Actors go to all sorts of lengths to get into character for their roles, and to make them as real as possible. Take Christian Bale: The man starved himself twenty pounds beyond his nutritionist's recommendation, morphing into barely more than a pile of bones and skin for The Machinist. It was a bigger personal commitment than overeating for a few months to gain a few curves. Beyond moulding their body, what do actors do to prepare? They might perform some interviews or immerse themselves in the environment.

Well, rumor has it that interviews aren't enough for Johnny Depp. As Erik Davis reported almost a year ago, Depp is re-teaming with Tim Burton for a film adaptation of the strange Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd. Playing the vicious barber who collects human parts for Mrs. Lovett's meat pies, Depp has been trying to get into character, and it seems he couldn't find a killer barber to learn from.

Nevertheless, when rehearsals for the film start next month, he will be ready. To get into his new character, Depp has taken a different approach. While listening to "Dies Irae," an old hymn used in Roman Catholic mass, Depp slices through the air, imagining that he's slicing throats. Creepy much? His partner, Vanessa Paradis, thinks so. I imagine it can be fun and maybe even sexy for him to swagger around the house like Keith Richards, but it's not surprising that his murderous mimicking is scaring her. I guess we should be glad he's not preparing to be a creepy killer with a predilection for Chianti.