Cannes Flashback: 25 Years Ago, Johnny Depp Brought ‘Fear and Loathing’ to the Croisette
In his first major red carpet appearance since last year’s high-profile court battle with his ex Amber Heard, Johnny Depp is expected to be front and center tonight at the 76th Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere of the historical drama. Jeanne du Barry. In the film, Depp stars as French king Louis XV opposite Maïwenn, who plays the title character — the last royal mistress to the king — and also directed.
While Depp won his defamation suit against Heard and claimed vindication, the stage could be set for one of those uncomfortable Cannes press conferences, since the contentious legal proceedings included many allegations about the star’s substance abuse.
By contrast, when Depp appeared at the 1998 festival — with girlfriend Kate Moss at his side — for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which he played gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, he was fairly relaxed when the subject of drugs came up. At the official press conference, where Depp was joined by director Terry Gilliam and co-star Benicio del Toro, a journalist complimented the portrayal of drug use during Thompson’s mind-altering adventures in the film, saying, “You were very convincing,” and asking provocatively, “Is it from research or real experience?”
Taking the query in stride, Depp replied, “We’re responsible people. Certainly being an altar boy, having dabbled a bit in my youth, experimenting with various heinous substances, I know what some of those things feel like. But you know, most of the drugs in [Thompson’s book] are invented. Adrenochrome, for instance. The idea of chewing on a human pineal gland is a little bit strange … although you never know.”
“You can go to the source and ask a doctor what it might feel like,” the actor added. “He said it would be the equivalent of drinking 20 bottles of wine in 1.5 minutes. Imagination. Just using my imagination. That’s what I did.”
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