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Rango Cast & Crew

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A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to attend a press conference featuring the stars and creator of the wonderful new family film “Rango”. Here’s how it all went down!


So I’ve heard in previous reports that you kind of fought tooth and nail in order to make sure that Rango isn’t going to be in 3D.  Are you for or against 3D in general?  Is Rango not being in 3D like the only time when you’re going to be like, no to 3D?  And how do you all feel about just kind of like 3D being like the big trend in general?

JOHNNY DEPP: I’m waiting for 5D.

JOHNNY DEPP: That’s what I want.

GORE VERBINKSI: I’m supposed to say something?  I don’t know – I just don’t feel – I watched the movie; I don’t think there’s a dimension missing.  I don’t feel like, I don’t watch it and go, you know, “It’s flat,” or it’s, you know, missing anything.  So you know, we talked about it early on and it just didn’t seem like we needed to go there.

ISLA FISHER: I think the glasses are really uncomfortable.  [LAUGHTER]

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: Like, it actually looks like, it looks so like lifelike anyway, like I think that it looks like 3D; it looked like the animals were there anyway.  It looked really cool, I thought.  And 3D makes me dizzy.

Okay.  Johnny, I wanted to ask you a little bit about getting into your character, because if you listen very carefully, you can hear, you know, Johnny Depp.  But I thought you kind of picked a character for this, because the voice is a little different than your regular speaking voice.  So can you talk about finding your Rango?

JOHNNY DEPP: Sure.  Yeah.  You know, early on, some of the talks that Gore and I had had about the character I mean, you know – talk about two grown men, you know, middle aged men discussing the possibility of one of them being a lizard.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: So it starts off on a surreal kind of note, anyway.  But you know, it was one of the – finding the voice or finding the character, it was like – we talked about, when people, people in life, when they have a tendency to exaggerate or lie or whatever, you always sort of notice that their voice goes up quite high, you know.  It goes to another, a completely different register.  Whereas, if I’m talking to you and speaking and babbling non-stop, and then suddenly I’m really nervous about telling you the truth – you know, but I’m lying – so that’s kind of where it came from, just this – you imagine the character to be incredibly sort of, you know, just really like a nervous wreck.

And you guys have obviously worked together a few times now, and I was just wondering if you could each comment on what you like so much about working with the other.

GORE VERBINSKI: I like the way he smells.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I’ve been told I smell good; I mean, I don’t look like I smell good.

[LAUGHTER]

GORE VERBINSKI: I don’t know – because we have shorthand, talking and sound effects and unfinished sentences and –

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah.

GORE VERBINSKI: He seems to understand exactly what that means, and I get it back.  And you know, a very – very complex direction, like more fuzz –

JOHNNY DEPP: More fuzz, yeah.

GORE VERBINSKI: More stink on this line, you know.  Really, that’s about as intellectual as it gets.

JOHNNY DEPP: And it really is that, exactly, you know.  “Ah, let’s make – you know – maybe some more fuzz.  Let’s put some more fuzz on it.”  “Okay.  Gotcha.”  No, he’s a very – I mean, working with Gore, you know, in three “Pirates” films and Rango certainly, there are no limits to what you could – to the possibilities, I mean, you know, he allows you to try all kinds of things, you know, that sometimes fail miserably.

GORE VERBINSKI: Yes, please.

JOHNNY DEPP: And other times, you know, goes into this kind of weird – you’ve just arrived at some place that you know no one’s ever been to before, you know.  And he welcomes it and he creates an atmosphere that allows you to just, you know, go essentially ape.  And yeah, and it’s a blast, you know – that’s really a fun part of the process.

GORE VERBINSKI: That’s really – what’s great about Johnny is, you know, the trust that – you know, neither of us are going to make the other one look like an ass, you know.  I have to – he has to trust that at the end of the day, we’re not going to use that stuff –

JOHNNY DEPP: Um-hmm.

GORE VERBINSKI: Where we’ve tried something that didn’t work, but we’re going to try it because anomaly and you know, we’ve got this sort of pursuit of finding the truly awkward moment, you know, which is – you’re only going to get there by not knowing, and sort of venturing into the unknown.  And so, you know, I just think he’s incredibly brave, you know, on top of being incredibly talented.  It’s like you’ve got to kind of cross that threshold.

Johnny, you’ve played a lot of characters that kids must love, from Edward Scissorhands to Captain Jack in Willy Wonka.  What is your relationship with that audience, as opposed to the more grownup roles you’ve played?  And for Gore, I’ve just got to throw in – is it weird to see trailers for a new “Pirates” movie coming out?

