Cannes, France – At first, you wondered if they were running out of clock.

Twenty minutes after the Cannes Film Festival news conference for “Jeanne du Barry” began on Wednesday, neither the film’s actress-director, Maven, nor its lead actor, Johnny Depp, had actually appeared.

Was he hoping to dodge the questions? For Maiwen, who was accused of spitting on a reporter in February, and Depp, who recently won a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard after she made allegations of physical and sexual abuse, their Questions about personal scandals could overwhelm all discussions. The film they were there to promote. Both were present when “Jeanne du Barry” opened the festival the previous night, but Cannes premieres are famously flatter and end with a customary standing ovation. Meeting the press would be a completely different matter.

Depp, who hasn’t starred in a major Hollywood film in five years, had already missed the morning photo call for the French-language drama “Jean du Barry,” in which he plays Louis XV opposite the titular courtesan Maiwen. Had a role. Maven fell to shouldering that appointment alone, and 25 minutes after the “Jean du Barry” press conference had begun, Maven entered the media room with his leading man, who was still nowhere to be found.

At first, she spoke about her absence, revealing that she originally offered the role to Depp to several French actors who passed on. Eventually, she approached Depp, arguing that his nationality was less important than her other concerns: “I wanted to feel strongly about the actor, especially when I would later hug and kiss him.”

Most questions from Maiven were kept to a minimum, and none were regarding his altercation with French journalist Edvi Plennel, who said Maiven spat on him in a Paris restaurant – which he more or less confirmed – because He was investigating multiple claims of sexual misconduct against director Luc Besson, who had a son with Maiwen when she was just 16. (Besson denied the nine women’s allegations, and French officials said that after an investigation, the director No fee, If nothing else, Cannes is a reminder that almost every major figure in the French film industry has a big “controversy” section on Wikipedia.)

But it was all just warm-up for Depp, who entered 42 minutes late to widespread booing from reporters, then went onstage to kiss Myven on the top of her head.

Depp, who spoke mostly in mumbling metaphors, at first discussed the French-language requirements of the role, but was soon asked if he felt Hollywood had boycotted him. He Was Bounced From The “Fantastic Beasts” Franchise In 2020, his legal battle with Hurd began to heat up.

Depp said, “Of course, if you’re asked to resign from a movie you’re doing that’s just a bunch of vowels and consonants floating in the air, you feel left out.” “Do I feel excluded now? No, not at all. But I don’t feel excluded by Hollywood because I don’t think about it. I don’t need Hollywood much myself.

Depp, 59, continued: “It’s a really weird, funny time where everybody wants to be themselves but can’t. They have to match the person in front of them. If you want to live that life, I wish you all the best. I’ll be somewhere on the other side.

Depp’s appearance at the festival caused no shortage of controversy, and although he was praised at the premiere of “Jeanne du Barry”, an open letter In Liberation, signed by over 100 actors, criticized the festival for allowing them to participate. That letter followed a blistering open letter published by adele heinelA star of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” who announced she would retire from the French film industry because of “general complacency towards sexual assaulters”.

Reminded that there are people who think he shouldn’t have come to Cannes, Depp began an allegory about being banned from McDonald’s, then imagined his critics as “39 ​​angry people giving me a Big Mac on a loop.” eat. Who are they? Why do they care? Some species of mashed potatoes or minions, in the light of computer screens, anonymously, apparently with a lot of free time. I don’t think I’m the one Should be worried.

Attempts to turn the conversation back to “Jeanne du Barry” were mostly half-hearted: Depp lashed out at the media and his critics, saying, “For the last five or six years with me, most of what you read has been fiction. It is, frankly, a horrifically written narrative. But when asked if he thought the film could be a career comeback, Depp was defiant.

“I keep thinking about the word ‘comeback,'” he said. “I didn’t go anywhere. In fact, I live about 45 minutes away. Maybe people stopped calling because of their fear at that time. But I didn’t go anywhere. I’m sitting around.

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