Johnny Depp Talks Vanessa Paradis Split, Drinking, Smoking, Aging in Rolling Stone
Johnny Depp opens up about his split from Vanessa Paradis, drinking, smoking, and getting older in a new Rolling Stone cover story. “I’m kicking 50 right up the a**. I can’t say that I’d want to be doing this for another 10 years,” reveals The Lone Ranger star.
Not that he expects to quit Hollywood anytime soon. He tells the magazine, “I think while I’ve got the opportunity and the desire and the creative spark to do the things that I can do right now, I should do them. And then, at a certain point, just take it down to the bare minimum and concentrate on, I guess, living life. Really living life.”
Depp continues, “And going somewhere where you don’t have to be on the run, or sneak in through the kitchen or the underground labyrinth of the hotel. At a certain point, when you get old enough or get a few brain cells back, you realize that, on some level, you lived a life of a fugitive.” But downtime is not easy for the actor, either. “I don’t know if I can relax,” he says. “Relax, I can’t do. My brain, on idle, is a bad thing. I just get weird. I mean, not weird. I get, I get antsy.”
Depp hasn’t had a drink in about a year and a half. “I just decided that I pretty much got everything I could get out of it,” he says. “I investigated wine and spirits thoroughly, and they certainly investigated me as well, and we found out that we got along beautifully, but maybe too well.” He does not consider himself an alcoholic, though. Depp says, “I don’t have the physical need for the drug alcohol. No, it’s more my medication, my self-medication over the years just to calm the circus. Once the circus kicks in, the festivities in the brain, it can be ruthless.”
Smoking is another matter. After giving up cigarettes for a while, Depp found himself taking a drag and relapsing into the habit. “Literally, the nicotine hits you and you’re back,” he tells Rolling Stone. “If you’re a cigarette smoker, a serious smoker, then you’re a junkie. You’re a junkie to that drug.”
Depp also speaks at length about splitting with Paradis, with whom he spent 14 years and had two children. “The last couple years have been a bit bumpy,” he says, slowly. “At times, certainly unpleasant, but that’s the nature of breakups, I guess, especially when there are kiddies involved.” He later says, “Relationships are very difficult. Especially in the racket that I’m in because you’re constantly away or they’re away and so it’s hard. It wasn’t easy on her. It wasn’t easy on me. It wasn’t easy on the kids.”
“The trajectory of that relationship – you play it out until it goes, one thing leads to another,” continues Depp. “So for whatever reason that ceases, it doesn’t stop the fact that you care for that person, and they’re the mother of your kids, and you’ll always know each other, and you’re always gonna be in each other’s lives because of those kids. You might as well make the best of it.”
Depp says he didn’t rely on alcohol to ease the pain of the Paradis breakup because “that could have been fatal.” “I felt it was my duty to be real clear throughout that. I had something pretty serious to focus on, really, which was making sure that my kids were gonna be cool,” explains the star.
He says of his children, “They’ve been incredibly understanding, incredibly strong throughout the whole ordeal. And it’s hard on every side. You know, Vanessa’s side, certainly not easy. My side, not easy. The kids are the most complicated. The thing is, kiddies come first. You can’t shield them, because then you’d be lying. So you can at least be honest with your kids, and you say the absolute truth to your child – that was very important to not pussyfoot around.”