Johnny Depp in London
On the red carpet with A-lister Depp and his co-stars at the Sweeney Todd premiere in Leicester Square. Watch our video report for more...
Actor Johnny Depp has hailed London's film fans as he stepped out at the premiere of his new movie Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the hit musical.
"These people are fantastic," he said to BBC London, "They're the reason we're all here. They're the ones who give us the job."
Depp spent almost an hour talking to fans, some of whom came from as far afield as Japan and Russia, and signed autographs.
He was joined in Leicester Square by co-stars Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall.
The 44-year-old plays the legendary 19th century serial killer in a role which required him to sing.
murder and revenge
Joking with our reporter, Depp revealed he had never sung before in his life, despite being in a rock band where, he said, he "only played guitar".
Depp with co-star Helena Bonham Carter
Director Tim Burton, who was also at the premiere, said he had wanted to make a film version of the story ever since he saw a stage production in London as a student.
The story of Sweeney Todd, which dates back to the 1840s, is a vicious tale of murder and revenge, and is one of the first examples of a fictional serial killer.
It was turned into a play in 1973 and became a hit Stephen Sondheim musical six years later. Some of those revamped songs were being played out as the stars arrived in the rain on a very wet red carpet.
Burton's partner, actress Helena Bonham Carter, appears in the film as Mrs Lovett, who recycles Todd's victims by serving up some particularly unpleasant pies.
"righter than right"
Surveying the crowd at the Leicester Square premiere, she grinned at our reporter and said, "They're fantastic. But I think they're all Johnny's and Tim's fans."
Bonham Carter is Tim Burton's partner
Bonham Carter also revealed that she had to audition for her role "like everyone else", adding that in her case, she had to be "righter than right".
"This musical has always been really close to my heart and it would be fantastic if it gets a wide audience, an audience who wouldn't normally see it," she continued.
Sweeney Todd is the sixth collaboration between Depp and Burton. Their previous films include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow.
The film has been nominated for four Golden Globes in total, including best picture. It opens in London on 25 January.
last updated: 25/01/2008 at 13:26