Johnny Depp is addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding his latest film ‘Jeanne du Barry’.
Oscar winner Depp shared at the film’s Cannes press conference on Wednesday that he no longer feels personally “boycotted” by Hollywood, despite outcry over his latest film at Cannes.
“Did I hear a boycott from Hollywood? Well, you wouldn’t have to have a pulse to hear at that point, ‘None of this is happening, is this just a weird joke or I’ve been asleep for 35 years,’” Depp said during the Cannes press conference. “Of course, when you’re asked to step down from a movie you’re making, because of something that’s simply a bunch of vowels and consonants floating in the air, you hear a boycott.”
Depp has previously been vocal about being a victim of the cancel culture surrounding ex-wife Amber Heard’s abuse allegations; Depp won a defamation lawsuit in 2022 against the ‘Aquaman’ actress.
He added: “Do I hear a boycott now? No not at all. I don’t feel boycotted by Hollywood because I don’t think about Hollywood. I myself don’t need Hollywood much anymore. I think it’s a very strange and funny moment where everyone wants to be themselves, but they can’t, they have to fall in line, conform, and if you want to lead this life, I’ll be on the other side.
Depp directs writer/director/star of Maïwenn’s French royal period piece “Jeanne du Barry”. Maïwenn was accused of assaulting a French journalist, which she apparently admitted during her press tour.
“Believe what you believe. The truth is the truth,” said Depp. “Maybe people talk about the film this way or they will talk about your work in a certain way, but the thing is, they’re all here because we made a movie, not because we have a product. to sell but we made a movie.”
Depp continued: “I was surprised to be cast in this role. Yes, I thought someone had made a terrible mistake. Maybe you want to try a French guy like King Louis. He thought about it for a second. I thought about it for a second. It was brave of him to choose a hillbilly from Kentucky.
Regarding his image as reflected in the role, Depp added: “You have to find a way where the viewer can forget who you are, all the baggage you carry…that was my biggest hope that the viewer would forget who had in front of him”.
Depp called recent claims about his character “fantastically and horribly written fiction” among his underdog roles, such as in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise.
“Most of you who have read in the last five or six years, as far as me and my life are concerned, most of what you have read is fantastically and horribly written fiction,” Depp said. “The thing is, we’re here to talk about the film. But it’s like asking the question: ‘How are you?’ But what’s underneath the subtext is, “God, I hate you.” This is the media kind of thing.
Even fielding questions about his presence at Cannes is further evidence of that bias, Depp noted.
“The focus should be on the fact that it’s a miracle you make a movie that you care about in the first place, so you’re successful right there. But to get a film like this done and with the caliber of people and vision of an artist in motion, that should be the real focus,” the ‘Edward Scissorhands’ star said of the ‘Jeanne du Barry’ premiere in Cannes.”All this stuff you can fill your shoes with or line your parrot cage with (it’s irrelevant).”
As for calls to ban Depp from the festival, he said: “So we’re talking theoretically, what would I do if people didn’t want me to come to the Cannes Film Festival? What if one day they won’t let me, under any circumstances, no matter what, I can’t go to McDonald’s for life? Because somewhere, if you put them all in one room, there would be 39 angry people watching me eat a Big Mac on a loop just for fun. who are they? Why do they care? Some kind of species, a tower of mashed potatoes, covering the light of a computer screen, anonymous with seemingly a lot of free time. I don’t think I’m the one who should be worried. People should really think about what this is really about.
But Depp still isn’t considering its 2023 Cannes premiere part of a “comeback” of any kind.
“Apparently I’ve had about 17 comebacks,” Depp summed up. “I keep thinking about the word ‘come back’, because I haven’t gone anywhere,” Depp said. “I actually live about 45 minutes away. Maybe people stopped calling. I don’t know what their fear was at the time. I did not go anywhere. I’ve been sitting around. So ‘come back’ is almost like I go out and tap dance or something.
Reporting by Eric Kohn.