By Emma Simonoff
Kevin Smith’s 2014 film “Tusk” is kind of scary, kind of funny and completely disgusting. I have a vivid memory of watching the trailer in sick fascination that stuck with me until I finally watched it one rainy October day on my dorm room floor.
In the film, Justin Long plays a podcaster, Wallace, who goes to Canada and gets kidnapped by a filthy rich man. It’s gradually revealed that this man wants to surgically turn Wallace into a walrus.
Spoiler alert: he does.
Don’t watch “Tusk” alone, don’t watch it while you’re eating and definitely don’t watch it before going to the zoo.
After Wallace had been missing for a few days, Teddy, played by Haley Joel Osment, and Long’s girlfriend Ally, played by Genesis Rodriguez — who are having an affair, by the way — travel to Canada searching for him. Somehow, they get in contact with a French-Canadian detective and meet with him in a fast-food establishment.
The detective has a handlebar mustache, a beret and a thick Quebec accent. As the camera stayed on this tertiary character for an uncomfortable amount of time, I had a deja-vu feeling that he looked familiar.
So naturally, I went to Google the cast of “Tusk” and scrolled through the names until I saw it.
Feeling a stream of shock, horror and pure joy altogether, I forced my friends to pause the movie so I could announce that the strange man was Johnny Depp.
Why is Depp in this kind of movie? Okay, he’s done some pretty weird movies, but this character is in a total of two scenes. Depp does not do weird small-budget movies for two scenes in which his sole purpose is to play a detective who does basically nothing and has a questionable accent. They barely even show his legs.
I did some research — I read one article — so I know the truth. But for the purpose of my blog, let’s have a little fun and hypothesize.
Why would Depp act in a film like this? Maybe he just loves walruses. Maybe he’s always wanted to work with the “Sixth Sense” kid. Maybe he lost a bet. Was he in the neighborhood and was like “sure, whatever?” Had he been practicing his Quebec accent and this was his one chance to use it? Maybe Smith helped him bury a body once and this is how he repaid him. The possibilities are endless.
As Occam’s razor proclaims, the truth is always the simplest answer. And the truth is this: Depp and Smith are friends, and Smith texted Depp to ask if he wanted to be in the movie.
That’s it. Cute? I guess.