_ Grape nuts
Johnny Depp has played some oddballs in his time. now he’s surrounded by them in What is [faring
Gilbert (Era/MI), as he tells 7-; . .c
When Johnny l)epp takes to the screen. there is Usually a physical quirk in the character's appearance that provides the key to the personality lurking underneath: the kiss-curl cuteness of Cry Baby. the grotesque (iothic melancholy of lit/Imn/ St‘iswr/itun/s. the Keaton-esque capering of Benny A'- ./mnr. the angorasvveater kitsch of the forthcoming lit/ Il'oml. ln ll'lnt/iv [future (Ii/lien (it‘d/uh". however. there's just the simplicity of a blue denim jacket and l)epp‘s doe-like eyes peering softly out from beneath his slightly red—tinted hair. Just when it looked like l)epp was about to corner the market in cinematic cranks. along comes a role vv here he is the sole source of calm dependency in a somewhat demented world.
‘(iilbert is a pretty straight guy.‘ the 30—year—old actor agrees. "He‘s the gravity in the film. the eyes and the cars of the audience. lior me. it's always more difficult to play the straight guy (iilber't is basically a wry nriscrable guy w ho lives in a small town in Iowa with his family. His mother is about 80H lbs. he has a
FUNNY, l.IVE, DANGEROUS AND FREE IN EDINBURGH STUDIO 1 COMEDY CABARET SEASON
A” I" I. "o '1
young girl on the road in a trailer with her grandmother. For the ﬁrst time in
younger brother who is mentally retarded. a sister at the peak of puberty and an older woman he‘s haying an alfair with. lle's stuck in this town. so he sort of kills himselfemotionally.’ l‘ntil. that is. he meets Juliette Lewis, a
his life. the saintly (iilbert has to make a series of decisions for his own sake. not for the good of those around him. But Hint/s [zit/rug (ii/her! (Int/n5” is not a straightforwar'd American teen rorrrance. any rrrore than director Lassc llallstrom's lk‘slvklltlwll mov ic. My Life .Is .v‘. Hog. was a straightforward coming of—agc tale. Several topics that area little touchy in the American consumer market - anything from
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?: ‘the neurotic details of srnalltown daily lite’
obesity to the death of the corner—shop grocery —— are handled intelligently and
, sympathetically. Some wonderful
performances by a host of character actors —- Mary Steenburgen. (,‘rispin Glover. Kevin Tighe — fill in the neurotic details of srnalltown daily life. creating an engagineg real community for the young leads to breathe in. Juliette Lewis is less mannered and more appealing than usual; the ()scar- norninated Leonardo l)i Caprio gets beyond mere physical impersonation of mental illness. finding sympathy without sentimentality; and l)epp
shows a lovely. relaxed style of acting
that wins our confidence as much as that of his neighbours. Once again. however, his decision to take on a
PETER EASTON introduces
MAY 6: ARNOLD BROWN / RHONA CAMERON with TAM WHITE AND THE SHOESTRING BAND
FJAERE/ LOVE AND MONEY
MAY 13} ALAN TAYLOR / BRUCE MORTON with zur LA CHUTE / PEARLFISHERS
also MAY 20:
LIZ LOCHHEAD / PHIL KAY
BEAT POETS / THE WAKE/ LOUISE RUTKOWSKY
JOHN PAUL LEACH / PARROT
THE KAISERS/ LIFE WITH NIXON / SUPERSTAR
CRYSTAL HEAD RADIO /-MIKE HERON / HUE AND CRY
JUNE 10: FORD KIERNAN l MARTHA MCBRIAR SOPHIE BANCROFT I THE NECTARINE No 9 I PAUL QUINN
FRIDAYS l0.l0pm - I H 5pm (doors Open 9.30) =
KEVIN KOPFSTEIN I KENNY HARRIS
project that revels in its uniqueness means that he is still unlikely to make the jump from cult to mainstream. Not that he‘s bothered.
‘l have a severe allergy to formula because. in Hollywood. the movie business is exactly that.‘ he points out. ‘l‘m still trying to fight labelism. all the names you are given. There is a danger that I‘ll be labelled as an oddball because of the films I do. so after lid ll'oml. I think it will be time to ﬁnd something else — not play the lost soul kind ofthing . . . It's such an obvious thing to do when a young actor comes out. They have to call them something. label the product - “heart-throb". “sex symbol“. “new Jarrres l)ean". Why do they have to do that? Why can‘t ljust be a young actor."
l)epp probably has to put up with more than a fair share of interest in him because of the very fact that he is as far from formula as his screen creations. Born in Kentucky, brought up in South Florida. resident of Hollywood. he‘s been a TV star. a pop star. a film star. “It can be annoying.‘ he says of media interest in his private life. ‘but it‘s only annoying in as much as a bug going round the room that bothers you and you swat at it every now and again. 'l‘here's a certain amount of your life that you have to give up. but the worst thing in the world is a whining actor. . . l‘m recognised a bit here and there. but that sort of stuff doesn‘t bother rue like it does some. I think people on the whole are just curious and just want to say hello. [f I want to hide. ljust drop the mane and hide behind the hair.‘ ll’liul is [fa/mg (ii/l)erl Grape? opens in Scot/um! on Friday 6 May.
STUDIO I, Broadcastlng House, 5 Queen Street, EdInburgh TICKETS: FREE at the door on the night, or by collection In advance
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The List (T‘l‘) May l‘)‘)-l 25