Johnny Depp Talks About The Paparazzi

Updated August 5, 2012


We've always had our run-ins with the paparazzi. That hasn't changed. They are very ambitious. They're looking for God knows what. (2004)

When we're in a public place, like at some opening or a premiere, I don't mind the press. It's the nature of the beast. But when you're shopping for Christmas presents for your kids, I just don't understand the fascination. (2004)

It's ugly. I don't mind so much when [the paparazzi] do it to me, but when it's my kids, that's another story. It's evil. (2004)

I haven't changed my thinking about those guys very much! Even in France, I still have them staking me out and watching our house in the countryside. I don't see the point of guys earning their living by taking photos of me and Vanessa walking our kids to a playground. But I'm trying not to let myself get worked up about it anymore. That just makes them even more money and they know that so some of them try to provoke you that way. So I've stopped playing into their hands. I'm just trying to be a boring family guy so there's no value to taking my photo anymore. (2004)

What's very confusing for them is why there are people who want to take Mommy and Daddy's photograph. So we have a little game where we hide our face in Daddy's shoulder. When we get in the car and we've passed all the photographers, then we can bring our face out. They don't need to be exposed to the absurdity of that frenzy. Lily-Rose asks, "Why do they want to take your picture?" My answer is always the same: "I don't know." Because I don't. (2004)

We were at a restaurant, and Vanessa was extremely pregnant. All they wanted were photographs of me and Vanessa and the belly. At that point I thought, "Man, I'm not one of those whiny actors who says, Oh, the paparazzi, they wont leave me alone." I could give a fuck about it. However, on this particular night I just decided, Look, this is my girl. This is our first baby. I'm not going to let you fucking people turn this into a circus. You ain't turning this deeply, profoundly beautiful, spiritual, life-changing experience into a novelty. Not without a fight. I went out and talked to them. I said, "Look, guys, I know what you're after. I understand you have a job to do. But you're just not going to turn this into a circus. Just give us a break. You're not going to get what you want tonight. I'll see you another time." They were very aggressive: "Fuck you, Johnny." That kind of shit. I swung around and told Vanessa, "Go out the front door, get in the car so they don't get us together or get your belly." She did. She was in the car, so everything was going to be cool, but they were so shitty. One guy was trying to hold the door open. He had his hand wedged in there. I looked down at the ground, and there was a 17-inch wooden plank, a two-by-two or something. Instinct took over. I picked it up and whacked the guy's hand. I went outside and said, "Now I want you to take my picture, because the first fucking guy who hits a flash, I'm going to kick his skull in. Let's go. Take my picture." They didn't take my picture. I was livid. They walked backward down the street. I walked them away from Vanessa in the car and down this other street. It was beautiful. It was well worth it. It was kind of poetic. The next thing I knew, I saw flashing lights on the buildings around me. And a paddy wagon. It was brief. It was around 11:30 or midnight, and I was out by five or six the next morning. No one filed charges against me, because they didn't want their names exposed. Had they filed charges they would have had to give their names and would have lost their anonymity. The cops were actually terrific, real sweet. As I said, I didn't mind as much before I had kids. Everything changes when it comes to my children. (2004)

I'm still sort of dealing with [living with the paparazzi]. I don't think it's anything you ever get used to ... for many years I could never sort of put my name in the same sort of category as the word "famous" or anything like that. And I just found it very uncomfortable ... if you get used to it, then something must be wrong. There's got to be still a part of you that - somewhere in there that pines for anonymity. (Source: Larry King Live, October 16, 2011)

But the thing with doing a photo shoot, that's sort of an organised thing. You feel dumb. OK. But you just get through it. But what I find still to this day, kind of, like an attack on the senses, is really just being bombarded by paparazzi. You know I'll take photographs with kids. People who want to take photographs with me. People who like the movies. People who supported me. I'll do that all day, all night, that's fine. But the bombardment of the paparazzi is just... I truly don't understand. It just feels like this kind of gluttonous, horrific sport. It's like sport. It's like hunting or something. (Source: Larry King Live, October 16, 2011)

I don't go out very much. I stay at home a lot. Or when you go out to eat, you know, you've got to - it becomes a strategic sort of plan. (Source: Larry King Live, October 16, 2011)