Basking in the applause. Johnny Depp was taken aback after receiving a standing ovation during the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
The 59-year-old actor — who hasn’t attended a red carpet photocall since his 2022 legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard — appeared to hold back tears on Tuesday, May 16, after he and the rest of the Jeanne Du Barry cast were given a seven-minute applause during the movie’s premiere.
The Kentucky native, who plays King Louis XV in the film, was greeted with an overwhelming amount of love from fans in the South of France when he arrived, according to Variety.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star was seen interacting with the crowd outside the Palais, some of whom carried signs in support of Depp. He exchanged pleasantries with the fans for a full five minutes before walking the red carpet, per the outlet.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that one fan’s sign read “Viva Johnny” while others shouted his name on repeat as he signed autographs and took selfies.
Despite the fanfare outside, Depp seemed surprised by the audience’s appreciation of Jeanne Du Barry, which kicked off the annual film festival’s opening night. The Oscar nominee was spotted waving to the moviegoers from the balcony in the theater amid the prolonged ovation.
The Edward Scissorhands actor’s arrival at Cannes marked his inaugural event since making headlines for his messy split from Heard, 37, and his subsequent 2022 defamation lawsuit against the Aquaman actress.
Depp sued Heard — whom he was married to from 2015 to 2017 — in 2019 after she called herself a victim of domestic violence in an op-ed for The Washington Post. While the Zombieland actress didn’t mention the Nightmare on Elm Street actor by name, Depp filed a lawsuit against her claiming she slandered his name with the piece.
The exes went to court in 2022 and proceeded to claim during their respective testimonies that the other was abusive amid their marriage. In June of that year, a jury ruled in Depp’s favor and ordered Heard to pay him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The Texas native, for her part, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.
Both parties later filed appeals to overturn the verdict, but in December 2022 they settled the lawsuit.
“After a great deal of deliberation, I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia,” Heard wrote in an Instagram statement at the time. “It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed.”
She added: “This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.”
Following the controversial trial, Depp’s appearance at Cannes raised eyebrows with some who argued that his presence at the festival sent the wrong message. The Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald actor, however, wasn’t the only member of the Jeanne Du Barry team who received negative press ahead of Cannes.
The movie’s director and star, Maïwenn, who portrays Louis XV’s last mistress, Jeanne Du Barry, made waves in May after she confessed to spitting in the face of Mediapart magazine’s editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel three months prior. Maïwenn reportedly walked up to Plenel at a restaurant, grabbed him by the hair and spit in his face after his magazine published a report that multiple women had accused her ex-husband Luc Besson, of rape. Plenel has since sued the director over the incident.