So Thursday night in London was Sweeney Todd's European Premiere and the third time I'd seen the film. It really does get better and better, and, as I've said here before, Depp's performance feels even more magnificent the more times you see it. He does so much by doing (seemingly) so little. I know that awards shouldn't be the definition of a great performance but it would, to my mind, be a crying shame if he didn't win the Oscar this year. Sure Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in There Will Be Blood is sensational and amazing and magnificent and all that, but so too is Depp's. Plus he sings. So there. I'm hoping too that Tim gets his first (and long overdue) Best Director nomination. But before that, let's see what Sunday's Golden Globes brings.
Anyway, back to the premiere. Burton and Depp had only flown in from Japan that day (with Tim arriving in London just a few hours before) where they'd attended the film's Japanese premiere but still worked the crowds outside the cinema, signing autographs, posing for photos, etc. They even stayed later than I did at the after party (and I didn't leave that early) which was held at the Royal Courts Of Justice in the Strand, just down the road from Fleet Street. They had set up a pie shop inside the venue but I neglected to partake because I was simply nibbled out. Tim, Johnny and Helena were there, as well as Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Ed Saunders from the Sweeney cast, together with legendary and lovely producer Richard Zanuck, DP Dariusz Wolski, editor Chris Lebenzon, long-time Burton collaborator Rick Heinrichs, and Corpse Bride producer Allison Abbate.
Friday was junket day and I had the task of hosting two press conferences in the morning, attended by around 120 press, the first with Laura Michelle, Jamie, Jayne and Ed, the second with Tim, Johnny, Helena, Alan, Timothy and Richard Zanuck. Both went well and were full of laughter. So many questions went unasked at the second one (I'm sorry to all those who patiently had their hands raised, but whom I couldn't get to) but we only had a limited amount of time.
Then later it was off to the BFI Southbank for a Q&A with Tim that followed a preview screening of Sweeney Todd. His attendance hadn't been announced in advance; the audience were told, just before the film began, to stay on for a "special guest". When I walked on stage and announced... Tim Burton, the 400-plus crowd went absolutely bonkers, clapping, cheering and hollering for the longest time. It was an amazing reception and it was clear Tim was touched by it. And he was on fantastic form. (It was, I think, the best onstage interview I've conducted with Tim.) It only lasted half an hour but we seemed to pack a lot into the time, and I opened the floor to questions for the last 15 minutes. The crowd loved it and Tim left to a standing ovation...