The former uber-cool US actor is pretty much broke, thinks drugs are super cool, and seems to be as lonely as he is delusional
25 Junio 2018 12:37
Not only has Johnny Depp seemed to fade from incredibly cool and handsome uber star to an isolated figure grappling with his own personal demons, but there is much evidence to suggest that he was physically abusive towards his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Depp’s star appeal was always characterised by an infinitely cool bohemian vibe that transcended the archetypal Hollywood shallowness of LA excess. And yet, in the last few years, as allegations about his erratic anger and drug and alcohol use came to light, he has proven himself to be less of a romantic outsider and more of an un-woke liability who has squandered his riches and destroyed the relationships around him.
A Rolling Stone profile on the actor, released yesterday, is damning proof of this. As Depp tries to paint a picture of himself as a rebel against the social order - even reflecting on his drug use like an 18-year-old would to impress his friends - he comes off looking like a tragic hero in decline.
The 10,000-word profile, written by Stephen Rodrick, is the perfect example of PR gone wrong. The writer depicts Depp as a celebrity who is unwilling to accept that his cultural significance is fading. He appears lonely, self-deluded, and a fetishist of his own mundane insights. At one point, he suggest that spraying the Middle East with narcotics would have led to a quicker capture of Osama bin Laden. What?
Conducted over a 72-hour period and published on Thursday, the article was intended to be a counter to a long-piece about his disastrous finances in the Hollywood Reporter magazine, and to prove he fell victim to manipulative and shady management However, it reads more like signing your own career death warrant and shows a man who has become crippled by his own failings.
And of course, like in any piece of good journalism, Rodrick's most pointed critique of Depp came from his own observations - Depp drinking vodka for breakfast, rolling joint-after-joint, telling racist jokes that Rodrick would not include - instead of the quotes he was fed. It is likely to signal the beginning of the end of Depp's once-lauded Hollywood career.
Here are the most important, strange, and damning takeaways from the Rolling Stone profile.
The main thread of the article is documenting Depp’s break from his former management and his absolutely tragic financial problems. Rodrick writes: ‘It’s estimated that Depp has made $650 million on films that netted $3.6 billion. Almost all of it is gone. He’s suing The Management Group, run by his longtime business manager, Joel Mandel, and his brother Robert for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
‘The suit cites, among other things, that under TMG’s watch Depp’s sister Christi was given $7 million and his assistant, Nathan Holmes, $750,000, without his knowledge, and that he has paid the IRS more than $5.6 million in late fees . . . The suit seeks more than $25 million from TMG, accounting for “tens of millions” it claims TMG illegally took for its commission, plus any additional damages the court sees fit.
‘The Mandels categorically deny all wrongdoing and are countersuing, alleging that Depp breached his oral contract with the company.’
Although Depp is good friends with Marilyn Manson, his closest friend seems to be his lawyer, Adam Waldman. Depp speaks about the passing of friends like Tom Petty and Hunter S. Thompson, along with his mother, who died in 2016. Depp also has had a falling out with his sister. Roderick notes: ‘One of the most famous actors in the world is now smoking dope with a writer and his lawyer while his cook makes dinner and his bodyguards watch television. There is no one around him who isn’t getting paid.’
Depp wears an earpiece so his lines can be fed to him on set because he cannot remember them. The lawsuit against him alleges that Depp kept a sound engineer on the payroll for this reason and Depp admits it, claiming the process helped him with face-acting.
‘You get a bunch of fucking planes, big fucking planes that spray shit, and you drop LSD 25,’ he told Rodrick. ‘You saturate the fucking place. Every single thing will walk out of their cave smiling, happy.’
The actor fucking loves drugs maaan
The interview takes place between numerous hash joints, as Depp recalls how much fun he had taking all the drugs in the world with Hunter S. Thompson. He also now looks like a junkie.
The actor’s lawyer is Adam Waldman. Rodrick suggests Waldman appeals to Depp because he makes his current state of embattlement sound heroic rather than pathetic: ‘Waldman seems to have convinced Depp that they are freedom fighters taking on the Hollywood machine,’ Rodrick writes, ‘Rather than scavengers squabbling over the scraps of a fortune squandered.’
Waldman is also the lawyer for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to whom former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was deeply in debt, leading Manafort to offer to use his work on the Trump campaign to ‘get whole’ with Deripaska.
The greatest obstacle facing Depp’s public image is the accusations and evidence that suggest his ex-wife Heard filed for divorce because he beat her. The issue, however, is not mentioned till very late in the profile, and is only a small footnote in the story. Depp is legally prohibited by a nondisclosure agreement from discussing their relationship, therefore this is understandable, but it arguably fails to address one of the biggest problems with Depp’s public persona.