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Finding Neverland - Johnny Depp doesn't mind growing up

Story by: Jack Foley

JOHNNY Depp insisted that he has no problem with getting old, despite playing the author of Peter Pan in his new film, Finding Neverland.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival 2004, the ever-youthful Depp insisted that he actually enjoys the ageing process - even though the 41-year-old actor looks as though he is still in his early 30s.

Joking with reporters, he said: "Nowadays, it's all a question of surgery, isn't it?

"No, of course the notion is beautiful - the idea of staying a boy or a child forever.

"But I think you can. I've known plenty of people in their later years who were like little kids, had the energy of little children, the curiosity and fascination. I think we can keep that. It's important we keep that.

"But I think it's great fun growing old. I think it's great," he added.

In Finding Neverland, Depp stars alongside Kate Winslet and Dustin Hoffman as author, JM Barrie, who bonds with his neighbors - four boys and their mother - in London around 1900, while struggling to find inspiration for his latest novel.

The experience subsequently inspires him to invent the famous character of Peter Pan, or the boy who never grew up.

The film is being distributed in cinemas by Miramax and is already being touted as a possible Oscar contender.

Discussing the project at Venice, Depp also discussed the problems he initially had with his Scottish accent, which he couldn't quite get hold of.

"Luckily, I found this dialect coach who helped me out a great deal," he confessed.

The film is due to open in UK cinemas on October 29.

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