Depp: Everything can be a reality show now. Imagine what it’s going to be in 20 fucking years, man.
Iggy Pop: I think it’s going to continue in that direction, until and unless there’s some sort of horrible conflict or problem that makes it much harder to maintain the electrical grid. A lot of the current vanities rely on some very fancy science.
Johnny Depp: People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what. People have reality shows because they’re a Hollywood socialite, and these things become very successful and they generate a shitload of money for the company. And it’s multiplying, to where you’re literally looking into your next door neighbor’s bathroom with reckless abandon. It is like watching a fire. You can’t take your eyes off of it.
Iggy Pop: How did Buster Keaton come to become an actor—was he in vaudeville? What would happen to a guy like that now? How would he get a gig?
Johnny Depp: His mom and pop were in vaudeville. I think they put him onstage in their show when he was like 2 or 3. He was able to do these amazing falls. He supposedly got the name Buster from Houdini. Houdini was on the same circuit as the parents, doing the same shows around the turn of the century. Buster Keaton, the story goes, had this really nasty spill down a lengthy set of stairs, and Houdini looked and said, “What a buster.” And that’s where he got the name. But I think Buster Keaton, in this day and age, would be … He would have walked away, probably. He was pretty smart. [laughs]
Iggy Pop: His look, his gaze was not unlike the gaze of some of the more intelligent and disturbing people that you see living on the street, watching the world that they can’t break back into anymore. There’s something there in that stillness, even if it’s just that they don’t have enough calories to fight back anymore.
Johnny Depp: I think that’s exactly it. It’s that feeling of having been in the racket for such a long time, seeing the changes that have come along over the years within the context of our industries. I think that face, with Buster, is an existential, I can’t believe this is happening sort of look. Befuddled. At a loss for words.