Beautiful movie boy Johnny Depp turned to legendary rockers THE ROLLING STONES to help him research his character for new film PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

In the GORE VERBINSKI-directed production, handsome Johnny plays pirate CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW and took his research for the role very seriously indeed.

The actor found Stones guitarist Keith Richards particularly inspirational, and recounts, "What was a pirate, I asked myself. A renegade? What motivated him?

"It wasn't money, it was freedom. Pirates were like the rock stars of the 18th century. Keith is the greatest star who ever breathed - and a kind of pirate."

So French singer Vanessa Paradis' long-term love is playing Sparrow as a postmodern pirate. He continues, "In Jack, I saw a guy who was able to run between raindrops. No matter how bad things got there was always this bizarre optimism about him. I always thought there was something beautiful and poignant about his objective. All he wants is his ship back."

Family-friendly film company Walt Disney was not happy with Johnny's less than conservative performance, but he stuck to his guns

He adds, "They were not happy with my Jack. They were asking, why the gold teeth? Why the weird hair? Why the black stuff around my eyes? I said, 'You have to trust me on this. Either that, or replace me.'"

19/06/2003 17:06