In 1991, a friend of mine asked me to direct some segments for ABC’s In Concert TV show. Little did I know the segment was a special salute to Tom Petty! I ended up being able to meet Tom a few days later when I interviewed him at a Sunset strip hotel. Nicest guy ever. Then from Tom came Johnny.
The ABC producer told me that Tom’s good friend, Johnny Depp, was intended to be the host of In Concert. My next job was to drive with my crew to Malibu to make sure Johnny read from the teleprompter. Sounded simple enough. But as a semi-non-fan of Johnny Depp, I was a bit unexcited to shoot him (maybe even a little jealous!). Of course, he ended up being hilarious and kind with an amazing taste in music. We also found out we shared a bunch of mutual friends.
As candid as he was, there were times when Johnny felt uncomfortable and struggled with the teleprompter. I told him, “Have fun and act like you know what you’re doing.” He killed it. As if that wasn’t enough, Johnny allowed me to take some photos of him after the shoot by his car smoking a cigarette. Ten simple shots later and he won me over.
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