Johnny Depp in free fall

He plays a few chords on the guitar, then exercises his French and, with a certain laziness, asks what the secret ingredients of the perfume are. Sitting next to Francois Demachy, a Dior perfumer, he also says: “I would like to change jobs. I just want to study what you do. I just want to follow you.

Titled Game of notes And released a week ago, the brand’s promo video is Johnny Depp’s most recent appearance, anchored in the promise that more content will be released with the actor in September. His previous milestone was the visit he made to Spain in April, to accompany the premiere in that country of The Minamata Photographer, a film he filmed before the pandemic and which is inspired by the life of the American photojournalist W. Eugene Smith.

Both are the only signs of activity in a career with a dull last decade, whose free fall was accentuated in November, when a UK court ruled against him in his libel suit against The Sun, the British tabloid that described him as “Handcuff beater.” But it was not only that: the judge in the case, Andrew Nicol, asserted that he believed that Depp had assaulted his ex-partner Amber Heard on multiple occasions, and the harsh development of the process exposed the actor’s history of addictions, excesses and violent attitudes.

Depp at the San Sebastián Film Festival in September 2020. Photo: AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos

From that outcome in court, the Warner Bros. studio fired him from the third part of Fantastic animals, paying him his full salary ($ 16 million) despite filming only one scene as the villain Grindelwald. His exit from the franchise stemming from Harry Potter – His replacement was the Danish Mads Mikkelsen – sealed his status as an unwelcome star in Hollywood, where at some point he was synonymous with box office success, particularly in the movies of Pirates of the Caribbean, that they will not have your participation again.

Away from the sagas of the big leagues of the North American industry, the actor seems to be falling into ostracism or taking refuge in the independent and European circuit, where until now he has not announced new projects. But, even without ever stepping on a set again, his notoriety seems to become a drag on those who worked alongside him recently.

This week the director of The Minamata Photographer, Andrew Levitas, accused MGM of wanting to forget the tape after having acquired it at the Berlin Festival 2020 to release it in theaters in the United States. Citing words that one of those responsible for the study would have said (who would have indicated that they had chosen to “bury the film”), he sent a letter to the company.

“MGM was concerned about the possibility that the personal problems of an actor in the film could reflect negatively on them and that from MGM’s perspective the victims and their families were secondary in this,” said Levitas, highlighting the historical relevance of the film. , an approach to the case of mercury poisoning for which the Chisso Corporation was responsible in the coastal city of Minamata in the 1950s, a fact that was followed by the character that the interpreter plays in the story.

His role in Fantastic Animals, a saga from which he was fired.

Although the study replied that the film “continues to be among future releases,” the confrontation sheds new light on the change in perception that exists around the actor. Man scissor hands. A figure who, according to a crisis specialist consulted by The Hollywood Reporter at the end of last year, did not shoot “himself in the foot. He shot himself in the face. “

His turbulent present, closer to the courts than to the big screen, will surely extend until 2022. Until April 11, the trial triggered by the US $ 50 million defamation lawsuit that began in Virginia against Amber was postponed. Heard, his wife between 2015 and 2017.

The beginning of the action dates back to when at the end of 2018 the actress wrote an article in The Washington Post, assuring that she had been a victim of domestic violence, without specifying the name of her alleged aggressor. Depp refuted that point and initiated legal actions that he maintains in force, despite the loss to The Sun and the new blows that he may unleash in his already downcast acting career.

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Johnny Depp in free fall