GRYFFINDOR: “Well why not? Shit, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right! This is the American Dream in action. We’d be fools not to ride this strange torpedo all the way to the end!” -Hunter S. Thompson (Raoul Duke: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Johnny Depp responds to Hunter S. Thompson’s criticisms about Johnny’s test photos as Raoul Duke. Hunter told him that the way he was standing was wrong, his ears were wrong, the eyes were wrong, the glasses were wrong, and that nothing was right. Johnny sent the above fax and this letter back:
July 29, 1997
Please know that I am not in any way number one, trying to make an ass of you in the film; number two, turn you into some over-the-top caricature; number three, fuck you over in some kind of cartoon-y way; number four, treat this material like an episode of The Red Skeleton Show; or number five, disappoint you or anything close to any of these things.
I am doing my best to combine pieces of you; the you of today that I’ve gotten to know, the you that I’ve studied from some older video material, and the character from the book, Raoul Duke.
We are at the beginning of this hideous ride and things are just starting to take shape – only starting. So don’t freak out. Give it and me a chance. The wardrobe is not where it needs to be yet and I want your help with it. Fuckin’ eh. Understand that I am not a scumbag, and that all I want outta this thing is for you to proud of the work and the film. Nobody’s getting fucking rich here, believe me. I am an actor and can only do what I can do. I am not, and cannot be you, but I can come pretty fucking close, and will. This is MY work. If you remember back about a year or so ago, I asked you if you were sure that I should be the actor to play you in the film. Your reply was ‘Yes.’ Well, it was at that point that I told you that if I was able to do it properly, and did a remotely good or accurate portrayal, that you most likely would hate me for the rest of your life. That is the risk I run here and okay fine, I’ll deal with that. But don’t ever think that you can throw a bunch of shit at me, and expect that I’ll eat it. You’ve got the wrong boy in this case. I respect, and admire you greatly, and hold our friendship in very high regard. But don’t treat me as if I were a weaker animal, because I will surprise you. Your work is yours, my work is mine. We need to remember that.