GORE VERBINSKI: No, I want to go see it.

[LAUGHTER]

And the characters for kids.

JOHNNY DEPP: I think kids, you know, in general as an audience, are the way forward because they’re not sort of sullied by you know, intellectual expectation or this or that.  It’s a very pure kind of response to the work.  And the great luck that I had, you know, for example, before “Pirates 1” I had a daughter.  And for about four years, all I watched was like cartoons, you know – just cartoons.  And I realized at that point that the parameters, you know, were far away from, you know, what we do in sort of normal, everyday movies, and that you can get away with a lot more.  Kids accept a lot more, and they buy it, you know, because they’re free.  So for me, that was everything, in terms of coming up with what Captain Jack would be.  You know.  So yeah, I trust kids far more than I do adults.  Kids give you the honest opinion, you know.  They tell the truth.

Johnny, there’s obviously the call back to Raoul Duke in the film, a character you played before.  But part of your character reminded me a lot of William Blake in Dead Man, and I wondered if that was conscious at all.

JOHNNY DEPP: No, it wasn’t conscious, but I can see what you’re saying.  Yeah, I mean, you know, this sort of journey, this sojourn, this spiritual quest that William Blake was on, I can definitely see that.  But yeah – no, I didn’t sort of consciously connect the two, not really.

You’re a very physical actor, and I just wondered with this process, it’s different than the other animated films you’ve done, where you were in a booth.  You actually acted this out.  And I wondered if that helped you.  And maybe the actresses, as well, could talk a little about doing that.  It’s different than most animated pictures.

JOHNNY DEPP: Well, yeah.  I mean, ultimately, it was everything; though, you know, there were times when you didn’t feel that, when you were doing it – you’d rather have been – because you know, well, we’re lazy.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: At least I am.  And I’d sort of rather just sit in front of a microphone and do the thing.  However –

GORE VERBINSKI: That’s exactly the point.

JOHNNY DEPP: The process that we did, that Gore created this sort of atmosphere that was really, truly ludicrous; I mean, just ridiculous.  It was like just regional theater at its worst.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: And somehow, because of – not the idea of motion capture, but emotion capture, you know; certain gestures, body language, movement, something you might have done, you know, with your eyes – all those guys, you know, these animators took it and put it in there.  So, I mean, it was very strange.  I mean, for Harry Dean Stanton to walk up to me one afternoon – because I’ve known him for a million years – and he walks up to me and says, “This is a weird gig, man.”

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: And I went, “Oh, yeah.  You’ve just started.  You just wait.”  You know.  But ultimately, it was the right thing to do.  And that was his vision, and we saw it through.

MODERATOR: Yes, Isla Fisher?

ISLA FISHER: I think the characters had humanity because we were interacting with each other, and more chemistry; and so it felt more organic and real.  What do you think, Abigail?

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: You know, it was – you know, when you’re in just like a booth, by yourself, it’s like very isolating, and like you don’t really, like, have anything to sort of play off of except like one take of like one line, and then like a beep, and then – so this was, this was – I think that it was, well, for me, at least, a lot more fun.  Although I did wear a wig, like a black wig and I got a really bad rash on my neck from it, and so that was a little unfortunate, but –

ISLA FISHER: And you were carrying a gun.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: I was.

ISLA FISHER: Which was weird, to see Abigail with a massive gun.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: It was so bizarre, because like there was actually guns going, and like you don’t think that there are like firearms in an animated movie.

[LAUGHTER]

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: And it’s like live.  That’s all I thought about it.

JOHNNY DEPP: Gore always travels with guns.

GORE VERBINSKI: Absolutely.  Keep people from going to sleep.

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah.

Actually, this kind of segues from that, because I was curious about the process of making the film.  But also, one of the earlier questions that kind of implied that because it’s animated, it’s a kids’ film.  And I certainly think the prostate joke takes it beyond that.  But I wonder about that.  Is it, you know, the fact that you’re getting into existential issues, you’re getting into metaphor and things like that – is this a kids’ movie, or are we kind of blinded by the fact that it’s just beautiful animation?

