I came across a fantastic interview with Johnny Depp in November 2011 edition of Vanity Fair and I had to share it with you. Johnny Depp and Hunter S Thompson's friendship has been documented in great detail, but I didn't realise that Johnny Depp had discovered the long-forgotten (by Thompson) The Rum Diary in the writer's basement! Here is a little extract from the interview:
It is Johnny Depp's The Rum Diary as much as it is the late Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diary. For one thing, The Rum Diary, Hunter's only published novel, likely never would have seen the light of day if Johnny hadn't discovered it in the writer's basement whole staying with him 15 years ago, preparing to make Hunter's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas into a movie with the director Terry Gillham. Hunter himself had forgotten about The Rum Diary, which he had begun writing in 1959, at the age of 22, and had not been able to get it published. Johnny found it when he was rummaging through some old boxes of Hunter's works and notes.
"These perfect boxes" Johnny says. "I pulled it out. I was like, 'What is this?' Hunter was like, 'Oh, shit. The Rum Diary. Oh, Yeah'. It was hidden. Hunter didn't know it was there."
Soon after Johnny found the book, it was finally published, in 1998,the year the movie of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came out.
The entire interview is well worth a read so do seek it out.
It really reminded me of this excellent guest post that one of our authors wrote about Depp staying at Hunter S Thompson's house whilst studying for the part of Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It includes a very close-call with some serious explosives.
If you want to find out more about Hunter S Thompson and his Gonzo world then check out William Stephenson's book Gonzo Republic: Hunter S Thompson's America.