Saturday 29 November 2014

Johnny Depp and Cillian Murphy wine and dine in Westmeath

Published 03/11/2013 | 22:52

CREDIT: Sandra Bracken 
Una Weir, Eleana (11), Donna (9) and Pat Weir with 
Johnny Depp in Multyfarnham
Una Weir, Eleana (11), Donna (9) and Pat Weir with Johnny Depp in Multyfarnham. CREDIT: Sandra Bracken
Amy Dowdall and Johnny Depp and Cillian Murphy in Weirs in Multyfarnham today.
Johnny Depp still made time to sit down to Sunday lunch in a small village in Co Westmeath.
Depp charmed Sunday lunch patrons with his non-starry affability.
JP Donleavy at his home outside Mullingar, Co Westmeath
JP Donleavy with his second wife, actress Mary Wilson Price, and daughter Rebecca
Johnny Depp was not accompanied by new partner Amber Heard
Johnny Depp with Vanessa Paradis with whom he split from last year
Cillian Murphy was also with the actor on the visit to Westmeath

HE doesn't eat much but Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp still made time to sit down to Sunday lunch in a small village in Co Westmeath.

The Chocolat actor joined Cillian Murphy on a flying visit to acclaimed writer JP Donleavy in the village of Multyfarnham yesterday, before returning to London for filming of his new movie.

They were amongst a group of nine, including New York film director Bob Mitchell, who visited the elderly writer.

Locals speculated that the Hollywood group were there to discuss proposals to bring Donleavy's novel The Ginger Man - considered one of the top 100 books of the 20th century - to the big screen.

Set in Dublin in post-war 1947, The Ginger Man follows the often racy misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American living in Dublin with his English wife and infant daughter and studying law at Trinity College.

The group took in lunch at the award-winning Weirs Bar & Restaurant, when Depp charmed Sunday lunch patrons with his non-starry affability.

Johnny Depp and Kate Moss in 1992 (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss in 1992 (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Elton John (Lester Cohen Archive/WireImage)
Leonardo DiCaprio & Johnny Depp during Whats Eating Gilbert Grape Premiere in Los Angeles in 1993 (Barry King/WireImage)
 Actor Johnny Depp attends the FOX Television Stars Feed the Homeless on December 13, 1987 (Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
American actor Johnny Depp answers during a press conference in Toledo, Spain (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and ex-girlfriend Kate Moss (Kevin.Mazur/WireImage)
Johnny Depp accepts his award for Favorite Actor-Horror for his role in the film "Sleepy Hollow" in 2000 (LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage) (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland (Tony Barson/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis as he's honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994 (Barry King/WireImage)
 Johnny Depp performs with "The Kids" at Club Cinema on August 29, 2008 (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp in 2003 (Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Penelope Cruz & Johnny Depp at the repmiere for Blow (SGranitz/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp in 2001 (Tony Barson/WireImage)
Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) (Barry King/WireImage)
Johnny Depp in Berlin earlier this year (Chad Buchanan/FilmMagic)
Johnny Depp during Johnny Depp on the set of "Donnie Brasco" - June 6, 1996 (Derek Storm/FilmMagic)
Johnny Depp during The 7th Annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (Barry King/WireImage)

“He was beautiful,” said Una Weir, co-owner, hastening to add that she did not mean his looks but his personality and general demeanour.

“He was a gentleman - so gentle and kind. He was so nice to all the children who all wanted his autograph because of Willie Wonka.”

“He gave them hugs - he was a lovely guy,” she said, adding that he had also tipped the staff well.

Declining to say what he had eaten, she merely said he had had a pint of Guinness and a small meal.

“He's so skinny, you can see he doesn't eat much,” she said, however the rest of the party had full lunches and had paid the bill before sitting back to chat for two hours.

“When they left, they posed for photographs and everyone wanted his autograph,” said Una.

Depp's Ginger Man film project has been a long time in train but it finally seems to be taking off.

In 2005 there were discussions with Depp about starring in a film based on the novel, with rumours that Shane McGowan had been lined up for a role.

The following year, it seemed progress was being made however when Pirates of the Caribbean came along, Depp's focus shifted .

Depp met with Donleavy again in 2008 and in 2009, Donleavy was still hopeful that Depp would start the project in earnest.

Yesterday's meeting seems to cement the proposal.

Donleavy wrote a stage adaptation of the novel in 1955 which opened in London in 1959 starring Richard Harris. A run in Dublin closed after three nights  as it was deemed “offensive” by Irish critics and following protests by the Catholic church.

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