Johnny Depp is America's favorite movie star, according to a new poll of 2,237 adults conducted by the polling firm Harris Interactive. It's the second year in a row Depp, who appeared in three movies in 2011, has landed atop the chart.
Depp appeared in "The Rum Diary" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and loaned his voice to the animated film "Rango." Which is enough to make him the favorite of women; Republicans and independents; Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and Echo Boomers; Easterners, Midwesterners and Westerners.
Clint Eastwood was tops in the South; George Clooney was a favorite of grandparents and moderates; and Democrats love Denzel Washington.
The rest of the top five are: Clint Eastwood and Denzel Washington tied for No. 2, Tom Hanks and, incredibly, John Wayne. Wayne, who hasn't made a movie or done a talk show or had a messy tabloid breakup since his death in 1979, has been on the Harris list every year since 1994.
And yes, the list was open to both men and women, although only one woman was listed in the Top 10: Sandra Bullock came in at No. 7.
Hey Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson — we at the Ministry love a sure thing, and that you are. The "Twilight Saga" couple top a new list of actors who provide the most bang for their buck.
While some overpaid stars only break even or get labeled as the dreaded "box-office poison," Forbes has compiled a list of talent that nets big money for studios and production companies beyond their pay rates.
Stewart comes in at No. 1 on the list, fetching $55.83 for every $1 she's paid. Impressive, considering Stewart's stomping grounds as a post-adolescent actor have been indies (save for "Twilight," natch). Next she'll square off against Charlize Theron in "Snow White and the Huntsman."
Anne Hathaway comes in No. 2, nabbing $45.67 to the dollar, followed by Pattinson at $39.43 per note. Calculations were made using stars who have opened at least three films in the past five years, excluding animation.
Rounding out the top 10 are Daniel Radcliffe, Shia LaBeouf, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.
Johnny Depp has already channeled the spirit of his late friend, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, a number of times on the big screen.
Over a decade ago, Depp brought the writer's wild alter-ego to life in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Earlier this year, he said the personality of the animated lizard he played in "Rango" was inspired by Thompson, who committed suicide in 2005. And in just a few weeks, Depp will continue his effort to keep the icon's image alive with "The Rum Diary," based on one of Thompson's novels and costarring Aaron Eckhart and Amber Heard.
The movie, shot back in 2009, was a passion project for Depp, who said he still has visions of Thompson and feels the writer's spirit is with him "24 hours a day."
"There's this great friend that I knew and loved who left this world in 2005, and still stays with me somehow," he mused on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Rum Diary" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday evening. "I mean, literally, my head hits the pillow, I think of him. I wake up in the morning, I think of him."
Depp plays a journalist who moves to Puerto Rico and begins working at a troubled newspaper where he and his co-workers become booze hounds. The story draws heavily from Thompson's experiences in the tropical paradise, where he worked in his 20s in a similar environment.
That Depp was so familiar with Thompson's story proved to be an asset for the actor's costars.
"Johnny just knows Hunter so well and knows the words and is so involved in the project that it's just effortless," said Eckhart, who plays a rival of Depp's character.
"It's a passion project for him, and it made me trust all the more in the material," added actress Heard, "The Rum Diary's" love interest. "It was a wild ride."
Johnny Depp is full of regret over a recent interview comment in which the "Rum Diary" actor likened the chore of sitting through a photo shoot to being raped.
"Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped.... It feels like a kind of weird –- just weird," Depp said in an interview with Vanity Fair, shot by fashion photog Terry Richardson.
Groups including RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, swatted the actor for such a comparison, saying that "while photos may feel at times intrusive, being photographed in no way compares to rape — a violent crime which affects another American every two minutes."
Depp realizes his poor choice of words and put forth an apologetic statement on Tuesday.
"I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling," he said.
"I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology."
[Updated, 2:36 p.m. Oct. 6: RAINN contacted the Ministry with a reaction to Depp's statement, saying in an e-mail that the group "appreciates and accepts Johnny Depp's heartfelt apology. We hope to work with him to provide hope to victims of rape and make sure they get the help they deserve."]
