Johnny Depp has responded to suggestions that he was “boycotted” by Hollywood following abuse allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The actor, who makes his feature film return in Jeanne du Barry, answered questions during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday (May 17) after the film premiered at the festival the day prior.
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During the conference, Depp addressed his forced exit from the Fantastic Beasts franchise in 2020 after the abuse allegations came to light.
“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 said (via Variety). “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.”
Johnny Depp: “Did I feel boycotted by Hollywood?…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." https://t.co/VIiTdGy6dP #Cannes pic.twitter.com/Xjz2IfinDu
— Variety (@Variety) May 17, 2023
He added: “I don’t feel boycotted by Hollywood, because I don’t think about Hollywood. 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.”
When asked what he would say to those who believe he shouldn’t attend Cannes due to his past legal issues, Depp said: “What if one day they did not allow me – under no circumstances, no matter what – [that] I cannot go to McDonald’s for life because somewhere if you got them all in one room it’d 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, some tower of mashed potatoes, covering the light on their computer screen. Anonymous. With apparently less free time. I don’t think we should be worried. People should really think about what it’s all about. Really.”
Depp also criticised the media and its coverage of his defamation trial against Heard, adding: “The majority of what you read is fantastically, horrifically written fiction. It’s like asking the question: ‘How are you doing?’ But the subtext is, ‘God, I hate you.’”
In Jeanne du Barry, Depp plays King Louis XV. It marks his first feature performance in three years, and comes after the actor won his defamation trial against Heard last year.
Depp previously lost a libel case in 2020 against the The Sun newspaper, which referred to him as a “wife beater” in relation to Heard’s allegations.
Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, recently defended the decision to open this year’s event with Jeanne du Barry. “The movie isn’t about Johnny Depp,” he said.
Cannes has faced criticism online for “supporting predators” following Depp’s appearance at the festival.