Johnny Depp Talks About His Family

About Fatherhood and His Children
About Vanessa Paradis | About His Split From Vanessa Paradis

Updated November 16, 2014


When I've got my kiddies and my girl with me, I'm good. (2003)

[Having a family] gave me everything. A reason to live. A reason to not be a dumb-ass. A reason to learn, a reason to breathe, a reason to care. It gave me everything. (2003)

I don't have to close my eyes to see [my dream life] because I live with it every day - with my kids, my girl, and my life. It's as perfect as it could possibly be. (2004)

Now I'm a daddy and I go to work and the family comes with me on location and things are rather different. (2004)

More than anything, I love being with my family. I'm like a total homebody, just hanging out with my kids. (2004)

It's all about perspective. When your baby comes along you go: "Oh, that's what it's all about." And all that stuff that was spinning around your head, all that stuff you placed so much importance on, when they wrote this about me or when they took a picture outside this restaurant, all of a sudden you go: "Fuck it, who cares?" So what. Vanessa and the kids are my foundation. (Source: The London Times, July 9, 2005)

If someone were to harm my family or a friend or someone I love - I would eat them. I might end up in jail for 500 years - but I would eat them. (2006)

It took me a very long time to get used to being a public figure - or maybe not used to it exactly, but to accept it and recognize that it wasn't such a bad thing. I needed some years to grow up and not take it all so seriously. Let's face it. I wasted a lot of years being dumb! It was only getting together with Vanessa and having the kiddies that gave me a sense of perspective. These days... well, there are probably still shades of ignorance in there, but I'm not being dumb 24 hours a day anymore. (Source: Woman, January 30, 2006)

We didn't have a nanny, so I was the tour daddy. We traveled by bus and watched The Wizard of Oz for the 7000th time and, while Vanessa was doing her work - you know, rehearsals, going on stage, meeting and greeting and all that - I was just being poppa and I had the distinct impression my daughter wanted to spend more time with Vanessa. It was kind of a challenge and a hurdle as a dad, but it was a great education and I got through it and so did she. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

It took kind of meeting that right girl, her getting pregnant, and that whole beauty of nine months waiting for the kid and then BOOM - there's your baby and you go, "My God, there is my life." The same moment your child is born, you're born. You're brand-new, because you are revealed finally to yourself. You're meeting yourself for the first time. And it's about being OK with yourself, not hating yourself anymore. (Source: USA Today, June 25, 2006)

If [Vanessa] wants to work, she certainly can. She's been working on her album and I think she'll tour with that. As far as movies are concerned, nothing's come up that she's interested in. When we first got together, she was on tour and I was 'tour daddy' on the road. For a lot of time it was just me and my daughter. We've always been very good about being able to control distance and separation. When I was doing Pirates in Dominica, I didn't bring them to the location because it was a pain in the ass - three planes - for them to get there. But you get to the point where you've been working away for three weeks and you're just trying to maintain yourself until you see them again. It was tough, really tough, and I wouldn't do it for more than three weeks. (Source: The Guardian, July 3, 2006)

Basically, Christi (Dembrowski) has kept me alive. I'm really like a blind mole, and she just leads me around, making me do the right thing, or i'd just fall off the cliff. She's like Superwoman. (Source: Vanity Fair, July 2009)

A group of people [keep me balanced] but certainly my family and above and beyond, my kiddies. The kiddies will keep you grounded no matter what. (Source: Entertainment Tonight, June 18, 2009)

When you have two beautiful kids who are happy and healthy, on the right path and totally together, that in itself means you have it all. When you have a woman like Vanessa, and are able to do the things you want to do, you have it all. I couldn't wish for more. (Source: Inquirer.com October 21, 2011)

About Fatherhood and His Children:

I feel like there was a fog in front of my eyes for 36 years, and the second [Lily-Rose] was born, that fog just lifted and everything became totally clear and focused. To say it's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me is the understatement of the century. Look at me, I've become a cliche. (1999)

[Jack's] a hellcat, boy, he's something. The best training you can have for toddlers is having spent a number of years hanging out with drunks. Helping them walk, cleaning up their vomit, putting ice on their head when they fall and smack it on the table; the uncontrollable rage and tears and joy all in, like, ten seconds. He's just a cool little drunk. (2003)

I think it just wakes you up and kind of gives you the opportunity to be who you really are. Before my kids came along I was freaked out to hold a kid. When I was a teenager and my brother had babies, I was always freaked out to hold them. They just seemed so fragile. I'd hold them for a minute and then, "Okay, here. Take the kid." So I was surprised how quickly, almost instantly, I was okay with my own baby. Within 24 hours I was fine with it all the diapers, everything. One of the most amazing moments in my life was holding my brand-new baby, Lily-Rose, just after she was born. She wasn't three hours old, and I was holding her. Her little eyes were kind of half open. She was drifting into sleep. Looking into those little eyes, I thought, 'My God, I'll never be closer to another human being in my life.' And you're not, until your second one comes. Before the second one came, there was this strange thing, a snippet of worry. I thought, 'How can I love the second as much as the first? Is it possible?' And when little Jack arrived, it was instant. Instant. They just seem so fragile. (2004)