I think it’s a kids’ movie.  I mean, I know – my kids like it.  I mean, you know, my kids like “The Holy Grail” and so – I mean, you know, it depends on your kid, I suppose.  I mean, we’ve shown the movie for 500 kids and you know, they seem to be absolutely mesmerized and enjoying it.  And there’s hilarity.  And you know, then when we get into the existential moments, I think they’re not seeing it, you know, their frontal lobe doesn’t operate in that way, but they’re kind of the heart.  And they know, “Why is he leaving now?  He’s – why isn’t he facing Jake?  Why is he – where’s he going?”  And you see – they’re not squirming.  I mean, you should watch it with a bunch of kids because it’s quite fascinating.  They seem to have a kids’ dream, they have a dream logic, you know, that we seem to not appreciate, as adults; we kind of take everything on face value.  And certainly there’s stuff in there for adults so that, you know, we get to have a good time, as well.  You know.  But they really stick with it.  And I think people constantly, you know, underestimate what they can handle.

There’s a lot of references, obviously to Westerns.  And first of all, I’d like to say thank you for not having banditos in the film, because that’s very typical of the old Westerns.  What is everybody’s best Western that you think, that you’ve seen?

JOHNNY DEPP: Oh, boy.

GORE VERBINSKI: Wow, that’s a tough one.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: I’ve never seen a Western besides this one.

GORE VERBINSKI: Perfect answer.  I love that.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: That’s really bad.  But this is the only one I’ve ever seen.  But my dad loves them and he told me that to be like a smart person, I have to watch them.  So –

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I mean, certainly, I was always a fan, as Gore, I know, was of the great old spaghetti Westerns, you know, the Sergio Leone films.  But the one that always sticks with me, that I just thought was brilliant and perfect is “Cat Ballou” you know.  Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou –

GORE VERBINSKI: Unbelievable.

JOHNNY DEPP: I mean, he just – he reinvented some, you know, some form of acting there.

GORE VERBINSKI: Yeah.  For me, I think it’s probably, “Duck, You Sucker” – Leone movie when I was very young – totally age inappropriate; I snuck in and saw that movie in the theater.  And it felt like I was, you know, viewing some forbidden world.  And just – and I entered the Western from this sort of post-modern Western – Leone and Peck ‘n’ Paw and you know, the myths are dying and the railroad’s coming, and the gunfighter’s a dying breed; and progress is inevitable for us.  And you know, what do they do, you know.  And sort of the silhouette becoming, you know, less visible because of all the clutter that comes with progress.  So I was always fascinated with those.  And I got into John Ford later; I mean, I kind of came in through those movies.  [INDISCERNIBLE].  Enough.

[LAUGHTER]

GORE VERBINSKI: Not – not Western.

This question is for everybody.  I’m just curious, what projects you have in the pipelines.  But I’m particularly curious if Isla or Abigail, if you guys have any desire to do animated projects in the future again.

ISLA FISHER: I’m actually doing an animated movie now – “The Rise of the Guardians” – and I’m playing Tinkerbelle, which is a really different voice from Bean’s.  And I’m really enjoying that.  But I’m in an isolated booth.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: Yeah, I mean, I love animated movies, so yeah, I’d love to do one, for sure again.  But I liked doing it like this, and I don’t think that they do many animated movies like that.  But I supposed I’d be in an isolated booth, too, if it was a cool movie.

JOHNNY DEPP: But you’d still wear the wig and the gun and stuff.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: I’d still; I’d still; I’d still come completely, full out in the character’s costume.

No disrespect to anyone in the room, but probably for you, Johnny, the only real critics that you pay attention to are your kids.  How do they feel about their dad playing a lizard?  Were they down with it?  Did it work for them?

JOHNNY DEPP: They actually call me the Lizard King.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: My children – they do.  I’ve forced them to address me like that since they were tykes.  [LAUGHTER]

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah – no, it was an odd sort of thing, you know.  “Where you going, Daddy?”  “Ah, I gotta go to work.”  “What are you doing?”  “Well, I’m playing a lizard.”

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: “Okay.”  You know, it’d literally be that kind of thing – you drop your kids off at school, you know, give them a kiss and it was, “Oh, yeah – now I’m gonna go be a lizard.”  Or – you know, the things that I’ve done that my kids have been sort of privy to, I mean, Willy Wonka and all – they don’t – it doesn’t register.  They’re just kind of, you know, they’re far more interested in you know, “Family Guy” or Justin Bieber or you know –

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I’m just –

PRESS: Are you a Belieber?

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: A Belieber?  Wow.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I’ve actually never heard that one.

[LAUGHTER]

PRESS: Ask your kids.

