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Johnny Depp promotes "Waiting for the Barbarians" at Venice Film Festival

Johnny Depp promotes "Waiting for the Barbarians" at Venice Film Festival
By Daniel Bellamy  with Reuters

Hollywood star Johnny Depp has turned up at the Venice Film Festival to promote his new movie "Waiting for the Barbarians".

In it, he turns into a cold and cruel officer which his director says may be set in a faraway desert outpost but is relevant to today's world.

The movie, adapted from the 1980 novel by J.M. Coetzee, also stars Oscar winner Mark Rylance as The Magistrate, a down-to-earth and well-liked administrator of an isolated border outpost, which is part of an unnamed empire.

When Depp's Colonel Joll arrives for an investigation of potential future attacks by "The Barbarians", his brutal methods with dealing with the supposed enemy shock the Magistrate.

The treatment of one young woman particularly affects him and The Magistrate, who is never named, soon begins to question his loyalties.

“It felt all too relevant to today in many ways in a lot of different places in the world,” Depp told a news conference on Friday.

“I find the most interesting thing about bad guys throughout history ... those people don’t wake up in the morning and while they’re shaving swear to themselves ‘I’m going to be the meanest worst human being, I’m going to cause as much havoc as possible’,” Depp said.

“(Joll) seemed very different to me than a bad guy ... If you try to think how is a man like that built, how do they arrive at that place ... Joll is to me a series of very strong protective walls that he’s built ... to escape feeling.”

“Waiting for the Barbarians” is one of 21 films competing for the Golden Lion prize at the festival,