Johnny Depp dislikes celeb culture: ‘People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what’

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp covers April’s issue of Interview magazine to promote Transcendence. (He appeared in Vegas with Morgan Freeman last week to talk about the film. We didn’t cover the pics, but they’re here.) Are you surprised to see Johnny promoting a new movie? It feels like it’s been forever. He’s still a movie star, after all. A movie star that’s posing with a teddy bear on the cover of a respectable magazine. Go ahead, crack that Amber Heard joke. You know you wanna. The joke isn’t even about Amber, so don’t feel guilty about it.

This Bruce Weber (!) shoot is a little overwhelming for fans of Johnny’s long-standing cool phase. I’m seeing so many shades of the old Depp here. He’s playing guitar and looking all rock ‘n’ roll with those forearm tattoos blazing. He reads a book about Thelonious Monk to an Uggie (the dog) lookalike as a creepy sculpture looks on approvingly. This is a very strong editorial, and Depp’s mangagement ring takes a breather.

Johnny is interviewed by Iggy Pop. The intro paints Johnny as we used to know him: “A personal mythos as complex and compelling as his career.” There is a detailed discussion Johnny’s major movies and his old-school girlfriends. Amber’s name never comes up, but neither does that of Vanessa Paradis. Never mind that Johnny feels free to interrupt Amber’s interviews. Daddy’s got a reputation to resurrect. Let’s do some excerpts:

His first job: [laughs] “I marketed pens–on the phone. But the beauty of the gig was that you had to call these strangers and say, ‘Hi, how ya doing?’ You made up a name, like, ‘Hey, it’s Edward Quartermaine from California. You’re eligible to receive this grand­father clock or a trip to Tahiti.’ You promise them all these things if they buy a gross of pens. It was just awful. But I actually think that was the first experience I had with acting. I sold one thing, one gross of pens to one guy. And then he was asking me about the trip to Tahiti and I was riddled with guilt, so I told him, ‘Hey, man, you don’t want these f—ing pens. This is a scam. The grandfather clock is made of pressboard. You’re not going to Tahiti. I’m sorry.’ So I talked him out of it.”

How many ciggies does he smoke per day? “I’ll bet a thousand. I’m working my way up to ten thousand.”

Why Transcendence? “What fascinated me more than anything is the correlation between technology and power–the idea that a guy who is able to download his sentient being into a machine can become god, or a version of god. Religion is a fascinating black hole to me.”

On meeting Brando, Ginsberg & all the rest: “There are those who meet their heroes and go, ‘Aw, f—.’ And I’ve never had that, luckily. I was never disappointed by the people I’ve admired.”

On reality tv: “Everything can be a reality show now. Imagine what’s it going to be in 20 f—ing years, man. People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what. People have reality shows because they’re a Hollywood socialite, and these things become very successful and they generate a sh-tload of money for the company. And it’s multiplying, to where you’re literally looking into your next door neighbor’s bathroom with reckless abandon. It is like watching a fire. You can’t take your eyes off of it.”

Johnny is a rock star: “I still approach a scene as one would approach a solo. There’s nothing set or pat. I don’t know what the f—’s going to happen until I get in there. Just like when you’re in the booth and you’re playing a guitar solo, you don’t exactly know how you’re going to phrase this or that. Which I think is beautiful. That idea of chance.”

Johnny’s closing invite to Iggy: “I’ve got to get you and your gal to come out to that little place I got in the Bahamas, man. You could leave your house and be on a beach in, f—, less than two hours. Anonymity is achievable there. And the heart rate slows about 20 beats per minute, within the first 15 minutes of being there. Yeah, we should make a sojourn there.”