When I told [my brother] Vanessa was pregnant, he said, "Congratulations. You'll never sleep the same way again. You'll never have another calm day as long as you live, but it's worth it." He said it just off-the-cuff, but it was right on the money. (2004)

Having my own children has just ripped away a lot of the confusion and insecurity that had been dragging me down for pretty much my entire life. I never knew what happiness was until I met Vanessa and we had our first child. (2004)

Being with Vanessa and having children has made things very easy and clear for me. There's nothing dark about my world anymore. I watch our son and daughter playing around the house or learning new things and I wonder what on earth could be more beautiful than that. (2004)

I just kind of stumbled around for 35 years. And then when my daughter arrived, it was like Now, I see. Suddenly everything else is just kind of shavings, morsels, little tidbits. And this is what it's all about. This is real life. Boy, it couldn't have come at a better time. (2004)

My daughter, who's 5 and a half, already she's an unbelievable mimic. It's astounding. This guy we were working with, a Scottish guy, she started imitating him perfectly. My (2-year-old) son, Jack, he's always getting into stuff. He's like a little pirate. I was on the phone with my sister the other day, saying 'Was I this nuts when I was little?" (Source: Entertainment Weekly, January 14, 2005)

My kids give me life. They're the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. I never thought it possible to feel such profound love. Being a dad has given me great strength, perspective, calm, and sleep deprivation! I love being with my family. (Source: New Idea - Australia, January 1, 2005)

...The incident at the Mirabelle was because [the paparazzi] wanted to get a photograph of Vanessa and me and her tummy. She was about to burst and I thought, I am not going to allow fatherhood to commence as a novelty. I was already protective of my kiddies. (Source: London Evening Standard, November 18, 2005)

I'm pretty good at [being a father]. They make me happy. Simple fun things. Me and my son zooming around in little cars or my absurd stories about Barbie dolls getting obsessed with peanut butter. And, of course, work keeps me happy. (Source: London Evening Standard, November 18, 2005)

Between [movies], what I'm going to do, I guess, is slobber and drool, space out, play Barbies with my daughter and sword-fight with my son. (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

Even before the ride took this particular turn, I never really went out much, so nothing has changed in that regard. My kids have a super-normal life. They do their school and they play with their friends. Okay, they get to go to Disneyland maybe a little more often than other kids, but that's part of the gig. The family is miraculous. I mean, it just couldn't be better. Everything I've wanted out of life I've got it - my kids, my girl. I'm happy about the work. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

It took kind of meeting that right girl, her getting pregnant, and that whole beauty of nine months waiting for the kid and then BOOM there's your baby and you go, "My God, there is my life." (2006)

The same moment your child is born, you're born. You're brand-new, because you are revealed finally to yourself. You're meeting yourself for the first time. And it's about being okay with yourself, not hating yourself anymore. (2006)

Everything turned around when the kids came along. We're bringing them up quite simply, not to be bratty, but to be kind and considerate. We just tell them, "Do good things, and you'll feel good by doing themdo bad things, and youll feel bad." It seems to have worked so far. (Source: Woman, January 30, 2006)

The Libertine is one [my kiddies] won't see until they're 30! But they saw The Nightmare Before Christmas on video and loved it. Also, I arranged for them to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, although when you take small kids anywhere, you're always a little worried. I thought, "OK, Lily-Rose will probably be cool, but Jack's attention span is short. He'll probably run around and break something or try to poke my eye out with a sword."...But I was amazed, because when the film started, they sat down and didn't move. Jack didn't say anything at the time, but later, at home, he came in to the bedroom and looked at me and said, "Dad . . . you're really weird!" (Source: Woman, January 30, 2006)

My daughter now is exiting that Barbie stage and moving into fashion accessories, real teenage stuff, which is unbelievable for me to have to witness. Now she wants to watch big girl television. It's frightening. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

My boy, Jack, is still a blessing. He's discovered superheroes now, which is fun, and he's going into the area of comic books, and I happen to be pretty good in that area. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

Actually I do like playing with Barbies. It's kind of a great thing to do with your kids, its one-on-one time where you're both inventing characters. You're watching your daughter's imagination flower. But the funniest thing for me was that I was actually using that time to explore different characters with the Barbies and she didn't like it. At a certain point she said: "Dad, please just stop, don't do that, just do your regular voice." That put me in my place. (Source: The Independent, July 7, 2006)