JOHNNY DEPP: And that is my favorite [INDISCERNIBLE].  And you know what?  Yes.  I am a Belieber.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I am.  And I shall remain so.

Okay.  Next question is for Gore.  I wanted to know why the mariachis?  You know, it’s – those characters are a little bit like – at the beginning I thought that it was because of the border or something.  But no – and I love it – I’m a mariachi fan; I’m a Johnny Depp fan, also, but –

GORE VERBINSKI: Well, they just – you know, early on in the development process, it became apparent that we needed a – the movie is very much a film within a film.  I mean, the protagonist is an actor, you know, looking for an audience.  So we just felt like we needed one more layer, you know, that kind of Greek chorus.  And [PH] Crash [PH] McCreary early on was doing some character designs, and he drew a mariachi owl.  And it was just – I saw the drawing and said, “Okay, we need to work this into the script.”  And you know, we just started getting some guitars out and writing a narrative, you know, using the mariachis as a kind of absurdist Greek chorus somewhere between, you know, a little bit of “Cat Ballou”, a little bit of – I was kind of like those guys that follow Sir Robin with the coconuts, you know, singing of, you know, adventures.  And then just the idea of kind of the – you know, all good legends must die, you know, some horrific dance.  So that was a key.  And then talking to Hans [PH] Zimmer, and trying to describe emotionally, the soundtrack for the film, but babbling for 15 minutes.  And then he just said, you know, [PH – GERMAN WORD] Schadenflamer – “That’s what you’re saying.”  You know, it’s like this delight in this character’s pain, and only the Germans would have a word for that.

[LAUGHTER]

GORE VERBINSKI: But that sort of celebration of you know, the great demise of this guy; and it’s looming, following him throughout the film. It just seemed like good fun.

My question is for Johnny.  Rango’s character told the lies to the people, to kind of a situation, to get through a critical situation.  But I’m pretty sure everybody has experienced lying to someone else; I’m pretty sure you have.  And maybe the sweet lie, like you know, the surprise party for your partner, or you know, the kids, kind of, you know, “Oh, you’ve got to eat this,” or, “You’re gonna get this one,” or something like that, that kids forget about, you know, two minutes later.  So I’d like to ask you, could you share with us your kind of lying experience?

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: I actually tell lies for a living.  Exactly.  I mean, that’s what acting is, really.

GORE VERBINSKI: That was a lie.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah, I was lying.  I’m sorry.

Your voice didn’t go up.

JOHNNY DEPP: No.  It’s kind of stuck at the moment, in this register.  Yeah, there are certain – I mean, you know, I felt having kids and stuff like that, I had horrific guilt for many years, playing along with the Santa Claus thing.

Oh, yeah.

JOHNNY DEPP: Do you know what I mean?  And waiting for that moment to arrive where you – they – because you’re never going to bring it up to them.  They’re going to arrive and say, “Hey, you’ve been telling me a lie for my entire life.  What are you prepared to do about that?”  I mean, it’s like that kind of thing.  So yeah, I had horrific guilt.  And we’re now kind of just on the outskirts of that, so I feel okay.  But no, these are lies that society tells you – you must – you must keep these lies, you know, going – these kind of myths.  Yeah, and I feel guilt about it; I still do.

Okay.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: Santa’s not real?

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: No, no – he is.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: No, he is.  He is.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: Thank God.

JOHNNY DEPP: No, I had to lie and tell her that he’s not.  It was horrible.

This is for Gore.  The ILM guys just did a presentation and they showed that you guys did the reference video on some of the sets, and then some of the animators did their own reference videos for the performances.  Did you ever have to, I don’t know, discipline the ILM guys for overacting?