[From Interview magazine]

Johnny’s not railing quite as violently as he did in interviews from a few years ago. I mean, he’s not comparing photoshoots to rape. Thank goodness. He does talk like Amber now, doesn’t he? She’s had an influence on him with her talk of “the fleeting and superficial world of tabloid journalism.” Try as he might, Johnny will never escape the tabloids. His splashy kind of wealth and fame come with trappings. Maybe one day he’ll retire to his private island, but I doubt it. His lifestyle is too expensive for retirement.

Why is he bagging on reality television? Johnny loves Honey Boo Boo. Own that sh-t.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Photos courtesy of Interview magazine

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67 Responses to “Johnny Depp dislikes celeb culture: ‘People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what’”

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  1. blue marie says:

    I’m sorry.. what? he does realize who he’s marrying right?

    • Marnie says:

      He’s so oblivious. He may look good in the interview, but now when he opens his mouth any attraction goes for me.

      • Sookie says:

        So Johnny Depp and family has long had a Bahamian beach palace and been frolicking unpapped for years there? Who knew? Odd that Depp can hideout with nada exposure in all these years and yet we get treated to Aniston’s bleached arsehole adjusting a pool loungechair every 2 weeks in Meh-hee-co.

    • Liv says:

      Haha, seriously, someone should finally tell him that his fiance is a famewhore! ;-)

    • *snorts*
      That was my first thought blue marie–look at your fiancee, Johnny. I’m convinced that the pinnacle of her acting was Rum Diaries–mainly because she came off as really natural (especially in her scenes with Johnny), versus how cringe worthy and fake she’s come off EVERY other film I’ve seen her in.

    • V4Real says:

      +1 It should read people get famous for “I don’t know-what- “who they marry”.

      But he does look pretty good in these photos. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have that blond antishay case hanging from his arm.

      Oh come on, we all know that Amber is nothing more than a male accessory. When he’s not wearing scarfs, he’s wearing her.

    • lunchcoma says:

      It’s like his self-awareness was extinguished at the same time as the candles on his 50th birthday cake.

      • Well... says:

        This mess started way before he turned 50!
        Now he’s just reached the stage where he’s too old for it, and his behavior is embarrassing!

    • kimber says:

      He hasn’t done a decent movie in years!! Im wondering why he’s famous anymore….but I do agree with him.

      Hater of reality shows right here

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Come on now, folks. I know Amber isn’t the most popular around here, but it isn’t like she is famous for “nothing”. She has been acting professionally for a long time. Whether you think she is talented or not, she has been employed by her acting, not a lifestyle blog or reality show.

      • V4Real says:

        I agree with that but I’m thinking it’s Heard’s comments that are off putting to some people and that’s why she receives such negative commnets. She seems like she is trying to hard.

    • Danny Lopez says:

      He must know the pictures are going to be full of puns. Like oh look he is carrying his teddy bear to bed to his child bride or I want to be young again. Or look at me begging for attention with a dog reading a book called Monk since I am so pure. How about look at me I am sitting in a chair playing with myself surrounded by Angels certainly I must be a Geek God. Look I can look bored with you pictures and you still will go to my movies.

    • Just Me says:

      I’m so glad that this was the 1st response on this! I mean…c’mon! #Irony!

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I couldn’t read the interview because it bored me, but he looks better than he usually does in the pictures. There. See? You thought I was bitchy today. And I like the teddy bear. Hope it doesn’t rain or I’ll melt cause I’m just made of sugar.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Oh Dahling. Here’s an umbrella in case it does rain. I’ll even get one of my people to shelter you so your people can do something else for you.

      (I got bored reading his interview too)

    • Hannah says:

      I respectfully disagree. She is not known for her movies she came to public knowledge as depps girlfriend. The general public had no idea who she was before that. Also if you google her you will see she was quite the famewhore in early days hosting club nights in Vegas for instance.

  3. Hawkeye says:

    “People get famous now for I-don’t-know-what.” Insert Amber Heard joke here.

  4. Maggie says:

    I still think he’s hot! And such a great actor, just wish he would choose better roles.

