He does not live in the same time zone as the average person, judging by his repeated delays during his stay in Deauville. But is Johnny Depp a human being like any other? Omnipresent on screens since the end of the 1980s, the American actor has nourished the collective imagination of several generations, his public image merging with that of his celluloid characters.
If Hollywood turns its back on him today, following his personal setbacks, his French fans have obviously not forgotten. Throughout the weekend, they stood in front of his hotel to see him or attend a public meeting unfortunately sold out for several days. Jacket and cap, sunglasses, cigarette and ripped jeans, the now 58-year-old actor recounted his career with a lot of humor and a rather tasty sense of punchline.
His precocious passion for the guitar which made him “forget about puberty“, the TV producers who saw in him”the new James Dean“, his passion for silent cinema and his perfect understanding with Tim Burton who had”courage“to impose it in the title role ofEdward with the silver hands coveted by Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson … Johnny Depp multiplies the anecdotes and does not hesitate to swing a few well-felt pikes.
The fans are real people who go to see the movies and pay their ticket. They are my bosses. And they are also the owners of the studios. It would be time for them to understand it
“For me television was the devil“, he explains, referring to the series 21 Jump Street which made him a teen icon in the late 1980s. “It’s a super controlled and repetitive thing. Fox tried to turn me into some kind of product that I wasn’t (…) So for two years, I tried everything to get fired. One day, I stuck tape on my tongue. I explained that it was a creative choice because my character had a speech impediment. I sounded like a fool and they still kept me.”
If he has chained the roles that have become cult from his first major role in Cry Baby of John Waters in 1990, it was with Pirates of the Caribbean that he became a real box office champion from 2003. At the time, however, the management of Disney was not very pleased by his first tests for the character of Jack Sparrow, from his uncertain walk to his equally improbable diction.
“Producer Nina Jacobs called me up and asked, ‘What’s wrong with this character? Is he mad? Is he drunk? Is he gay? I was sure I was going to be fired so I said, ‘Come on, haven’t you noticed that all of my characters are gay? Finally they kept me and during the test screenings, people loved it.”
A film “kidnapped” for three years
At the turn of a question about his career choices, Johnny Depp recalls that he would be nothing without his audience and that he hates the term “fans“. “These are real people who go to see the movies paying their ticket with the money they have earned hard.“, he recalls, triggering the applause of those present in the room.”They are my bosses. And they are also the owners of the studios. It would be time for the studios to understand it“, asserts the one who is now neglected by the majors after having brought them millions of dollars. And vice versa.
Later in the evening, the actor will put on a layer by coming to present on stage. City of Lies, Brad Furman’s thriller finished in 2017 and unpublished in many countries because of the bad reputation of its star. “This movie was kidnapped for three years“, he launches in the Molière language about this thriller where he plays Russell Poole, the detective who investigated for more than 20 years the murder of rapper Notorious BIG.”There are people in Hollywood, because of them this film was dead “, he continues.” This film is also a story of corruption and unfortunately it seems that crime pays off..”
At a time when his film career seems to be at a standstill, it is difficult to say what will be the future of Johnny Depp. Especially since he has not finished with justice since he will find Amber Heard in court next spring. After losing his libel case against The Sun in London, it is his ex-wife that he is suing following a column published by the Washington Post in which is described herself as a victim of domestic violence. Facts that the actor continues to deny.
Will he find something to bounce back in Europe, and more particularly in France where he keeps a property in Provence? “What I like about you are the people, the culture. Every day is a celebration. I found that in France. And then I also found Vanessa and my children there, so thank you for that“, he concludes, a bit nostalgic, making an audience roar with pleasure a little grumpy for having waited a little longer. Are we a star or we are not, right?
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