In a normal year at the Cannes Film Festival, the premiere of a French period drama would be well received and followed by a low-key press conference, with the director and stars prepared to discuss the play before the international media. But when the film stars Johnny Depp, the presentation turns into a torrent of personal questions.
On the first full day of screenings at the world’s most prestigious film festival, the presentation of ‘Jeanne du Barry’, with Depp as King Louis XV and director Maïwenn behind the scenes, became another show for the actor. Cannes marks Depp’s first performance since his divorce and subsequent trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard, which included allegations of domestic violence and two defamation lawsuits. Greeted with applause by the crowd of his fans, Depp’s tape received a four-minute standing ovation that stunned his detractors.
Asked if he still feels boycotted by Hollywood, referring to a statement he made in a 2021 interview shortly after Heard’s allegations against him surfaced and he was removed from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, he replied: “Of course. . They ask you to give up a movie you’re making because of lies floating in the air. Now I don’t feel boycotted because I don’t think about Hollywood. I don’t feel much need for Hollywood. It’s a very weird and fun time where everyone would love to be themselves, but can’t because they have to align with those who set the times. If you want to follow that line, be my guest. I’ll be on the other side.”
Depp later returned to his controversies, acknowledging that it has been difficult for him to move forward as a public figure. “Most of what you’ve read about me in these five or six years is horribly written, fantastic fiction,” he said. Not everyone parted ways with the actor in the wake of his countless controversies. Dior, the French fashion house, endorsed the star and offered him a contract worth more than $20 million, the most expensive contract ever for men’s fragrances. Depp also expressed his disdain for the media, which breathlessly covered his legal trials and the Hollywood fallout. “Most of what you read has been written under the subtext: ‘I hate you.'”
presence at the festival
When asked by an American reporter what Depp would say to anyone he thought shouldn’t have gone to Cannes, the actor dropped what might be the strangest metaphor ever uttered, in any language, at a film festival press conference. Movies: “Imagine being told I can’t go to McDonald’s for life because somewhere 39 people watched me eat a Big Mac on loop. Who are they? Why do they care? Some species are a tower of mashed potatoes covered in the light of a computer screen.
He admitted that the circus part of the Cannes Film Festival – that is, the drama and controversy that often accompanies the experience – has been the most difficult for him. “But the fact is, I’m here because we made a great movie,” he stressed. The actor also objected to the idea that his appearance in the new French film was considered a comeback. «I keep wondering about the word return, because I did not go anywhere. I live about 45 minutes from here, actually. I’ve had 17 comebacks in my career. I keep wondering about the word comeback because I haven’t been anywhere. Maybe people stopped yelling my name because they were afraid to say it. But no, I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been sitting at home reading scripts and making music.”
In ‘Jeanne du Barry’, Depp plays Louis XV, speaking exclusively in French, alongside Maïwenn as the main character and accompanied by Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Richard, Pascal Greggory and India Hair. The story follows Jeanne Vaubernier, a working-class girl hungry for culture and pleasure, who uses her intelligence and charm to relentlessly climb the rungs of society to become the favorite of Louis XV, who, unaware of her status as a courtesan Through her, he recovers his appetite for life. The actor confessed to being moved by the response to the premiere. «The applause and the reaction of the audience. the energy of the reaction seemed to go on and on. I felt very proud.”