Depp isn't the only celeb to make that comparison, incidentally: Kristen Stewart apologized last year for her choice of words after telling British Elle she felt like she was looking at someone who was being raped when she looked at paparazzi and red carpet photos of herself.
She said at the time that "violated" would have been a better word.
Betty White has been voted America's favorite and most trusted celebrity, a new poll indicates.
White, the former "Golden Girls" funnywoman who is currently starring in TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland," beat out Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen as the person "whose endorsement of a company would be most likely to drive business," according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2,012 Americans.
The 89-year-old animal lover won an Emmy last year for her "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig, has appeared on "Community" and in Snickers commercials and was named Associated Press entertainer of the year last December. Perhaps that trustworthy face of hers could help do some damage this fall on her "Punk'd"-style prank show "Betty White's Off Their Rockers"?
The other most favorable celebrities behind White are Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman (who tied for seventh place with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), Will Smith and Johnny Depp.
Topping the not-so-hot list are: Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears (who ties for third with Kanye West), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Kim Kardashian, Mel Gibson, Donald Trump and LeBron James.
Leonardo DiCaprio isn't dreaming: His "Inception" money is all too real, landing the leading man at the top of a ranking of Hollywood's highest-paid actors.
At a cool $77 million in earnings, from the aforementioned Christopher Nolan film and Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," Leo took the top spot on Forbes' list from the previous year's winner, Johnny Depp.
Depp came in with a considerably lower (but still considerable) $50 million for his "Pirates of the Caribbean" paycheck and bonuses. Forbes looked at earnings from May 2010 to May 2011.
On his heels was Adam Sandler, who tallied personal receipts around $40 million from the biggest earner of his career, the recent "Grown Ups," and his Jennifer Aniston-starrer, "Just Go With it."
Will Smith clocked in at No. 4 with a $36-million income -- impressive as the actor, who's been busy promoting and producing for his children Jayden and Willow, hasn't been visible on marquees for the last two years. Forbes said the dollar amount consists mostly of his fees for the upcoming "Men in Black III."
Rounding out the list were Tom Hanks, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Tim Allen ($22 million in pay and residuals from voicing Buzz Lightyear in the "Toy Story" franchise) and Tom Cruise.
Johnny Depp may be a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth II, according to a genealogist for the British version of the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?"
Depp and the queen could share a 14th century ancestor, which would make them 20th cousins, researcher Nick Barrett told the Daily Mirror.
Alas, the link to the royal lineage depends on an unrecorded marriage from the 1600s, which means that even though "the balance of probability is that there is indeed a link between Depp and the royals," Barrett said, he doubts it can be proved 100%.
"There are also several junctures where he can claim to have Cherokee blood," Barrett added, which is no big surprise over here in the States, given that many of us have been taking Depp's word for it for a while now that he is of Cherokee descent on his mother's side.
Sadly, this cousin-of-the-queen news comes too late for us to pitch a fit over why Depp wasn't invited to the royal wedding. And what a missed opportunity: Capt. Jack Sparrow certainly does know a thing or two about wearing a hat.
A grown man cried after failing to nab Johnny Depp's autograph along the 2,700-foot-long black carpet that lined Main Street in Disneyland on Saturday, leading to the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides," which also stars Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush.
Nearly 25,000 rabid fans had waited, some for up to 10 hours, to catch sight of stars such as Depp, Cruz, Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Jodie Foster, Martin Short, Teri Hatcher, Kirstie Alley, Joey Lawrence, Cat Cora and more as they arrived at the premiere over a period of two hours Saturday evening. (Click the pics to see more photos from the black-carpet premiere.)
Depp came last, wearing an oversized black and white suit and skipping the press line in favor of the fans. But as women screamed and little girls broke into tears, the scene became too intense and Depp's three large handlers pushed him down the carpet, away from the man whose lower lip first quivered, then gave way to hiccuping sobs of disappointment and frustration.
Such was the passion surrounding the screening — the world's first outdoor 3-D premiere — of the fourth installment of the popular "Pirates" franchise, where premiere attendees paid $1,000 a ticket to eat wild salmon and sit in an outdoor theater constructed in New Orleans Square facing a giant screen on Tom Sawyer Island. (Proceeds were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.)
