Eder used his bartending skills to chat up Depp.
Eder used his bartending skills to chat up Depp. (Photo: Stephanie Otto)

Five questions for a dude that met Depp

Bradley Eder, 25, is a bartender at the Calderone Club in Downtown Milwaukee. For the past several days celebrity gawkers have gathered outside and around the Calderone Club attempting to catch a glimpse of Johnny Deep as he (and others) film "Public Enemies" at the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

On Tuesday, Eder, got a chance to meet Depp, talk with him and check out the "Hollywood" scene inside the Historical Society.

We caught up with Eder, via e-mail, and asked him five quick questions about this "People magazine moment."

1. You got to do what about every woman in Milwaukee would die for, meet Johnny Depp. Tell us how it happened?

I'm friends with a guy on the movie crew who works in the makeup, props, costume, or food and beverage department (sworn to secrecy as to what they drink). I took him to Grant's Pub one night to show him the town, and introduce him to my favorite bar (Grant's) and my favorite bartender, Luke Grant.

He was so amazed at my dart playing ability that he said I could come to the set someday to schmooze around. So, he took me across (the street from my employer, Calderone Club) and walked around the back of the set, inside the security ropes, and introduced me to some lovely ladies from either the makeup, props, costume or food and beverage department.

We sat down on a picnic table under the shade, drank Star Struck water "The Water for the Stars", and shot the s*it about Milwaukee, Australia, and other cool places around the world.

Next thing I'm following my buddy like a little duckling inside the bank/Historical Society. We walk by the director Michael Mann right through the bank robbery scene to say hi and "break a leg" to the actors and actresses.

I'm tagging him on the right flank, when all of a sudden, there he is. I'm standing two-feet from Johnny Depp, and my friend interrupts Johnny to talk to his makeup artist. He tells her they are having band practice at 9 a.m. and then he looks and starts talking to Depp. We tell him our names, "John Doe" and Brad.
The whole time I'm trying not to stare at him without blinking, so I'm making that face that Lil Wayne makes in the "Lollipop" video, like - you know -- I was too cool to care.


2. Is he taller / shorter than you expected? You know, the whole camera adds inches thing. How old did he look?

My first thought really wasn't about what he looked like. My first thoughts were, is he gonna dig my UW-Madison, "Jump Around" t-shirt that I hijacked from my pal Buzzy?

Then when I finally focused on him, I swore that he was missing a tooth. I'm guessing his character, John Dillinger, was missing a tooth, because you'd like to think that a man worth more than all of the oil left in the world could afford to keep all his teeth, you'd think.

Then I thought he looked old. Maybe it was the short hair, or all that 1930s shade makeup. So what I'm really trying to say is that I have better teeth and better complexion than Depp.

As far as his height, I don't really judge guys if they are smaller than me, because I always know I can score on them playing basketball. He wasn't little boy jockey short either, about what you'd expect I guess. As far as how old he looked, I'd say the made up face and the tooth made him look older than his 45th birthday he just had on June 9, the day before I met him.

I told some teenage girls sitting outside the restaurant that he looked old, and they scolded me by saying, "Don't ever say that about my Johnny!!!" with their hands on their hips. So don't get mad at me, over the hill, is over the hill.

3. You didn't accidentally call him Jack Sparrow, did you?

I could really only utter that forced laugh you feel you have to do to be around celebrities, and really was just continually nodding and smiling. I've learned great social skills working in the bar business. I did have a listen around, and as expected, everyone on set calls him "Johnny" just like I do.

4. Did he dine at Calderone Club and what's the scene been like there this week? Any fine ladies hanging out there?

Unfortunately Johnny was not craving the best meal from the best chef in the city. As I saw him drive off in just a Ford SUV, I thought they were headed to McDonald's. No limo, or at least a Range Rover?

I did get to invite four of the makeup, props, costume or food and beverage department staff to the restaurant. I gave them complimentary desserts since the complimentary champagne that my friend and I offered them was turned down, because even people with 30 Oscar nominations can't drink on the job. Some people should take note ...

Besides the special guests from the movie, there are always fine ladies hanging out at Calderone. I'm pretty sure it's the fine lady capital of Milwaukee. I don't know if it's the excellent food and service, or maybe it's the unbelievable talented owner, Gino, or just the gorgeous staff. I'd like to believe it's the bartenders' good looks and charm.

5. What else do we need to know about your "brush with greatness?"

Probably the most exciting moment of my "brush with greatness" happened after I met Johnny Depp. My buddy asks me if I want to watch them tape a scene.

So, we scurry upstairs, pull up some chairs, iPhone ready to take some snap shots, and listen as Michael Mann demands silence and the directing begins. It felt like watching one of the DVD extras, "making of the movie" scenes.

Cameras, cords, microphones were everywhere. Johnny and his two other bank robbers bust into the bank, one guy punches the security guards and "fake" smashes his head, then Johnny tells the bank manager to "get all the money". He points his tommy gun at a table where the vice president, two bank managers, and two bank tellers were having a meeting. Then Mann yells, "Cut!" and immediately people start quietly talking.

Next, Michael Mann looks us and says, "Guys upstairs, get behind a wall!" We army crawled around the corner hiding out while still trying to catch a glimpse without being on the screen. After a couple more takes, our hearts were about to jump out of our shirt -- so we snuck back down, jogged outside, and went and laid on the grass. We high-fived like you do after you score a touchdown in 6th grade, and called it a day.

 

Talkbacks

Sara L. | June 18, 2008 at 5:58 p.m. (report)

Bradlee, you've got a lot of haters out there! Obviously they don't understand your charming humor like those of us who were forced to enjoy it. I guess I'll have to stop into the Calderone Club some weekend when I'm back in Milwaukee just to see this charming yet hated bartender :) For the record, I enjoyed your article!

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marcusuwm | June 17, 2008 at 4:35 p.m. (report)

God this bartender sounds like a tool. Hope you like your five minutes of fame bro. Now go back to your tanning bed.

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Poeartemer | June 14, 2008 at 1:31 p.m. (report)

34291 Johnny is fine!!! Just plain fine!!! AND a gentleman!!!

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jeffsherman2 | June 13, 2008 at 9:57 p.m. (report)

Now ya'll leave this kid alone.Do you know how many people he had to suck up to to afford him the oft chance of running into(bumbing)a celeb stud???lying in leaves of grass wasn't just a Whitman euphemism,this boy has to work.And i would guess "double" shifts from now on ,if you know what i mean.So God bless him ,he somtin cool to do ...and did it....Next.

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Megsjo | June 13, 2008 at 6:38 p.m. (report)

B-rad, nice article! That's so awesome that you had the opportunity to do that! As for the people with a million complaints because they don't have anything better to do with their time than judge someone they don't know- they have no class ;) Clearly, they have no idea what your personality and sense of humor are like...which is why they shouldn't be talking in the first place. I mean honestly, who gets THAT worked up over an article like this. Again, awesome for you! Keep on truckin'. See you sometime soon I hope! - Meegs

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