Johnny Depp’s film career hasn’t exactly been thriving in recent years. He’s been barred from returning to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” for one thing, and movie offers haven’t exactly been piling up. However, he did recently film a movie in France called “Jeanne du Barry,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week. While you might expect the reception to Depp would be less than warm, you’d be wrong. In fact, fans reportedly screamed his name as he arrived at the screening and he got a 7-minute standing ovation just for showing up.
In footage aired by FranceTV (via YouTube), Depp walked in with “Jeanne du Barry” director Maïwenn arm-in-arm. People immediately jumped to their feet to give the pair a “rapturous” standing ovation. According to Variety, Depp held back tears as the thunderous applause continued.
“I want to share this moment with my lover, with my producer, with Le Pacte,” Maïwenn told the crowd. “It was a production that was difficult to finance…and I want to share this moment with all my team across the theater.”
Of course, not everyone was particularly thrilled that Johnny Depp was invited to the Cannes Film Festival at all. There was plenty of backlash to the decision, so much so that festival director Thierry Fremaux issued a statement before the opening night.
“I don’t know about the image of Johnny Depp in the U.S.,” he said. “To tell you the truth, in my life, I only have one rule: It’s the freedom of thinking, and the freedom of speech and acting within a legal framework.”
“If Johnny Depp had been banned from acting in a film, or the film was banned, we wouldn’t be here talking about it. This [controversy] came up once the film was announced at Cannes because everybody knew Johnny had made a film in France.
Fremaux went on to say that Depp’s casting had nothing to do with him and that critics should take their grievances up with the director.
“I don’t know why she chose him but it’s a question you should ask Maïwenn,” he suggested. “As for the rest, I’m the last person to be able to discuss all this. If there’s one person in this world who didn’t find the least interest in this very publicised trial, it’s me. I don’t know what it’s about. I also care about Johnny Depp as an actor.”