  5. jinni says:

    It doesn’t sound like he’s bagging on reality tv. It sounds like he finds it crazy that anyone can be famous for no reason especially since he came up in the business when you had to have some modicum of talent to get the kind of attention reality stars get now.

    • nicole says:

      I agree… however, he’s towing a judgy line. I get sick of actors and musicians judging the merit for fame. I’m sorry, but being famous for playing pretend (I’m reducing the art down to nothing here, I know) is not necessarily a better reason for fame than someone who has hustled their way into superfame like the Kardashians. Yes, people like the Kardashians are shameless, but so are a lot of other actors and musicians. It’s just comical to watch one superfiicial group judge another superficial group.

      • claire says:

        I don’t have a problem with it. The non-celeb general public rag on the ability for no-talents to become famous all the time. If it bothers us, surely it would bother the talented people in that scene, who have worked for it, even more!

      • jinni says:

        I agree with @claire.

        It’s not like he’s pulling a Clooney and out right calling everyone who’s on or who watches reality tv idiots, the same way GC talked smack about people in the biz using twitter. He’s just expressing that he think its weird. Maybe that’s because he probably sees people like the Housewives of insert city all the time in his neighborhood and doesn’t find them fascinating, so he doesn’t get why anyone else does. Plus, one has to remember JD also doesn’t get why anyone finds his personal life interesting, because outside of his work he thinks he’s quite boring and ordinary. So that may also be coloring his thinking.

    • Kiddo says:

      @claire. I agree. I wish the fire that he spoke of would engulf the entire reality genre.

  6. Bridget says:

    People get famous for being engaged to Johnny Depp…

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    • dorothy says:


    • Evi says:

      Yes! He’s not the brightest, is he?

    • Alin says:

      This Amber chick is an actress (mediocre, but she still has a talent). Amber was known here on Celebitchy and other sites before Depp came along. IMO she would have a better reputation now if she had stayed with her girlfriend. She was beloved here for her bisexuality

      • Karen says:

        Totally. Though, in fairness she’s more well known now, which means she’s in the spotlight more and people judge her more frequently.

        She’s a bit annoying in her interviews, but most of the vitriol comes from dating Depp for sure.

  7. Evi says:

    He is laughable…his logic…
    Just like his new girlfriend ‘got more famous’. For dating him.

  8. Allie says:

    I absolutely hate when celebrities rip on people who want to get famous. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, just wanting fame is stupid, but don’t think for a minute these celebs weren’t in the same boat before they made it big. So spare me.

  9. PunkyMomma says:

    It shocks me that I find him so meh.

  10. shump says:

    I can’t with him at this point. I liked him better when he was underrated.

  11. Arock says:

    Insure he’s really deep and talented and all that but the Benny and joon/bashful Edward scissors ands routine is kind if old. Maybe he really is all these characters he seems trying to wear in one suit but what would really be avant garde would be to see him don three piece men’s warehouse get up and just point to his cheek bones and say, “these. These are the reason”.

  12. Nicolette says:

    Whatever. I do love the picture with the dog though.

  13. MyHiddles says:

    Um, you mean like your fiancee, Johnny? He can’t be that damn dim. **smdh**

  14. Katalina says:

    “Edward Quartermaine”??!?!?!? Is Johnny a closet General Hospital fan?

  15. MaiGirl says:

    I’m just going to imagine 21 Jump Street Johnny and pretend like the last couple of decades didn’t happen. Why yes, I’m a school drug queenpin, Officer Hanson. Better frisk me!

