Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and actor Johnny Depp had a close relationship. So close that the writer felt he could wake Depp up at 6:30 AM on the phone to discuss the making of The Rum Diary — which hits theaters this Friday. The film is based on Thompson’s story about a journalist (Paul Kemp) who moves to Puerto Rico to work for a newspaper. The usual alcohol and women drama ensues. Depp plays Kemp, and Thompson was clearly more than anxious to discuss the production as evidenced in the videos below from Hunter Thompson Films. These clips are a great behind-the-scenes view not only at the colorful character that Thompson was, but just how much the film has changed since the beginning stages. As HTF explains on their website:
“Others constantly read his work to him in the kitchen of Owl Farm, but Hunter rarely recited his own work out loud. In this case, he was trying to impress a group of Producers, and one particular movie star, who had come to talk about making a movie of the book. The star was not Johnny Depp, but instead Josh Hartnett who at that point — in the summer of 2002 — was slated to play the character Yeamon from the book. Hunter and Josh bonded well, but in the end Yeamon was written out of the script by [director] Bruce Robinson.”
Dig in below to get the full skinny, plus two other videos of an infamous Hunter S. Thompson fax, and one of Hunter and Depp brainstorming the movie while drinking and sitting around a tiki fire. It probably goes without saying, but these are NSFW — unless you work for a foul-mouthed eccentric.