I could sit there all day and do nothing but watch [my children] grow. I'm totally inspired by them. (Source: People magazine, December 5, 2008)

I didn't want a stranger to cut the link between our daughter and us. -on asking to be allowed to cut the umbilical cord at the birth of Lily-Rose (Source: Depp by Christopher Heard)

[Fatherhood] didn't change my life. It made my life. My kids are amazing. Even when they were babies I was learning from them. Now, my daughter is 11 and Jack is 8. We get into these pretty profound conversations. My kids ask questions that leave my head spinning. They've absolutely added just pureness to my life. Just pure joy. I can't say I had that prior to having children. (Source: HollyBaby, December 6, 2010)

[My children] are very good about sharing... even me with people who come up to us. My kids have good heads on their shoulders and they understand that Daddy is still doing his job. It's just like if I was a writer and someone asked a question. I tell them that it's nice that so many people think Daddy does a good job. It's cool because it tells them then that it's important to do a good job. I tell them to do what you love. But I also show that once I'm at home, it's about the family. (Source: HollyBaby, December 6, 2010)

Being a parent changed everything for me. Fatherhood has revealed me. It has given me great perspective and a true purpose in life. I'm also quite calm. As an actor, I make choices of films that I can be proud of well into the future and will make my family proud. (Source: HollyBaby, December 6, 2010)

Our friends who haven't seen the kids in a while are always completely shocked, especially by Lily-Rose because she's so far beyond her years. She is a very sophisticated kid, frighteningly so. She has crushes on boys... She is a very sharp, sensitive kid who's starting to write bits of poetry that I assume will eventually turn into songs. She has the voice of her Mama... At the moment, Jack is very much like me when I was a kid. He's absolutely obsessed with World War II. I was, too, for some reason.(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 19, 2011)

You know you start getting hit with some very interesting situations in life, you as a parent, when they approach that teenage era, which is frightening because you still have memories of that age and the things you were doing at that age... Please don't do what I did. (Source: Entertainmentwise, August 5, 2013)

My kids - I am more and more proud [of them]. Because having lived alongside me in their formative years - most parents' jobs don't require that kind of weirdness. The kids have turned out so well. They are good, smart kids. They are polite and caring. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11,2014)

My boy Jack has always been a very talented draftsman. He draws really super-well. He also plays music very well. He's got a good feel for that. Aside from school plays and things, he hasn't shown any desire to become an actor. Whew! (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11,2014)

My daughter, on the other hand, is one of the smartest human beings I have ever known. She has far surpassed myself and my friends. She is just a genius. Lily-Rose is interested in the arts. She is interested in acting, possibly entertaining and singing as well. She's got the goods. She can certainly deliver. They are both great talents. I wish I could shy them away from it. But the kids are going to make the decisions. It's what they want to do. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11,2014)

About Vanessa Paradis:

The last thing in my head was a relationship, a girlfriend, anything. I remember the first few days hanging out with Vanessa; in the front of my brain I'm thinking, "No way. A real guy thing", you know? No fucking way, man. But somewhere in the back is the real truth, and you know you're fucked. It was practically like I'd said "Never" - and boom. You know? Boom. (2003)

We met briefly years ago. I remember thinking, "Ouch." It was just hello, but the contact was electric. That was in 1993. It wasnt until 1998, when I went to do the Polanski film The Ninth Gate and was in the lobby of the hotel, getting messages. I turned around and across the lobby saw this back. She had on a dress with an exposed back. I thought, "Wow." Suddenly the back turned and she looked at me. I walked right over, and there were those eyes again. I knew it was her. She asked, "Do you remember me?" I said, "Oh yeah." We had a drink, and it was over with at that point. I knew I was in big trouble. (2004)

After we started dating I worked a long, long day and night, and I came home, back to my apartment in Paris, at three or four in the morning. Vanessa was there, and she was cooking for me. That's not to say that a woman must cook for a man, that's not what I'm saying, but it took me by surprise. It was a whole new ball game for me. I'd never experienced that before. It was like she was a woman not afraid to be a woman. I hope that doesn't sound weird or sexist, because it's not. I'm totally in agreement that women are the stronger, smarter, more evolved sex. (2004)

It would be a shame to ruin her last name [by getting married]. It's so perfect - Vanessa Paradis. So beautiful. It would be such a drag to stick her with Paradis-Depp. It's like a flat note. (2004)

When I met Vanessa, I was still drifting. But being with her has just blown me away and made me a better man. Ten years ago I never would have believed in the kind of life I have now as a father, although I still wonder if it's OK to be this happy. (2004)

For all intents and purposes, we are married. We have two kids together, and she's the woman of my life. If she ever said, "Hey, lets get hitched," I would do it in a second. We'll do it if the kids want us to, or maybe when the kids are old enough to enjoy it with us. (2004)

