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Johnny Depp accepts Modern Master award, talks 'torturing' Leonardo DiCaprio

By
Marilyn Malara
Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California on January 2, 2016. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California on January 2, 2016. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Actor Johnny Depp accepted the Santa Barbara Film Festival's highest honor Thursday night, pairing the honor with a two-hour discussion with film critic Leonard Maltin.

The Maltin Modern Master Award-winner said he was "scared to death," at the conversation's commencement, which also acted as the festival's opening tribute.

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During the event, Depp offered several personal anecdotes from his decades-long career, including his "instant" connection with filmmaker Tim Burton.

"His hair looked like there was an explosion at a hardware store and he was chewing on his spoon," Depp said. "When I walk into a joint, I know that's the guy I'm talking to -- even if it's not Tim Burton."

Depp also discussed sharing the screen with the then-adolescent Leonardo DiCaprio in 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He went on to say the film was a "hard time" for him, and "mostly really miserable."

"You can't really tell if the thing you're feeling at the time is coincidental. Did I have to be that way for the film?" he said.

Speaking of Academy Award nominee DiCaprio, Depp said he respects the actor a lot. "He worked really hard on that film, researching and showing up ready to work -- and I tortured him. I really did," the Alice Through The Looking Glass actor said.

"He was always talking about these video games. 'No, I will not give you a drag from my cigarette while you hide from your mother again, Leo,' [I would say]."

During the two-hour discussion, Depp also touched on his experiences on dozens of movie sets, sharing work with the likes of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Martin Landau.

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