Theatre News

Does theatre scare Johnny Depp? Berkoff blasts Depp, Stephen Fry and others

The ever-controversial Steven Berkoff kicks off at the Edinburgh Fringe against Johnny Depp, Stephen Fry, Downton Abbey, the BBC and anyone and everyone on Twitter

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp
Hollywood actor Johnny Depp

In an interview with the BBC last week, Hollywood actor Johnny Depp said that he is considering retiring within the next three years, a revelation that has dismayed fans and film critics, despite a panning for his most recent screen release, The Lone Ranger.

And just when Depp may have thought the bashing couldn’t get any worse, along comes Steven Berkoff to put the boot in about the Hollywood star’s stage prospects – which are, apparently, nil. According to Berkoff, who appeared with Depp in the 2010 film The Tourist, Depp will never tread the boards because he is “afraid of hitting the wall on stage and forgetting his lines”.

Berkoff was speaking this weekend to BBC Radio 2 presenter Johnnie Walker as part of Johnnie Walker’s Guest Night show, running at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe until 25 August 2013.

Berkoff is renowned for his controversial and combative views, and Depp was certainly not the only one to be in his firing line. The actor-director also poured scorn on:

Downton Abbey – Derided as a programme with just “a lot of silly old tarts in it” [including stage and screen legend, Dame Maggie Smith].

The BBC and ITV – “The BBC is meant to represent values, honesty, decency, values, ITV is not. Why should they compete, ITV does that stinking, sodding Coronation Street until you get brained out. Then the BBC comes out with that stinky, slobbing, clichéd, mindless moronic EastEnders.”

Twitter and Stephen Fry – “They have this stupid thing whose name even suggests to you its depth of cringing banality, a thing called Twitter, which, of course, Stephen Fry loves, because this man loves attention. He has a million, million and half dopes listening to the utterly crawling banality of this man’s mind… They are a cringing mass of morons, valueless.”

The acting industry – “In the last 30 years, we have not produced one f’ing actor” of worth. Berkoff added: “There is more great theatre in the street performers than there is in 100 years of theatre.”