I pretty much fell in love with Vanessa the moment I set eyes on her. As a person, I was pretty much a lost cause at that point of my life. She turned all that around for me with her incredible tenderness and understanding. Very quickly, I realized I couldn't live without her. She made me feel like a real human being instead of someone Hollywood had manufactured. It sounds incredibly corny and phony, but that's exactly what happened to me and what she has meant to me. (2004)

I was definitely ready to have someone be there for me when I met Vanessa but it was much more than that. She had this incredible self-assurance and naturalness to her whole way of being that it just made me feel so good to be around her. You can't explain it but you can feel it. (2004)

Vanessa and I have considered ourselves husband and wife since the day we moved in together. It's not a big issue for us because we know what we feel for each other and that kind of connection is what's going to keep us together for a very long time. Marriage would just be a formality. (2004)

It was in the lobby of this restaurant. I just saw this back, across the room. Suddenly the back turned and looked at me. And then the eyes that were attached to the back walked towards me, and just walked right up to me and said, "Hi, do you remember me?" And I went, "Yes." I didn't remember - it came to me a few seconds later - but I was just like, "uh, uh, uh..." [It was] love at first sight in a strange way, because I had actually met her a number of years before. But it was, at that point... I was caught, you know. ( Source: OK - Australia, February 5, 2005)

I think I lived the first 35 years of my life in a fog. I didn't know what I wanted or who I was. Meeting Vanessa changed that... It's the first time I can honestly say I feel at home. We met at the bar of Hotel Costes (in 1998). I was filming in Paris, having dinner with the crew, she was with friends. I wasn't brave enough to go over and ask her to join me, so I got a friend to. I pretty much fell in love with her the moment I set eyes on her. I was a lost cause at that point in my life. She turned all that around with her tenderness and understanding. I realized I couldn't live without her... We've considered ourselves husband and wife since the day we moved in. We just haven't gone through the formalities. (Source: New Ideas - Australia, January 1, 2005

Vanessa and I have been lucky to have spent so much time with our kids, but we're also lucky enough to take time for ourselves, because you've got to remain not only lovers and all that stuff, but friends. It can't always be talking about the kids. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

A couple of tracks are hard to listen to because you just get all weepy-eyed. It's an album [Vanessa] should be very proud of. The good news about her work is that while mine has tended to be location-driven, she can still play, she can still write, she can still do demos wherever we are. Then she'll fly off to France for a couple of weeks and then come back. (Source: Sunday Mail, June 25, 2006)

You have this feeling . . . I can't really explain it but I had it when I saw Vanessa. I first saw her across a room, just her back, and it was an instant thought of, oh my God, what's happening? But even then I had no way of knowing how great a person she was and how great a mother she would be. (Source: The Guardian, July 3, 2006)

Meeting Vanessa gave me proper perspective and understanding. It wasn't until then that things started to get real for me. We just have a miraculous understanding of each other. (Source: The Boston Globe, December 24, 2008)

I never found myself needing that piece of paper. Marriage is really from soul to soul, heart to heart. You don't need somebody to say, okay you're married... If Vanessa wanted to get hitched, why not... But the thing is, I'd be so scared of ruining her last name. She's got such a good last name. (Source: Extra TV, December 1, 2010)

About His Split From Vanessa Paradis:

We're on great terms. (about Vanessa) (Source: Inquirer Entertainment, June 22, 2013)

There's nothing weird, nothing strange. It's very normal. We've all been through it. [Vanessa is] a great mommy and a great woman. (Source: Inquirer Entertainment, June 22, 2013)

I think it went as well as it could possibly have gone. It's interesting because it's been a great bonding experience for all of us in a weird way, all going through that together. It's been a pretty intense bonding experience. (Source: Entertainmentwise, August 5, 2013)

We were just very truthful with [our kids] and they were just incredibly understanding, incredibly accepting. I was extremely proud of them, the way they dealt with it. (Source: Entertainmentwise, August 5, 2013)

When you have children, there is no room for lies, no room for anything but truth. Anything other than that is a bad example, I believe. (Source: Entertainmentwise, August 5, 2013)

I wouldn't see any weirdness at all in making a film with Vanessa now - whereas prior to, I might have. It might have felt weird. (Source: Inquirer Entertainment, June 22, 2013)

No. [Visiting France is] never going to be over. I love France and always have. I love our place down there in the south of France and I love Vanessa. I love my kids. There's nothing ambiguous whatsoever. There's nothing strange. Things happen, you know, but it doesn't mean I love her any less 'cuz I don't. (Source: Monsieur Hollywood Interview, August 9, 2013)

Vanessa and I get along wonderfully. There's no weirdness at all, no hostility. Life happens. We spent 14 great years together and have raised a couple of kids who we are both incredibly proud of. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, April 11,2014)