On Tuesday, Johnny Depp made a grand return to the spotlight as he attended the premiere of the Cannes Film Festival’s opening film, “Jeanne du Barry.” This marks the actor’s first major role since his highly publicized defamation trial. Fans in Cannes showed their support by holding signs that read “Congrats, Johnny” and “We are sorry” with a heart symbol.
The festival lived up to its glamorous reputation as a lineup of stars, including Mads Mikkelsen, Helen Mirren with her blue hair, and John C. Reilly, graced the red carpet. Michael Douglas, accompanied by his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their daughter, received an honorary Palme d’Or but didn’t stop to sign autographs as he entered the Grand Theatre Lumiere. Douglas, 78 years old, humorously remarked that Cannes was now older than him at 76 years.
French cinema icon Catherine Deneuve, who appears on this year’s festival poster, also took the stage to address the audience. Depp portrays King Louis XV in “Jeanne du Barry,” a French-language film directed by Maïwenn Le Besco, known as Maïwenn. The movie focuses on the rise of Madame du Barry, a French courtesan who became the king’s favorite at Versailles.
While the film’s aesthetics received praise, with funding from Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Foundation and a budget estimated at $22.4 million, critics noted that it lacked excitement. The casting of Depp as the king was seen as a temporary thrill that ultimately fell flat, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Depp’s participation in “Jeanne du Barry” marks a comeback for the actor, who had limited appearances in film and TV following the conclusion of his defamation trial in June 2022. In that trial, Depp emerged with a significant victory, with a U.S. jury awarding him over $10 million in damages in his fight against former wife Amber Heard. However, prior to that, he had lost a libel suit in the UK against the Sun tabloid, leading to his removal from the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise.
Cannes Festival director Thierry Fremaux stated that he was unaware of Depp’s image in the United States and emphasized that since Depp was not banned from acting, there was no reason to exclude the film from the festival.
On a separate note, an open letter signed by over 100 actors was published in the French newspaper Liberation, criticizing Cannes for “rolling out the red carpet to the men and women who assault.” The letter conveyed concerns about the lack of consequences for such actions, although it did not mention specific names.
Leave a Reply