  16. MrsBPitt says:

    I’m thinking Johnny was little photoshopped in these pictures! We all know if this was a woman, we wouldn’t be saying,” she looks better than she has in a long time”, we would all be yelling “PHOTOSHOP”…I used to love JD…but, in the last ten years, his talent and his charisma, has seemed to been lost…I predict he will go on a HUGE drunken bender, after he marries Amber, she pops out a kid (girl’s gotta earn a living)…and then dumps him…Thats all she can do…I have seen this girl “act” and let me tell you, Kim Kardashian was a better actor in the Bound video…

  17. DTX says:

    That doggie is PAINFULLY ADORABLE! Standing up on his cute little hind legs and hamming it up for the cameras next to JD…just like Amber Heard! But the dog is way cuter, LOL

  18. mercy says:

    At least his fiancee is trying to do something more to earn her fame than exploit her personal life. Oh wait… ;) She was going on about her personal life even before Johnny — maybe even more so.

    To be fair, she came up in the business during a different time than he did. Exploiting oneself has always been part of the game, but celebrity culture has really taken over with the advent of the internet, huge theaters and the big budget movies made to fill them, and the omnipresence of reality shows. It’s an even more competitive scene now for an aspiring actor, and more is expected of the ‘talent’ to make themselves marketable to investors and everyone else. Even the most talented need a lot more luck and a good PR team to get noticed than they did back in Johnny’s day. Some of the movies featuring his best work probably wouldn’t even be made today (or at least not with the same budgets), and the climb from a TV series like 21 Jump Street would undoubtedly be more difficult. His private life was covered a lot as it was, but the attention would’ve been even more intense today.

    I don’t recall ever seeing Amber in anything so she hasn’t ruined any movies for me. I probably wouldn’t have heard of her at all were it not for the media covering her personal life, my fondness for gossip, and Johnny Depp.

  19. Karen says:

    I love the pictures. Yum. He was photoshopped for sure, but he still looks old. He’s doing some promo in Asia for transcendence right now and he looks cute.

    I squealed when I saw the interview was up but I found it REALLY boring, a lot of it is just stuff he’s said before. YAWN.

  20. Dawn says:

    I know he is talking about people like the Kardashians and the House Wives and others and so do most of you and I agree with him. Too many people are famous for nothing these days and even though it is called reality it really isn’t because it is all scripted. Other than that, I can see what you all are referring to with Amber but he met her on a film set because they were doing a job together. I think she is just a horrid actress but she is NOT on the same level as reality people. She is a lousy actress getting jobs for some reason! And he is still my favorite actor so I tend not to get down on him.

    • jane16 says:

      Well said. The new no-talent celeb culture is revolting. These “reality” fakes have by far the worst attitudes of any celeb I have ever seen. Its not uncommon to see an A list movie, tv, athlete, or musician, out at Gelsons or Whole Foods or any coffee place, they get their stuff, they stand in line, they pay for it and are polite. A “reality” fake walks in, goes right to the front of the line, has their bodyguard and/or paps push you and your kids aside, are rude to everyone and demand free stuff or a discount. People where I live (Kalabasas) fucking h a t e “reality” fakes. The real actors, actresses, rock stsrs, etc, hate them the most. My husband & I went to a trendy restaurant once and there was a woman there crying outside. We stopped to see if she needed help and she was crying because her husband had made reservations two months before for their 25th, but their special table was given away to a “reality” freak. One who has the letter K in their names. We had reservations for 4 ourselves and insisted the md give our table to this couple or we would leave and spread this story everywhere. They gave the couple and their grown up kids our table and came up with one for us and our friends in another 10 minutes. I think they also gave the couple free dessert or something. Anyway, this is the kind of bullshit that we regular folk have to deal with all the time now. I could go on and on. Johnny is right about this new celeb culture.

  21. rep says:

    I used to love him so much. Now he looks like grandpa in his red carpet garb. That big hat and ilfitting suit routine has got to go. He tried so hard to be….different, it worked. And his girlfriend is just forgetable.

  22. Shantal says:

    ” to an Uggie (the dog) lookalike”

    Why can’t you just say Jack Russell Terrier, ffs?

    Anyway, is that actually his dog or just one they got for the shoot?

