterpiece," and Depp, as a pale-faced 19th century serial killer out for revenge, has been singled out for a performance that earned him a Golden Globe nomination and early Oscar buzz.

"There are films that you do that you have enjoyed and the process is fantastic and the directors are great," Depp told Reuters in a recent interview to promote the movie.

"And then there are the phone calls that you get from Tim," added the 44-year-old, sitting alongside Burton and wearing his trademark rimmed hat and glasses.

"That is a magical moment for me when the phone rings from Tim, because you know you are about to embark on something very very interesting," he said, sipping red wine in a suite in London's upmarket Claridge's hotel.

The star of the hit "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, who has a reputation as an offbeat actor with box office clout, believes "Sweeney Todd" was as big a challenge as any during a career spanning more than 20 years.

"It's an obtuse situation to be in when, at the ripe old age of 43, you find yourself suddenly trying to sing songs all the way through for the first time in your life," Depp said.

"It's to say the least absurd and it was an odd feeling. So initially just hearing myself doing it, I was embarrassed..."   Continued...

<p>Johnny Depp in a scene from "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in an image courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures. REUTERS/Handout</p>