Johnny Depp sinks to new lows in Amber Heard’s defamation trial

When Johnny Depp takes his stand in his defamation trial against Amber Heard, he delivers what could be one of his worst performances.

Go ahead and give him an Oscar.

After all, Johnny Depp’s best performance may also be his last.

Taking a stand on Tuesday, Depp’s hours of testimony, delivered in a soft, often stammering voice, didn’t sound like a strong defense of spousal abuse.

Instead, Depp describes himself—brilliantly—as a confused, sad, and tender soul who somehow stumbles upon global fame and ungodly fortune.

It’s as if the .000000001% of the people with worldwide acclaim and a fortune of over $600 million got there by accident.

At one point, Depp even stood in the witness box to reenact his mother’s suicide attempt.

Can you imagine? Selling parental lows for public sympathy?

It’s not just Johnny Depp’s reduction. We’re watching Death of the Movie Star.

What Covid has accelerated—the shift to streaming platforms, everything but Marvel movies playing on multiplexes, the waning influence of the celebrity industrial complex—Depp and his colleagues are actively destroying.

Will Smith destroyed decades of public goodwill with The Slap.

Alec Baldwin and his lack of remorse.

Brangelina, the ultimate Hollywood romance.

Julia Roberts! Once the epitome of an established Hollywood A-lister, he’s now making the rounds of his new show on Starz—not HBO, not Showtime or Netflix or Hulu—Starz.

And no one cares.

The star that keeps on shrinking

You could argue that this is an inevitable result of our confessional culture—almost anything can be forgiven if, in the parlance of reality TV, You Have It—and technology, which has collapsed our biggest stars into Instagram thumbnails, avatars we access and throw away at will. liver.

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I was thinking about this the other day, after hearing that the autobiography of the late Paul Newman would be published this fall.

The chances that her memoir reeks of scandal are nil — her grown children have control over the release.

But the book is automatically interesting precisely because it is a relic, a reminder of a time when illusion was important.

Post-Harvey Weinstein, it’s impossible to believe. Or, really, to care.

We can probably count on one hand how many stars the original movie has left: Brad Pitt. Leonardo DiCaprio. Sandra Bullock. But their status relies heavily on myth-making—no one active on social media—as professional prestige.

And Pitt, unlike Depp, was smart enough to file his divorce suit behind closed doors.

Soliloquy sad story

In pursuit of this Pyrrhic victory, Depp sits on the witness stand and offers all his childhood traumas: emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his parents; took her mother’s “nerve pill” at age 11; his mother’s poor background, raised in the shacks and screams of Kentucky; and his leaping addiction to the opiate Roxicodone, doing cocaine with Heard’s sister Whitney, “the pure horror of detoxification.”

She also testified about her affair with Heard—a detail their ex-partner may not have known until now.

For nearly four hours, Depp continued to babble. Really, who can blame him? God knows when he will next have such a captivating audience. He was completely unemployable.

No wonder much of his testimony sounds like an extended masturbation “Inside the Actor’s Studio” episode, Depp talks in great detail about his early career, where he studied acting, how he created Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow, his diet and exercise regimen. for “Donnie Brasco,” his favorite writer and musician and his love of the old blues… never seemed to end.

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He quoted himself in an interview he gave to TV Guide in 1989!

It’s ostensibly a libel trial, but we hear Depp testify like: ” ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ which I was lucky enough to film with Terry Gilliam…”

Offensive charm

Narcissism is mind-numbing. But the performance — wow.

With his knitted brows, the coy smile directed at his ex-wife, his apology for the gender-appropriate term, the thoughtful “bless” remark to the courtroom sneeze—it’s easy to forget that this is the spoiled actor who blew his Disney. the drug-trafficking franchise, which squandered his $650 million fortune, which enlisted his personal female nurse for drugs he described as “some f-king knockout yum-yum” and for “some morphine to see if my tongue and penis touched, ” who described Sounded in the text as “this cm-waste waste” and “a dangling and overused flappy fish market” that he wanted to burn and then “f – k the corpse” … and others.

And like the best actor at a press party, Depp treats every question his attorney asks—a question he must have heard over and over again during his hours of courtroom preparation—as if he were hearing it for the first time. The answer sounded very implausible. At times, the questions seemed to surprise him.

He does vulnerability well. In fact, Depp is so charming that I find myself wanting to believe it—even as I know, really, this is just another act of a dark, exploding star.

This article originally appeared in the NY Post and has been reproduced here with permission.

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