Also spotted: Cast members Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Keith Richards with his wife, Patti Hansen, plus Vanessa Hudgens, Steven Tyler, Eva Longoria, Natalie Maines, Chelsie Hightower, Ashley Tisdale, Cheryl Burke, Eliza Dushku and Emma Roberts.
With this latest film poised to reach summer audiences, talk of the "Pirates" team making one or two more has swirled, and McNally, who plays Gibbs, Depp's trusty first mate, said that that was indeed quite likely, "There's definitely a feeling that we've got some more to explore. I would say definitely one more," McNally said.
Meanwhile, McShane, who plays the fearsome Blackbeard in the film, joked that he is so good at playing villains because he is a really good guy. He also took time out to explain why, in the modern day, people don't use the word "villain" anymore. "We call them 'complicated people.' " he said.
And Claflin, who plays a missionary who falls in love with a mermaid (mermaids are one of the most compelling aspects of the new film), said he was just trying hard not to float away with all the excitement surrounding the film. "I can't quite believe that I'm here. I can't believe my feet are still on the floor. It's a real honor," he said, staring around the chaotic carpet in amazement.
Tensions ran high as the screening, which was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m,. didn't roll until 9:15, and parents, many dressed as pirates according to the invitation's mandate, smoothed the hair of fussy little ones. Then, before nearly 10,000 park lights were turned off for the show, it began to rain.
Disney, it seemed, could control everything but the weather. A low-grade sense of panic set in amongst the crowd as fans pulled the blankets on the backs of their seats fast around them. It would continue to mist throughout the screening, but it never became a downpour.
Besides, the watery night was appropriate for a film that takes place on the high seas in a swashbuckling plot about Captain Jack Sparrow's (Depp) mad dash to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. The adventure puts him in close quarters with his former nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa (Rush), and a former lover, Angelica (Cruz), while pitting him against the heartless Blackbeard.
When the film concluded, fireworks burst in the rain-smudged sky above the screen and the park remained open until 1 a.m. so that grown men and women could play.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" opens in theaters May 20.
Top photo: Before the Disneyland world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," producer Jerry Bruckheimer, left, director Rob Marshall and actors Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Keith Richards, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Sam Claflin took the stage. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.
Right photo: Actresses who play mermaids arrive for the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland. Photo: Mike Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency.
Knowing that Johnny Depp based his swashbuckling Capt. Jack Sparrow character on Keith Richards, we can only imagine how he got his creative juices going to voice Rango, an animated chameleon who wants to be a swashbuckling hero.
All we know from behind-the-scenes footage is that Depp voiced his performance in costume, at one point wearing a black Spanish hat with black pompoms — and wearing a much different hat on Monday, Depp walked the red carpet in Westwood at the premiere of the Gore Verbinski-directed film.
Cast members joining him included Timothy Olyphant, Isla Fisher (wife of Sacha Baron Cohen), Abigail Breslin, Harry Dean Stanton, Alanna Ubach, Stephen Root and Gil Birmingham, known for playing Billy Black in the "Twilight" films.
Also spotted: young thespians Ryan Ochoa and Rachel G. Fox and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who wound up enlisting East L.A.'s own Los Lobos to get the mariachi music right for his "Rango" score.
"They could do it on their own, but it sounded funny," Los Lobos' David Hidalgo told Pop & Hiss recently. "It didn't sound authentic. ... You need someone who knows this music, someone to play it properly and get the real effect. That's why they called us in."
Click the pics for more photos from the "Rango" premiere. The movie opens March 4.
Johnny Depp's inspired "Pirates of the Caribbean" character Jack Sparrow could have had a much different demeanor if the writer had gotten his way.
"I initially wrote that character with Hugh Jackman in mind," Aussie screenwriter Stuart Beattie told Pop Tarts exclusively. "Hence the name Captain JACK Sparrow."
During the 10 years Beattie said he spent pitching the script of the 2003 film to Disney, Jackman was big Down Under but not yet an international name -- so the writer's casting suggestion went by the boards.