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Video:Johnny Depp Interview - Public Enemies

with Rebecca Murray

Johnny Depp stars as John Dillinger and Jason Clarke plays Dillinger's right-hand man in the crime drama 'Public Enemies' based on the true story of the FBI's pursuit of one of America's most wanted criminals in the 1930s.See Transcript

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Transcript:Johnny Depp Interview - Public Enemies

Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the LA Premiere of Public Enemies.

Johnny Depp - 'John Dillinger' in Public Enemies

What do you want audiences to learn about that period in American history?

Johnny Depp: "I hope they just have a good time, you know, and learn something about John Dillinger, about what he did. Because I think that he was - for all intents and purposes - a kind of a criminal, I wouldn't say that he was an enemy of the public, even though he was a public [enemy]. The film was called Public Enemies - I don't think he was an enemy of the public at all."

The fans have been out here screaming for hours. What can you say about your fans and their support over the last 25 years?

Johnny Depp: "There are no words. I mean, you know, the most enormous thank you possible because without them I certainly wouldn't be here today. Without them I wouldn't have been here back then. I owe them a great debt. They have kept me employed all these years and followed me on such a bizarre road that I can't thank them enough, really."

Jason Clarke - 'Red Hamilton' in Public Enemies

So, playing John Dillinger's red-hand man, what was that like?

Jason Clarke: "It's better than his left hand. He had a pretty dirty left hand, John Dillinger. The right hand was much better."

You guys had to use authentic tommy guns?

Jason Clarke: "We used the real tommy guns and we rehearsed with the real ammunition out at a gun range outside of a Chicago. We did, yeah, in the freezing cold."

Don't those weigh 50 pounds or something?

Jason Clarke: "Yeah, they're pretty heavy. They were the real deal. And then you load them up with a magazine or the barrel and, yeah, they're very heavy. I had a lot of practice with it because I played a lot of Call of Duty on the PlayStation, because they pop up and you have to lean into it."

So that helped?

Jason Clarke: "It did help. You have to lean into the gun."

Why do you think we're still so fascinated with that time period and John Dillinger?

Jason Clarke: "Because it was so romantic. I don't think everything was so preordained or everything was so organized. There's a lot more freewheeling. Society was still being made up. People were making and creating this country still and so there wasn't so much constriction, rules, regulations. You could rob a bank, steal a car, drive across the county lines and nobody could catch you. We had faster cars than the cops in those days. None of them had V8s."

What's up with that? You'd think they would catch on and get the same cars.

Jason Clarke: "They didn't have the money at the time. I mean they eventually did but like V8s had just come out. I think 1932 was the first Ford V8 and that's the one we'd rob. If we're going to steal a car we wouldn't steal a six cylinder. We'd steal an 8 cylinder."

Why do you think John Dillinger was like a rock star at that time?

Jason Clarke: "He was pretty good looking and he wore a good mo, didn't he? I mean that was a great mustache. It was, seriously."

And you think that's what did it?

Jason Clarke: "Well you've got to be impressed with the hair, really."

So that made everybody fall in love with him?

Jason Clarke: "Real men wear mo's."

How come you don't have one?

Jason Clarke: "I wanted to but it was a bit too thin. I think it would have come across a bit differently, you know?"

What's Michael Mann like as a director?

Jason Clarke: "I love Michael Mann a lot. Yeah, I do. He's the type of guy who says what he wants. 'Okay, I want to drive a race car.' 'Okay, done. Do it.' He puts you on a race car track with a race car driver. You practice. 'I want to shoot some guns.' You go to the range with a bunch of SIS dudes and you put some ammunition in. He just gets you ready. Whatever you need to do as an actor, he will do it for you. Whatever you need on set, he is there for you. And you know that he's a pedant for getting it right."

And you shot in a lot of the real locations too, right?

Jason Clarke: "We shot in a lot of real locations, yeah, really weird. And then one actual location we shot pretty close to the exact date of when they had the big shoot-out at Little Bohemia. We were actually in the same room that Dillinger and Red got shot up in. It was incredible."

Did it give you a weird feeling?

Jason Clarke: "Well lots of fog was rolling in that night, because we shot it at like 4 or 5 in the morning. Yeah, it was pretty eerie. It was strange. And then we almost burned the place down."

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