When’s the last time Life magazine broke news that did not involve photos of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne or some other iconic, dearly departed Hollywood celebrity? We honestly can’t remember.
Fittingly perhaps, their new scoop* is about how Johnny Depp and his The Rum Diary director Bruce Robinson came within a Hunter S. Thompson smidgin’ of joining the dearly departed club. We are taking a humorous tone here, because that’s how Depp approached it in his Life article interview, describing what happened when the engines of his LA-bound private jet went dead:
“Bruce and I were looking at each other and I think I said, ‘Is this it?’ It was like this weird extended moment when you’re just floating for a second and you could feel this unpleasant descent.”
“Nobody said a word except for Bruce and I, sitting next to each other saying, ‘Oh sh*t! This is death; I guess this is how it goes down.’ Then we burst into hysterical laughter at the idea that this was how we were going to die… Suddenly the engines started back up again and we were climbing back up.”
This is a classic example of Life getting lucky with the celebrity interview. When a star promotes a new movie, the right question or follow-up can sometimes generate an anecdote that the interview subject has not already parroted to ten other outlets.
*Correction – 11/03/11: Although a number of U.S. media outlets reported yesterday that Life magazine was the source of the above-referenced Depp interview (picking up apparently on an October 31 Hollyscoop.com item and-or November 2 HuffPo hat tip), the anecdote was in fact told to UK reporter Martyn Palmer for an October 29 piece in the Daily Mail supplement Live magazine. FishbowlLA regrets the error, especially since we looked at the time of writing for the story on Life.com and found, ahem, only some Depp photos.