GORE VERBINSKI: Oh – consistently.  You know, but you know, what that’s about – yeah.  I mean, obviously, you know, one of the biggest, one of the things early on is like, you’re an animator; you’re animating.  And what about the pause?  What about – and don’t be afraid to do nothing for, you know, sixteen frames, is a very, very early on discussion.  No, I – you know, we’ve never made an animated movie before.  People keep saying, you know, “For an animated movie… this,” and, “For an animated movie, that…”  It’s like it’s some kind of genre.  And it’s just a technique to tell a story.  So early on, we just felt like we’re not going to think of this as an animated movie; we’re going to think about this as, you know, this is a six foot tall lizard and I’ve got a camera on my shoulder, and I’m photographing him perform this scene with these other people.  And so, you know, there was a great fear about iterations destroying that, you know, multiple iterations, and things becoming clinical or homogenized by virtue of, you have discussions about why is he blinking on frame 38; it should be blinking at frame 34, or whatever – you know, it just becomes minutiae, minutiae, minutiae.  So you know, and trying to get out of the animators a sense that they’re your cast, as well, and that they’re performing.  And moving away from the concept of the shot, and discussing the concept of the scene and where is the – where is Rango coming from or going to; or what’s Bean’s feeling now; or the reaction shot.  So there was, you know, sometimes we have to just get a camera out because you can’t – it can’t be frontal lobe anymore, it’s got to be, you know, intuitive.  And that whole emotion capture, you know, sort of live action record was really – when I heard, you know, people say, “Well, it’s an animated movie; this is how they do it.  They get a microphone and an actor.”  And I just thought – that sounded so crazy to me.  Like, why, I’ve got Harry Dean Stanton and I’ve got, you know, Johnny Depp; I’m not going to – like, I want to see them together.  I mean, it’s acting, you know – it’s reacting.  So all of those things were just trying to create, trying to keep it – you know, we had a mantra up at ILM, which was you know, ‘fabricate anomaly wherever possible’ – just – you’ve got to fabricate it because there’s no – otherwise, it’s not going to feel honest.  So that – yeah, encouraging them but then yeah, absolutely – noose, you know, zipper mask

Johnny, I heard that you’re set to work with Kusturica on Pancho Villa.  And I was just wondering if you could tell me how you plan on segueing from Rango into Pancho, and if you’re brushing up on your Spanish for that.

JOHNNY DEPP: Well, you know, that’s really kind of a – it’s a project that I think is a little bit up in the air, you know.  Kusturica is an old friend, and certainly a filmmaker that I admire greatly.  From the first second that we spoke about it, I always had a bit of a problem.  My dilemma is just the fact that it’s Pancho Villa.  It is Pancho Villa, and it’s one of the great heroes of Mexico.  And for me, I have a kind of strange, you know – I feel like it should be played by a Mexican, you know, and not some, you know –

GORE VERBINSKI: Charlton Heston.

JOHNNY DEPP: You know – yeah –

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: Not some mutt from Kentucky, you know what I mean.  I think, I still feel very strongly about that.  And so yeah, it’s kind of, you know, it’s sort of floating at the moment.  But it’s a great character and Kusturica is a great filmmaker, you know.  I’m sure he’s going to do something very special.

Have you had a chance to look at any of the screeners for the films for the Oscar this year, and what do you think?

JOHNNY DEPP: I have.  You know, the – I don’t do well with modern films, to be honest.  I just – you know, I don’t know – opening credits, and I’m just gone.  [SNORING SOUND]

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: And it’s not about, you know, people make great films.  I just don’t have the eyes to watch them.  But you know, there’s a film that I was really, really impressed with, that I absolutely adored, and I’ve seen it a few times now.  And it’s called “Exit Through the Gift Shop” –

Yeah.

JOHNNY DEPP: By Banksy.  And I thought it was a very brave film, and a very honest film.  And that’s, I mean, for me, that’s – I’m all the way with that film.

And the brouhaha on the nomination – that whole sub-story?

JOHNNY DEPP: Well, what was it?  I don’t really –

GORE VERBINSKI: What was the sub-story?

JOHNNY DEPP: I don’t really know about it, myself.

Okay, fine.

Steroids.

JOHNNY DEPP: I  mean – what?

GORE VERBINSKI: Steroids?

MALE: Steroids

JOHNNY DEPP: The fact that I’m pumping steroids?

GORE VERBINSKI: What?

JOHNNY DEPP: What?

I’ve never used steroids.

[LAUGHTER]

GORE VERBINSKI: Maybe you should.

JOHNNY DEPP: Is in fact, it’s not steroids; it’s suppositories.

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: You know, it’s a French thing.  You know, it’s an addiction and I’m working on it.  I’ll get through it.

[LAUGHTER]

This question is for Johnny Depp.  You say that you trust more in the kids – and what do you think, when you’ll get that attention from the other people, especially from the women?

[LAUGHTER]

JOHNNY DEPP: Whoa.

GORE VERBINSKI: Careful.

JOHNNY DEPP: I do trust kids.  I do.

Yes, but what do –

JOHNNY DEPP: And kids trust me.

What do you think when you get that attention from the other people, like especially from the woman?

