The interview marks Depp’s first media interaction since losing the libel case against The Sun, the British tabloid that called him a “wife-beater” in an article. The actor has been embroiled in a prolonged legal battle with his estranged wife, actor Amber Heard, who has levelled domestic abuse allegations against him. Heard first spoke about the abuse in 2016 when she filed for divorce and a legal tug-of-war followed between the two.
Speaking about the release of his upcoming film Minamata, which will see him in the shoes of the American photojournalist W Eugene Smith, who helped expose the impact of the mass poisoning of Japanese villagers in the 1970s, Depp said “Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”
While the film released in UK and Ireland on August 13, MGM is yet to announce a release date for Minamata in the US.
Speaking about the villagers portrayed in the film, Depp said he looked them “in the eyeballs and promised we would not be exploitative. That the film would be respectful. I believe that we’ve kept our end of the bargain, but those who came in later should also maintain theirs.”
Depp had sued Heard for defamation in 2019 after she discussed being a victim of domestic violence in a 2018 op-ed piece for The Washington Post. Depp, who was dropped by Disney, from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in the wake of domestic abuse allegations, also stepped down from Fantastic Beasts franchise after Warner Bros asked him to resign following his loss in the libel case.
Recently, the San Sebastian Film Festival’s decision to felicitate the actor with the Donostia Award, the highest honorary award in recognition of his work, was criticised by Spain’s Association of Women Filmmakers, who said in a statement, “Felicitating someone with this honour is equal to declaring to the world, “These are our role models, the people who represent the best of our profession.”
Depp will also be honoured at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival scheduled to be held later this month.