Actors go to all sorts of lengths to get into character for their roles, and to make them as real as possible. Take Christian Bale: The man starved himself twenty pounds beyond his nutritionist’s recommendation, morphing into barely more than a pile of bones and skin for The Machinist. It was a bigger personal commitment than overeating for a few months to gain a few curves. Beyond moulding their body, what do actors do to prepare? They might perform some interviews or immerse themselves in the environment.
Well, rumor has it that interviews aren’t enough for Johnny Depp. As Erik Davis reported almost a year ago, Depp is re-teaming with Tim Burton for a film adaptation of the strange Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd. Playing the vicious barber who collects human parts for Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies, Depp has been trying to get into character, and it seems he couldn’t find a killer barber to learn from.
Nevertheless, when rehearsals for the film start next month, he will be ready. To get into his new character, Depp has taken a different approach. While listening to “Dies Irae,” an old hymn used in Roman Catholic mass, Depp slices through the air, imagining that he’s slicing throats. Creepy much? His partner, Vanessa Paradis, thinks so. I imagine it can be fun and maybe even sexy for him to swagger around the house like Keith Richards, but it’s not surprising that his murderous mimicking is scaring her. I guess we should be glad he’s not preparing to be a creepy killer with a predilection for Chianti. [Source]
Johnny Depp’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ Role Upsets Girlfriend
Johnny Depp is terrifying his long-term partner Vanessa Paradis by going to extreme lengths to get into his new role as Demon Barber Sweeney Todd. Depp starts rehearsals for the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical in London next month, but he’s preparing for the part already by slitting imaginary throats to the soundtrack of Dies Irae (Day Of Wrath) – the 13th century Latin Hymn traditionally used in the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.
A source tells British newspaper the Daily Express, “Johnny is always very conscientious in his roles. Now he says he has to get into the mind set of a serial killer. He wants to feel adept with the razor blades, to feel as if they were an extension of his arm. But he’s terrifying everyone by walking around his home booming out the song – making an arc with his arm when he slits a person’s throat. Sweeney calls his razors his ‘friends’ and in this song the Demon Barber pours out his love to his blades.” [Source]