JOHNNY DEPP: But I mean, attention – attention is a strange sort of being, anyway, the idea of you know, attention for – if someone appreciates your work, it’s always nice that someone appreciates your work.  But I – you know, I don’t – I’ve never quite understood any of the – the other bits, you know.  The – whatever – you know, where they – somehow you’ve been voted some thing for a magazine and you know – and it’s – it’s a complete mystery to me, you know.  I mean, I wake up and I have to look at that head when I brush my teeth every morning, you know.  And it’s weird.  And it’s unpleasant at times.  So I don’t – yeah, I don’t know about the attention thing.

Hi.  This is for Johnny and Gore.  I noticed, looking through the Rango movie storybook, that he has a continuing adventure and goes to another town.  Can we hope that there might be a Rango 2?

GORE VERBINSKI: says something…

JOHNNY DEPP: I think that means yes.

GORE VERBINSKI: I don’t know.  Let’s see if, you know, people like Rango – Rango.  I’m not even going to call it Rango I.

JOHNNY DEPP: [LAUGHTER] Rango 1.

So there’s a possibility?

GORE VERBINSKI: Currently, not talking about it.  I mean, it felt like, you know – I mean, if you just had a kid, would people say, you want – “How about twins?”  [LAUGHTER]   “We’re just – we’re still recovering.”

This question is for Isla.  Can you tell us a little bit about creating the voice of Beans, and if you feel like having to cover your accent so frequently in films made it easier to do the characterization?  And then I have a follow-up for Johnny.

ISLA FISHER: I kind of imagine Beans, if Clint Eastwood and Holly Hunter would have a love child, that would be Beans.  And Gore, obviously –

JOHNNY DEPP: I’d like to watch that.

GORE VERBINSKI: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

ISLA FISHER: If you were around.  No, and then I just – the physicality of the character had already been created; I’d already seen – Gore presented me with 20 minutes of the movie, just linear drawings.  So I knew, you know, how she moved.  And then I was able to – you know, Gore was with me every step of the way vocally, and he was very specific about what he wanted.  And no one ever wants to hire an Australian, so I’m just used to never doing my own voice, ever.

[LAUGHTER]

ISLA FISHER: I mean, they do want to hire – oh, that came out wrong.  They do want to hire Australians

[LAUGHTER]

Yeah, I was going to say – I’m an Australian.  But I was just wondering, for all the actors – how much of your characters did you get to see in terms of the artwork, before you started playing with them?

ABIGAIL BRESLIN: I saw a picture of Priscilla.  And I would have done it based on like how – I mean, let’s face it, she’s a glamour girl.  So she’s kind of gorgeous.  You know, but I thought she was adorable.  So I would have done it based on that.  But yeah, I thought all the characters were pretty cute – but in a strange way, odd, but you know, cute.  They’re not like cuddly, you know – it’s not like, you don’t want to like hold them, but – yeah.

My question is for Johnny.  In the past you’ve said that you’ve always chosen characters that you had like a personal connection with.  And I was just wondering what your connection with this character would be.

JOHNNY DEPP: You mean a lizard.

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah.  I don’t know.  I always had an affinity for lizards; I’ve always felt somewhat close to them.  They’re reptile- feeling somewhat reptilian myself at times.  No, the – I mean, what was – oddly, I think, I mean, Gore might even, he might disagree.  But I feel like, you know, there was – when we were doing “Pirates” one, two and three, there was a certain, at times when Jack Sparrow had to run – there was this very specific run that I wanted.  And it was from seeing – I saw this footage of a lizard running across the water.  And it was like the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.  And so I said, “Gore, he’s got to be the lizard running across,” and he’s like, “Oh, yeah, absolutely.”  You know.  So that was the whole thing.  It was always – and so whenever we were in that situation, “Okay, it’s time to…you know, let’s…”

GORE VERBINSKI: the lizard.

JOHNNY DEPP: Get – yeah, get in touch with the lizard.  And we did it.  So I actually think that Rango was somehow planted in Gore’s brain from that run, from that lizard run, you know.  And when he actually called me and said, “I want you to play a lizard,” I thought, “Well, God, I’m halfway there.”

–          ALICIA MALONE

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About Alicia Malone

Alicia Malone is a Film Reporter, TV Host, Producer, Writer, Editor, and all around movie geek. She developed her taste for film at a young age, spending many a heady Friday night pajama-clad at the video store, picking out her 7 films for 7 days for $7. Bargain! While at school she created a Film Club, electing herself President. Eventually the School Principal asked her not to get up in assembly to talk about movies anymore.

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