Since beginning his career back in the mid-80s, Johnny Depp has proven to be one of the most talented, enigmatic actors working in Hollywood. He’s done everything from animated features, to big action-adventure blockbusters, to Oscar-centric drama, and is without question among the most popular actors in the world. And this weekend his fans will be able to see his latest: the new sci-fi thriller Transcendence.

Directed by first-time filmmaker Wally Pfister, the new movie stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, a brilliant man and leading mind in the research of artificial intelligence and the creation of a sentient computer. When Will becomes the target of a luddite terrorist organization known as RIFT, however, he, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and his partner Max (Paul Bettany) are left with a choice: either Will’s mind can die along with his body, or they can try and upload it into their computer system. While the experiment initially seems like a success, Evelyn and Max are left with a troubling question: is it really Will inside the machine, or something else – and possibly malevolent – instead?

As part of promoting the release of Transcendence, Depp – along with the rest of the cast and filmmakers behind the film – participated in a press conference in Los Angeles, CA earlier this month, and the actor had the chance to answer journalists’ questions both about his newest movie and more. Read on to find out what he had to say!

Johnny Depp Transcendence
He Met Transcendence Director Wally Pfister Thanks To Paul McCartney
While Transcendence may be his directorial debut, filmmaker Wally Pfister is hardly new to the world of filmmaking. He began his career as a cinematographer all the way back in the early 1990s, but it was when he began working with Christopher Nolan that his career really took off. Collaborating with Nolan on every single one of his films since Memento, Pfister earned incredible acclaim for his photography, including an Academy Award for his work on Inception. Strangely enough, however, that wasn’t how the filmmaker wound up meeting Johnny Depp and getting him to star in Transcendence. Instead, their collaboration can be traced back to a time that they both spent with a former Beatle.

According to Depp, he first met his future director when he agreed to appear in a video clip that Paul McCartney was putting together and that Pfister was shooting. Between takes the three men would just hang out and play guitar, which helped form a special bond between the actor and the filmmaker. Said Depp, "He and I would sit there and play guitar and then Paul would come over and we’d play guitar. We’d kind of subtly make him teach us things, Beatles songs. We just instantly got along. When the idea of this film arrived, I was beyond thrilled."

Just so it’s on the record, part of the reason why Transcendence got made was because Johnny Depp and Wally Pfister had a great time together getting Paul McCartney to teach them Beatles songs on the guitar. Hollywood sure is a funny place, isn’t it?

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