Depp’s disappearing act in Cannes

Star keeps the media waiting to hang on his every word

by Richard Mowe

Late arrival Johnny Depp: 'I don’t feel boycotted, because I don’t think about Hollywood'
Late arrival Johnny Depp: 'I don’t feel boycotted, because I don’t think about Hollywood' Photo: Richard Mowe
Maïwenn
Maïwenn Photo: Richard Mowe
It was a case of “Where’s Johnny” as the world’s media corps awaited breathlessly for the appearance of Johnny Depp, star of last night’s Cannes Film Festival’s opening film - the historical drama Jeanne Du Barry in which he plays the King of France Louis XV opposite Maïwenn (also director) as the infamous courtesan.

The line-up at the press conference which started more than half an hour late, had one ominously vacant seat with the name Johnny Depp attached. Maïwenn and moderator Didier Allouche assured the media that Depp would arrive at any moment. Eventually he did so to an appreciative round of applause.

Seizing the moment the first question revolved Hollywood’s alleged boycott of the star and how his role in Jeanne Du Barry marked "a comeback".

“Well, you’d have to not have a pulse to feel at that point like this was all just a weird joke. Of course, when you’re asked to resign from a film [Fantastic Beasts] you’re doing because of something that’s merely a bunch of vowels and consonants floating in the air…” he replied not entirely coherently. “Do I feel boycotted now? No, not at all. But I don’t feel boycotted, because I don’t think about Hollywood. I don’t feel much further need for Hollywood — I don’t know about you.”

Johnny Depp: '‘Comeback’ is almost like I’m going to come out and do a tap dance — dance my best and hope you approve'
Johnny Depp: '‘Comeback’ is almost like I’m going to come out and do a tap dance — dance my best and hope you approve' Photo: Richard Mowe
As for the comeback question he remained perplexed. “I keep wondering about the word ‘comeback’, because I didn’t go anywhere. I live about 45 minutes away from here, in fact. Maybe people stopped calling out of whatever their fear was at the time, but I didn’t go nowhere. I’ve been sitting around. ‘Comeback’ is almost like I’m going to come out and do a tap dance — dance my best and hope you approve. That’s the notion. It’s a bizarre mystery.”

Many Depp fans are oblivious to the controversy which continues with the release of the film and centred around his legal case and accusations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Some protesters were handing out leaflets at the screenings of the film in Cannes and elsewhere in the country following its simultaneous release.

Depp admitted that he was surprised when Maïwenn came calling on him for the role. He was curious as to why she should want “some hilly billy guy from Kentucky to play the King of France. “I did not want to step outside of my box and into someone else’s,” he said. The director had tried a couple of French actors but came back to Depp because he “excited" her - a necessary part of the relationship.

As for the language Depp acknowledged the help of a voice coach. “She abused me and made me stretch my mouth in weird places. I just hoped the next word would come out in some form of French. I had a lot of help … I think the rest of the cast and Maiwenn were very patient with me. “

Share this with others on...
News

Waiting to become an adult Kim Gordon on Catherine Breillat’s fairy-tale films, The Last Mistress, Samuel Kircher and Léa Drucker in Last Summer

Life in New Lodge Alessandra Celesia on capturing the stories of The Flats

'I had to hire bodyguards' Director Agnieszka Holland on the backlash to Green Border and why film can be a powerful weapon

The land remembers Simon Aeppli on the folk horror landscape of 1970s Northern Ireland

Anouk Aimée - the eternal romantic Star of A Man And A Woman takes her leave at the age of 92

A fusion of music and story Oliver Murray with Ed Bahlman on Ronnie’s, The Quiet One and They All Came Out To Montreux

Donald Sutherland dies Legendary actor leaves a remarkable legacy

More news and features

We're bringing your news, reviews and interviews from Docs Ireland and Frameline48.



We're looking forward to the Fantasia International Film Festival.



We've recently covered Sheffield DocFest, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Muslim International Film Festival, Inside Out,Cannes, Fantaspoa, Queer East, Visions du Réel and New Directors/New Films.



Read our full for more.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

More competitions coming soon.