Some more insight into the confirmation yesterday that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis are over but first, the timing of the announcement was not an accident. They waited for all magazines to close on Monday before releasing their statement yesterday so that they’d be able to avoid the supermarket checkout this weekend...which is fine, I guess, but that only gives In Touch another week to work on their fan fiction about his kinky three-ways with Amber Heard.
Did he with Amber Heard? Or, as I mentioned a few weeks ago - click here for a refresher - does it have something to do with this publicist Robin Baum? It will be difficult for anyone to get a straight answer, at least a reliable one. (If, that is, reliability and accuracy even matter in gossip which... another conversation.) I know it’s easy to believe, given the way he dresses I guess?, that Johnny’s not the Establishment. But as I’ve been telling you for months, Johnny is more Establishment than even George Clooney. Compare their film histories over the last 10 years. It’s Clooney who trends to the small, independently financed ones; Depp, on the other hand, is your studio boy. The powerful players who run that town are very protective of Johnny Depp. They insulate him. They take care of him. And that means where he’s concerned, they not only don’t talk, they’ll go to great lengths to make sure no one else is talking and no one else is reporting. That extends to media contacts too. Johnny and Jan Wenner, for example, are close. There’s an unspoken rule then across all Wenner properties that Johnny is never to be sh-t on. That, for starters, takes Us Weekly right out of the game. Which is why there’s always been a shifty reluctance whenever I’ve asked about his relationship with Robin Baum. Those whispers won’t die. But they also haven’t gotten loud enough to the point where you can’t ignore them. And no one will give a straight answer. The best I could get yesterday was an interesting detail about her time management and how much attention he gets... even though she represents some very important names including Daniel Craig, James Franco, Russell Crowe, and Ryan Gosling. Johnny is a major client, no doubt, and perhaps the major-est, certainly, but it was suggested to me that some of her other clients have noticed. That Robin’s always busiest for Johnny.
But it’s not just that. Whatever did or didn’t happen with anyone else was actually not even close to the heart of what was wrong. I’ll go back to an interesting detail I reported a couple of years ago during filming of The Tourist in Venice. Everyone was fixated on whether or not the Brange had problems and no one paid attention to what was going down between J and V. Brange was fine. J and V were the ones who were tense. She was on his ass about not being present, even after filming, and his lack of effort in engaging her and the children. Indeed he seemed more interested in kicking back with a drink, jamming on his guitar, and reading scripts, with family life given equal weight but not prioritised.
What apparently made things worse was their move away from France, settling in Los Angeles. He had financial reasons for the departure, complaining about France and the taxes, but before that word is it was Vanessa who was pushing for one primary residence as their daughter Lily-Rose entered adolescence. It was Vanessa, I’m told, who didn’t want for Lily-Rose such a nomadic existence. But whatever issues that reside in Johnny were only exacerbated by his being grounded. Supposedly this is when they passed the point of being able to save it. Vanessa had long hoped that after nearly a decade of pushing out big money movie after big money movie, Johnny would slow down. He makes a lot of movies. He makes too many movies. He won’t stop making movies. He can’t stop making movies. A talent agent who represents a few high profile 4-0something actors, television and film, said to me yesterday, “If he’s not working he has to figure his sh-t out. It’s classic. Johnny Depp getting in bed with soccer moms is probably his greatest accomplishment. They have no f-cking idea. It’s genius”.
Genius? I guess. But for me, a longtime fan, this is regression. It’s more than just the 10 scarves he has to wrap around his neck and the 19 bracelets on his wrist that he can’t leave the house without; it’s about evolving. How has Johnny Depp evolved? We sh-t on Madonna all the time for not being able to evolve. Is it any different for Johnny Depp?
As for what’s next...
Because we are, after all, here for the gossip...
Rooney Mara because she is exactly his type and...
Winona Ryder’s next movie is Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Would that be the first time she’s worked with Burton since... Edward Scissorhands? Can it be revived, Johnny and Winona, 20 years later? He still has half the tattoo, doesn’t he? Yes, it would be great for gossip. But it’s a terrible idea. Probably harmful in the long run. We thought it was Winona who couldn’t get her sh-t together. Turns out it’s both.