Michael Mann talks ‘Public Enemies’

Posted by · 1:34 pm · May 18th, 2009

Michael MannMaybe I’m slow on the uptake here, but I had no idea Johnny Depp has been circling the role of John Dillinger for 20 years now.  Chalk it up to one more reason to be chomping at the bit in anticipation of this summer’s “Public Enemies” from director Michael Mann.

In this San Francisco Chronicle story, Ruthe Stein talks to the director about the film’s coincidental timeliness (what with the general negative attitude toward banks in these troubling economic times), Mann’s typical encouraging of his actors to heavily research their roles and the contention that the film glorifies a menace to society. There’s even a bit where Mann defends Bale in the wake of the “Terminator” outburst (which was probably nothing compared to the shit-fits Mann has reportedly thrown on sets).

The most intriguing quote has to be this dissection of Depp by the director, leaving me to wonder whether Mann might have pulled a career-best performance out of the actor, whose grandfather was a bootlegger during the Depression and apparently served as an inspiration for the performance:

“A lot of what goes on inside Johnny Depp could be used and revealed,” Mann said. “I know there are dark currents within Johnny and also from his past life, and I know he has a lot of John Dillinger inside of him. He has a deep understanding of a troubled past and a troubled life, but is someone who is a very passionate man. He could understand those currents in unique ways.”

It’s a great read.  Check out the full piece here.  As previously reported, “Public Enemies” will be the centerpiece presentation of this year’s Los Angles Film Festival and will open nationwide on July 1.

→ 3 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

3 responses so far

  • 1 5-19-2009 at 7:55 am

    actionman said...

    my#1 film to see this summer

  • 2 5-19-2009 at 8:03 am

    Rob Scheer said...

    I can’t for the life of me understand why people are excited about this movie. I tend to love Mann, even “Miami Vice,” but based on the trailer, this looks like another crime flick in the vein of “American Gangster:” competent, entertaining but also kind of forgettable.

    And a career best performance out of Depp? I’m not averse to the idea, and I know we can’t base an impression of a performance off a trailer, but in those 2.5 minutes, he barely even exudes any charisma, let alone the promise of a great performance.

  • 3 5-21-2009 at 1:51 pm

    KrisT said...

    my #1 film to see All Year. Great cast, with rumors of excellent performances by Depp, Cotillard, Ribisi and Crudup especially. Update your Oscar Predictions list with this included, Kris!