Encounter 1 -
North Hatley 9/17/03 - Secret Garden Set
The day I met Johnny Depp
First of all, Iíve been a great Johnny Depp fan for a couple of years. When I saw him in Sleepy Hollow, even if I was only 12 years old, I knew he had something different and I wanted to know more about him. Last year I started collecting his movies and his pictures. So, when I learned Johnny was going to be in North Hatley for the filming of Secret Window, I was totally freaking out because that village is not even half an hour from where I live.
I knew he was going to be there September 15th 16th and 17th but they were school days. So, I asked my mom to go in North Hatley September the 14th for lunch cause it was my 16th birthday the week before. I was hoping Johnny would be there a day before the shooting (hey, a girl can always dream!) but he wasnít, or at least I didnít see him. We even went to the hotel he was staying. We asked an employee if Mr.Depp had arrived. She turned red and she said she had no idea...so maybe he was there after all! I was so dissapointed and cried on the way back home. My mom and her boyfriend felt bad for me so they asked me if I wanted to go see Once upon a time in Mexico at the movies. So we went there and on our way, I asked my mom if I could miss school and if she could take a day off from work to go back in North Hatley. She said she would try her best. And she did. She got the 17th off and picked me up from school at 12:00.
I was so exited. When we arrived, I was just facinated by all the changes in the village. It had become a New York town. We parked the car and went where all the action was but they were not filming at that moment. We couldnít even see the crew. But it didnít matter, I was just so glad to be there.
My mom was getting hungry so she dragged me with her at small convinience store. I spoke with the cashier and she told me I had no chance to see Johnny because he was always being hidden from the public. I was a little sad but decided to stay anyway. It was a beautiful sunny day and I didnít want to go back to school. My mom and I decided to go eat near the lake. I felt like laughing so hard when I saw some girls lying in their bikinis since it was not THAT hot. I felt like shouting: hey! Heís almost married and has two kids, donít even think about it! But I didnít.
After lunch we went back to the shooting spot and spoke with a very nice jounalist who told me Johnny was going around in a big black Ford SUV. I thanked him for that and we continued to chat a little. He told me I would be verrrryyy lucky if I saw Johnny. Again, I felt sad. We stayed there for a while, watching the crew preparing to shoot. Then. Suddenly, I turned around and saw Johnny for the first time. He was rehearsing a scene, on the front steps of the post office, in wich he had to wave in our direction. Since I was so excited, I waved back. When I realized he didnít really waved at us, I felt a little dumb. But I didnít really care because it was the most awesom day of my life and it was only the beggining. I stayed there, my mouth dropped open for about half an hour watching him work.
Then, this security agent came up to us and politely asked us to go on the other side of the street. I was so happy Ďcause from there we could see Johnny even better. He was wearing a red shirt over a dark blue t-shirt with a simple pair of jeans. Those were obviously his clothes for the movie. At one point, he came very close to us, his fans. He was about ten feet away and was speaking to a technician. I couldnít believe it. JOHNNY DEPP was there, just 10 FEET away from ME! Then, the most awesome thing happened. He climbed in his SUV and waved at us. When I say us, I mean about 10 women and one 16 year old girl...me. As the vehicule was about to turn the corner, he rolled down his window, looked at me (he must have seen the sad look on my face when I realized he was leaving), and did signs with his hands. I looked at his face and read on his lips. He was telling me ďIíll be backíí. I was in shock. He smiled and waved one last time. I waved back with the a big smile too.
I think Iím the only one who saw this because everyone else were leaving. I begged my mom to stay and she agreed. It was maybe mid afternoon, I donít really remember.Then, my mom and I had to go to the washroom. As we head there, We saw the SUV parked in front of the convinience store. I decided to wait next to it just in case Johnny would show up, but he didnít. We went back to the shooting spot. The crew was getting ready to shoot again. Johnny arrived at the other end of the street. At one point, while he was concentrating on what he had to do, I shyly waved at him, he was maybe 25 feet away. Suprisingly enough, he saw me, smiled and waved back. I was so happy. He seemed so nice, so true, so kind. Again I stood there watching. The place was slowly getting crowded by young girls who had jusy finished class. I was happy to talk to people who understood me.
At that point, everybody was wondering the same thing: Is Johnny gonna sign autographs? A security guy gave us the answer. He said that after the shooting, Johnny would get his make-up removed and all that and he said he would come back for pictures and autographs as long as we would respect their rules (not crossing the cheap plastic fence, not calling all our friends to comme over, that kindda stuff). We patiently waited as Johnny was getting ready to leave. He signed a couple autographs for the crew (lucky them!). When he left, I couldnít help myself wondering if he would really come back for us. The sun was going down. It was around 5:30 pm. We had no idea how long it would take untill he would be back so I stood there and didnít move from the same spot (it was agood one) for nearly one hour and a half. People started gathering all next to each other, so we were all facing the street.
Finally, he showed up in his scruffy clothes. He had a black whool hat, a soft grean coat and a funny grey scarf. The crew was telling him to hurry up but he didnít. He was taking his time so that his fans would be pleased. The security decided that it would be better if Johnny started with the children. He was so nice to them. He even repaired a camera so that the person could take a picture of him. Now how kind is that?!
When he was done with the little ones, Johnny slowly continued with his older fans. He was coming in our direction. I was totally panicking. He stopped to one woman who wanted her babyís t-shirt signed. He agreed as she was pulling up the babyís sweater. As he was writting he said in a very well spoken french: Elle est belle! (wich means she is beautiful). When he showed up to me, I asked him if he could sign two autographs: one for me and one for my sister who couldnít be there. He said ďSure!Ē and asked me what were our names and how to spell them. Isnít that nice of him?! Then I asked him if I could have my picture taken with him. I dont remember his answer but it was definately positive. He reached his right arm towards me and put it around my shoulders. I tried to tell him how much I respect him and how much I was thankful to him but the words that came out of my mouth didnít make any sense. I think he understood what I ment and he said ďaaww! Youre a Sweetheart!Ē I thanked him and asked him one last thing: Can I give you a hug? ďOf course!Ē he answered. I leaned towards him, and put my arms around his neck. He gently rubbed my back. I felt like staying there forever Ďcause it was my biggest dream come true. I can still remember his smell: he smelled clean, fresh, with a subtle cigarette odour. When we let eachother go, it felt like the weirdest and the most awsome thing ever: My biggest dream had came true. I took a picture of my mom with him and then we left. I can asure you he is one of the sweetest person I met, and he is definately the kindest.
In the car, my whole body was shaking. I couldnít wait to get home and call one of my best friend, Stef, who had been very supportive with me. When I got home, I told the story to my sister and called my friend who couldnít believe what she was hearing. As I was getting ready to go to bed, I took off my jean jacket and decided I wouldnít wash it for a while...Hey! Johnny Depp put his arms around it! Since then, I sleep with my jean jacket who reminds me that dreams do come true, as long as you have faith in yourself.