Johnny Depp Has No 'Further Need for Hollywood'

Actor doesn't mince words at press conference in Cannes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2023 7:58 AM CDT
At 'Circus-Like' Presser, Johnny Depp Lays It Bare
Johnny Depp, left, and director Maiwenn pose for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Jeanne du Barry' at the 76th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 17, 2023.   (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Appearing at the Cannes Film Festival the day after premiering his first film in three years, Johnny Depp said Wednesday that he has "no further need for Hollywood." The AP reports Depp made a rare public appearance to face questions from the press following the opening-night premiere of Jeanne du Barry, in which Depp plays King Louis XV. The film, directed by and starring Maiwann, is Depp's first film since a jury last year largely sided with him in his legal battle with his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Part of Depp's argument in that 2022 defamation trial was that he had lost work due to Heard's allegations, and he addressed that.

"Did I feel boycotted by Hollywood? You’d have to not have a pulse to feel like, 'No. None of this is happening. It’s a weird joke,'" Depp told reporters. "When you’re asked to resign from a film you’re doing because of something that is merely a function of vowels and consonants floating in the air, yes, you feel boycotted." Depp was most notably asked to step down from the Harry Potter spin-off franchise Fantastic Beasts. Now, though, he says he's not interested in returning to studio projects.

"I don’t feel boycotted by Hollywood, because I don’t think about Hollywood. I don't have much further need for Hollywood, myself," Depp said. "It’s a strange, funny time where everybody would love to be able to be themselves, but they can’t. They must fall in line with the person in front of them. If you want to live that life, I wish you the best." The Jeanne du Barry press conference was among the most circus-like in recent years at Cannes. The press conference began unusually late and started with Maiwann and other cast members there, but no Depp. He arrived about 20 minutes into the press conference and quickly took the spotlight.

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Depp called the majority of what's been written about him in recent years "fantastically, horrifically written fiction. It’s like asking the question: 'How are you doing?' But the subtext is, 'God, I hate you,'" said Depp. Some have raised questioned about whether Cannes ought to have given Depp such a prominent platform. Asked how he would respond to such critics, Depp made a comparison that suggested few people feel that way. "What if one day, they did not allow me to go to McDonald's for life because somewhere there’d be 39 angry people watching me eat a Big Mac on a loop?" pondered Depp. “Who are they? What do they care?" Jeanne du Barry opened Tuesday in French cinemas. It doesn't have US distribution as of yet.

(More Johnny Depp stories.)

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