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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Depp blows into London
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp adopted a casual look for the screening
Movie heart-throb Johnny Depp dressed down to attend the UK première of his latest movie Blow.

The star turned up to the screening in London wearing a straw hat, collarless shirt, green tweed waistcoat and trousers and battered workman's boots.

Depp's choice of clothes prompted British comedian Paul Whitehouse to joke that he looked like a tramp.

The actor made a guest appearance with Whitehouse on BBC2's The Fast Show Christmas special.

Penelope Cruz
Actress of the moment Penelope Cruz in Blow
When Whitehouse saw Depp at the Warner Village cinema in Leicester Square, he shouted: "He's wearing the same bleeding clothes as when he appeared on The Fast Show - the dirty old tramp!"

Depp joked: "Yes I am," before Whitehouse added: "I'd cut his hair, wash him and then present him to the ladies."

The audience for Tuesday's screening included Jemima Khan, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Lady Victoria Hervey and singer Natalie Imbruglia.

Blow is the controversial true story of George Jung - played by Depp - who became instrumental in establishing the US market for cocaine in the 1970s.

Jemima Khan,
Jemima Khan attended the screening
Jung claimed he controlled about 85% of the market during the decade.

Depp said meeting Jung "was kind of a trial by fire".

"I was thinking I hope I like him, and I hope he likes me," he added.

"But he was amazingly generous and he was absolutely himself."

Mixed reviews

The film also stars actress of the moment Penelope Cruz - who is also in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and Ray Liotta.

The $30m (£19m) movie has taken more than $45m (£31m) since it opened in April in the US where it was given mixed reviews.

The film was compared unfavourably with the Oscar-winning movie Traffic, which also focuses on the US drug trade.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was also in the audience
Depp's performance in the film was particularly praised.

Director Ted Demme - nephew of Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme - said: "You get probably one chance in a lifetime to work with an actor as talented as Johnny.

"He's a film-maker, not just an actor."

Demme added that Depp was particularly popular with the woman working on set when it came to shooting love scenes.

"When I said 'Cut' I could hear a collective sigh - and it was the eight women stood behind me," he said.

The film is a trawl through the 70s and 80s and the huge growth in cocaine use in the US at the time and Jung's role as a dealer to the rich and successful.

Depp has a child with singer Vanessa Paradis.

Often portrayed as the bad boy of Hollywood, he was arrested after a fracas with photographers outside of a restaurant in London in 1999.

The film is released in the UK on Friday.

See also:

28 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Depp on Jack the Ripper's trail
15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Suits you, Mr Depp
04 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Depp drama excites Venice
31 Jan 99 | UK
Depp arrested after scuffle
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