Very Famous Actor Johnny Depp has spoken out about being the subject of what he calls a “Hollywood boycott.”
In a recent interview with the Sunday Times — his first since losing his libel suit against UK tabloid The Sun last November — Depp continued his attempt to scrub his reputation clean. The interview arrived conveniently in time for the release of his new film, Minamata, in which he plays the real-life tormented photographer W. Eugene Smith.
“Some films touch people,” Depp said. “And this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything… [pause] for Hollywood’s boycott of, erm, me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
He added that he’s now trying to “bring things to light”: “Whatever I’ve gone through, I’ve gone through. But, ultimately, this particular arena of my life has been so absurd.”
As a refresher, Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, were hardly married for a year before the latter filed for divorce in 2016; having obtained a temporary restraining order against Depp, Heard accused him of verbal and physical abuse throughout their relationship. In 2018, Depp filed a libel lawsuit against The Sun for calling him a “wife beater”; England’s High Court of Justice rejected Depp’s claims, ruling that most of Heard’s allegations against him were “substantially true.” Depp then sued Heard for defamation in 2019 over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post detailing her experience regarding her experience alleging the assault. In February 2020, leaked audio revealed that Heard had admitted to a number of violent acts against Depp.
There’s no doubt that the legal mess has hurt his career. In 2019, Disney announced plans to write him out of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, reportedly costing Depp something like $90 million, and J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts trilogy has replaced him with Mads Mikkelsen. Still, the beleaguered actor isn’t entirely out of work. Minamata recently appeared at the Berlin International Film Festival, though it does not currently have a US release date, and besides that Depp stars in the forthcoming crime drama City of Lies as an LAPD detective investigating the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.