Gore Verbinski Backstage at Oscars: It Was Johnny Depp

Gore Verbinski, director of Best Animated Feature “Rango,” says the project took off once Johnny Depp got involved

Minutes after winning an Academy Award for the animated feature "Rango," director Gore Verbinski credited Johnny Depp for getting the movie made.

Read more: 2012 Oscars: Complete List of Winners and Nominees

"It helps when you're friends with Johnny Depp," he said. "I mean, we needed money and once Johnny said he was in, things started to happen."

He said the first 18 months of the movie "were just out of our house."

Verbinski, who is now directing Depp in Disney's "The Lone Ranger," said he has to get back to work on Monday.

For now, though, he said, "I'm feeling I'm dreaming right now. … It's here. It's in my hand. It's very heavy. It feels good."