Depp’s film Jeanne du Barry (directed by Maïwenn) opened the May festival this year and was deemed by many to represent a Hollywood “comeback” following his bitter defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The French-language film about Louis XV’s last mistress marked the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s first lead role since winning the trial against Heard last year.
On Wednesday (14 June), photographer Greg Williams shared a video of Depp getting ready for Cannes on his Instagram account.
“Walking up the steps at the thing, I’ve done it a few times with different films over many years,” Depp, 60, said in the video of returning to Cannes. “It’s always kind of – it’s quite beautiful, when you’re at the receiving end, you just feel like, initially you feel f***ing exposed.”
Asked by Williams how it felt to be back at the festival promoting a movie, Depp replied that a friend had texted him saying that it was his “comeback film or something”.
“I mean, you call it whatever you want, you could make it whatever you want but comeback? I mean, you have to go away to come back,” Depp said on his car journey to the film’s premiere. “I didn’t go nowhere. Maybe I was not thought of or looked at or allowed to be looked at...”
Asked if he felt any “satisfaction” towards his return to Cannes, Depp, smiling, admitted: “This – you know, yes, there is...
“Because, you know, at the top of this horrible period, at the beginning of it it was… you know, again, it’s like kind of what I was saying before. People can hit the bottom many times,” he said.
“You can drop straight to the bottom a billion f***ing times, but if you’re lucky enough to find the basement, you’re alright, you know?”
Depp had sued Heard for defamation, claiming that she had falsely implied he was abusive towards her in a 2018 Washington Post opinion article.
In 2020, Depp announced that he was leaving the Harry Potter spin-off franchise Fantastic Beasts, after being asked to resign by Warner Bros.
His departure came after losing a libel case against The Sun in the UK, in which he sued the paper after it published an article describing him as a “wife beater”. A UK court ruled that the claim was “substantially true”.
Depp has not been cast in a major US film since the UK trial.
At a Cannes press conference, Depp was asked whether he still felt “boycotted” by Hollywood. “Did I feel boycotted by Hollywood? You’d have to not have a pulse at that point to feel [like], ‘None of this is happening, this is actually just a weird joke – you’ve been asleep for 35 years!’” he responded.
“Of course, when you’re asked to resign from a film you’re doing because of something that is merely a bunch of vowels and consonants floating in the air, you feel a bit boycotted.”
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