Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, 39, is making his comeback at the Cannes Film Festival next month with new movie Jeanne du Barry, but explosive "screaming matches" with its female director, Maiwenn Le Besco, threaten to overshadow it.
Jeanne du Barry tells the story of King Louis XV and his 'favourite' lover. Johnny plays the quarrelsome king, while French actress while Maiwenn, who also directed the flick, plays Jeanne.
It’s Johnny’s first feature film in three years and will hold its world premier screening at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, but his co-star, Bernard Montiel, has revealed things are not as harmonious once Maiwenn shouts "cut", accusing them of "screaming at each other the whole time".
"I've heard some noise from the shoot, very serious stuff," he told French talk show, Touche pas à mon poste! (Don’t Touch My TV Set!).
"[Depp is] an excellent actor, when he comes on set, except sometimes at six in the morning the crew is ready, and nobody turns up. So of course, Maiwenn, who is the director, gets angry, and the next day she’s the one who doesn’t turn up."
In the clip, which was filmed in October but only recently surfaced, he adds: "And you've got Johnny Depp, and she’s not there. It’s finished, over this week, [but] it's going very, very badly. They don't get on at all; they’re screaming at each other the whole time."
Johnny's allegedly acrimonious relationship with time management also surfaced during his defamation trial last year against ex-wife Amber Heard, 36.
The Aquaman's former agent, Tracey Jacobs, testified that his career suffered in its latter years thanks, in part, to "the reputation that he'd acquired due to his lateness and other things".
In 2018, Disney production chief Sean Bailey confirmed Johnny was no longer a part of the franchise's future plans amid Amber's allegations that he was physically and verbally abusive, and his future was unclear.
Johnny's fans have been eagerly awaiting a comeback but while Jeanne du Barry, which follows "a young working-class woman hungry for culture and pleasure" who "uses her intelligence and allure to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one" is being distributed by Netflix in France, no American date for release has been scheduled.
Johnny's $50m defamation case against Amber stemmed from a 2018 op-ed article she wrote for The Washington Post in which she said she was a "public figure representing domestic abuse".
While the piece did not identify Johnny by name, his attorneys said it "incalculably" damaged his career, costing him acting roles. She then countersued him for $100m.
Their vicious court battles gripped the world, amid accusations of fights, bottled and a rogue poop, but following weeks of explosive testimony in a Fairfax, Virginia courtroom, the jury found that Amber had defamed her ex-husband in her accusations, saying that the actress acted with "actual malice" with her claims.
Johnny was awarded $10million in compensatory damages and an additional $5million in punitive costs, although the court reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 due to a limit imposed by Virginia state law.
However, there was a partial win for Amber, who welcomed daughter Oonagh Paige in 2021, as the jury awarded her $2million after finding Johnny had defamed her through his attorney.
In December 2022, Amber posted that she was settling the defamation case.
Since then, the actor has been keeping a low profile, shunning the limelight and enjoying tranquillity at his British country house in Somerset.
He purchased the 12-bedroom property in 2014 and recently said: "In truth, I'm quite a shy person. That's one of the great things about Britain, and especially Somerset.
"I can just be me – and that's nice. I can go into shops without being surrounded by people wanting selfies. I don't mind that up to a point, but sometimes it gets a little too crowded
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