    • ohyeah says:

      that’s actually the real Uggie from the artist

      • Shantal says:

        I never saw that movie, so I had no idea that this dog appeared in it. But thanks for the info.

    • Alexandra says:

      It IS in fact Uggie, not a lookalike:

      Uggie The Artist ‏@Uggie_TheArtist 2h

      Look who I’ve been hanging out with, Uggie Huggers!! We love The Deppster.

  23. slh says:

    I thought he quit smoking? So much for that.

  24. FingerBinger says:

    Johnny looks good in these pictures,but he looks bored out of his mind.

  25. Ginger says:

    Yep just own that you like reality TV. Most everyone likes at least one or even a whole channel. I prefer HGTV and the ID channels. I’m hooked on a couple of the Real Housewives franchises. It’s an hour long guilty pleasure. I had the pleasure of meeting my hero Allen Ginsberg too and he did not disappoint. I think Johnny is the only smoker I’ve heard of bragging about how much he smokes. Ew.

  26. Sookie says:

    – How many ciggies does he smoke per day? “I’ll bet a thousand. I’m working my way up to ten thousand.” —

    You know, when you’re in your 20s and you feel like you’re going to live forever, this sounds brash and rebel-like and all ‘Eff you non-smokers!’ You’re looking at another maybe 30 years before a few grey areas show up on your chest x-ray, letting you know that annoying back ache you’ve had for the last 6 months, isn’t a backache after all – but at worst it’s lung cancer, and at best it’s COPD which means you’ll have to carry a portable oxygen tank to your kid’s high school graduation….however, at 51, which Depp is now, assuming he wants at least another 20 years with most of it, not spent in chemo and radiation, it just sounds unbelievably effing stupid and clueless.

    To any smokers out there: it will get you, the optimism that lives inside of young people everywhere, tells them that they have more than enough time to quit – except you never do, and then bam – you’re 35 or 40 and wondering if you have a spot right now that will eventually take you out by 50 or 60.

    10,000 cigarettes….really Johnny?

    • Hannah says:

      I agree. It’s a really immature comment for coming from a 50 year old. But then johnny is clearly not a man that has matured as he has gotten older. His comments could be experts from old interviews from his younger days.

    • Well... says:

      Add in the fact that his mother suffers from a respiratory illness, you’d think he wouldn’t be so flippant about the topic!
      He cared at one point when his kids were younger and he tried to stop, but apparently he wants to be a rebel again.

    • Aisha says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing! I smoked for 10 years (started at 14, yes, I’m a moron) and then started getting really paranoid about lung disease so I quit cold turkey, best thing I’ve ever done! As you said, it’s not only lung cancer that you have to watch out for, there are so many diseases that you can get from smoking and bragging about it at his age just sounds stupid. Smokers have to be in a state of denial in order to smoke and in order to quit you have to be honest about how damaging it is. Get yourself an E-cigarette Johnny boy.

  27. Chris says:

    His line about the smoking reminded me of a fat guy I know, who when asked if he’d gained weight replied: No. I’ve lost some and I need to put it back on.

  28. elaine says:

    ummm…helloo..Edward Quartermaine isn’t a made up name! Didn’t know Depp was a plagerizer..;)

  29. Sofacat says:

    Oh, shut up, Johnny. Really, just shut up.

  30. InLike says:

    Sorry to upset an obvious collective, but he’s right. Talent is no longer needed to be famous in Folly-wood now.

    Its just who you are related to or what “use” they have for you for themselves. And the really brilliant in Follywood are just borrowed for a short time for their real skill.

    Bland, dull, subpar acting dominates and is raved about now.

    Meanwhile BRILLIANT talent beams all around us from everywhere, alas, never to be seen on screen due to the two above rules that seem to be set in stone the last 10 years.

    All the good movies and incredible things we have missed as a result of it. Can you imagine?? So much talent missed.

    Im itching for some GOOD acting and really GOOD movies. Sigh. Seems those times are gone forever.