Well, it doesn’t sound like Johnny Depp wasted any time jumping right back into his role as a big ol’ movie star!
If you haven’t heard, the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s first big comeback movie since winning his legal battle against Amber Heard is on the way. Don’t expect the French-language Jeanne Du Barry to impress at the US box office, but it is opening this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 16 — a very big deal for Depp, who was considered nearly untouchable until so recently.
The film tells the story of Jeanne Vaubernier, who captured the heart of King Louis XV. Depp is Louis, while the titular Jeanne is played by the film’s writer-director Maïwenn. But word has it behind the scenes the two didn’t exactly have the same chemistry as the king and the courtesan!
OK, so rewind to when the film was still in production. Rumors were getting out then that things were rough on set between the stars, with French showbiz commentator Bernard Montield spilling:
“Johnny Depp is an excellent actor when he comes on the set… Except that sometimes the team is ready at 6 am and no one comes. So, afterward, Maïwenn gets angry and the next day, it is she who does not come and there is Johnny Depp… It’s madness.”
Whoa! He added:
“It’s going very, very badly. They argue constantly.”
Now that the film is in the can — and soon to be in the Cannes — what does Maïwenn have to say about the rumors of turmoil? Is she going full Olivia Wilde on Don’t Worry Darling, pretending everything is fine no matter what happens? Not really the French way, is it? She didn’t come out with both barrels blasting, but she did acknowledge some difficulties…
In an interview with the French Premiere magazine, as translated by World Of Reel, the filmmaker said of the controversy:
“Johnny is a star, a king… and an American!”
Uh oh! We know what that means when a French person says it! Exposing some of his diva behavior, she recalled:
“I was told not to let him know that we were waiting for him to shoot a scene, I was not allowed to knock on the door of his dressing room. One day, I did it anyway. And there, he made me understand that I had committed an unacceptable intrusion and asked me how I would have felt if he came knocking on my dressing room door. I replied that everyone does it all the time. Because that’s how a set works in France!”
Yeah, what? Knocking on the door? That’s actually polite! It’s not like she barged in! WTF is he on about??
Maïwenn tried to brush off most of the disputes as difference in film cultures, between France and Hollywood, explaining:
“He was making an effort, even though I could see that it was still confusing to him. I understood that in the United States, the stars don’t really get directed. They explain to the director how they are going to play the scene and the director follows the flow. But in France, the boss is the director. So for every take, I obviously shot his proposals, but I also asked him to interpret my own vision, so we could have a choice during editing. He was game for that.”
She’s making it sound like there’s no collaboration between a star and a director in Hollywood! Now we think maybe she’s just being polite — because this idea of not allowing oneself to be directed sounds like some diva crap. And not allowing a director to knock on your door?? Come on, man!
What do YOU think was really going on behind the scenes? Was it not as bad as what we’ve heard? Or worse??
[Image via MEGA/WENN/Le Pacte/YouTube.]