An out-of-control Johnny Depp attacked a location manager on the set of his upcoming film, “LAbyrinth,” multiple sources told Page Six. The spat even included Depp attempting a punch and bellowing at the veteran production pro, “I’ll give you $100,000 to punch me right now!” before he was pulled off. Johnny Depp . Page Six “LAbyrinth” stars […]
An out-of-control Johnny Depp attacked a location manager on the set of his upcoming film, “LAbyrinth,” multiple sources told Page Six. The spat even included Depp attempting a punch and bellowing at the veteran production pro, “I’ll give you $100,000 to punch me right now!” before he was pulled off.
“LAbyrinth” stars Depp as the real LAPD detective Russell Poole, who investigated the murder of Biggie Smalls. But an insider said trouble on the “toxic” set began when Depp took over directing a scene in which he cast two of his pals as a cop and a homeless man. “Johnny’s friends were in the scene, and it just turned into way more than it should have been,” said a source. A downtown LA street was closed off, but when the permit ran out, Depp wanted to keep the cameras rolling.
“The producers kept asking for the time to be extended,” explained a source familiar with the production. Finally, a location manager informed the film’s director, Brad Furman, that the scene had to wrap, but, “Brad interjected, ‘Tell that to Johnny Depp!’ ” The location manager told Depp, “This is the last shot,” a source said, when an irate Depp — who’d been “smoking and drinking all day on set” — got in the staffer’s face. “He was 6 inches away, yelling, ‘Who are you? You have no right!’ ” sources said.
When the well-liked worker told Depp, “I’m just doing my job,” a source said Depp tried to punch him in the ribs. But the weak blow didn’t make an impact, and Depp yelled, “I’ll give you $100,000 to punch me right now!” The stunned staffer stood still, and Depp was finally pulled away.
A rep for Depp had no comment. Furman insisted the alleged incident was overblown. “Johnny Depp is a consummate professional, great collaborator and a supporter of other artists,” he said in a statement. “He always treats the crew and people around him with the utmost respect. Movies can be stressful, and nonevents often become exaggerated. We all love stories — there isn’t one here.”
The descriptions sound like a typical day at sea for Captain Jack Sparrow: “volatile”, “reckless”, “vices”, “chaos”, “hurricane”.
The Pirates of the Caribbean character is, after all, a drunken pirate who sails through fiascos and misadventures.
It is Johnny Depp, however, not Sparrow, who is accused of presiding over such mayhem in a drama playing out not on screen but in court.
Two bodyguards made the allegations in a lawsuit this week which piled fresh acrimony on Depp’s reputation, renewing doubts over his future as Hollywood’s quirkiest and possibly most beloved leading man.
The multi-claim lawsuit over unpaid wages and working conditions detailed a lifestyle of dysfunction and chaos.
Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez alleged that a “financial hurricane” and a “toxic” environment enveloped Depp’s Hollywood Hills compound from 2016.
The suit alleges: “Often times plaintiffs were forced to protect Depp from himself and his vices while in public. An incident at a local nightclub involved plaintiffs alerting Depp of illegal substances visible on his face and person while preventing onlookers from noticing Depp’s condition.”
More damning allegations can be expected if the ex-employees obtain a jury trial in Los Angeles superior court. Depp’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment over the latest allegations.
It is a puzzle straight out of Hollywood Babylon: how can a star who has reputedly earned more than $650m struggle to pay his bills?
The question may be better addressed to psychologists than accountants. The money is not missing. Depp, 54, spent it. Even Captain Sparrow might wince at such excess.
Profligacy barely counts as vice in Hollywood but Depp’s epic expenditure – in addition to fast cars and planes he bought a French village, a $22m yacht and a string of Caribbean islands while allegedly blowing through $2m a month, including $30,000 a month on wine – rivals that of the castle-collecting Nicholas Cage.
In recent years this has led to Depp clashing with, firing and suing a rotating retinue of managers and lawyers, who in turn have sued him over allegedly broken contracts and unpaid fees, draining more funds from the Depp treasure chest and dumping more revelations about his private life overboard into the public maw.
Financial troubles alone would not necessarily dent the mystique of an actor who stole teenage hearts in 21 Jump Street, then stole adult hearts in Cry-Baby, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Edward Scissorhands, Chocolat and the Pirates franchise.
Droll charm and offbeat roles in films like Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd cemented an image of a rogueish misfit who tripped into stardom and ended up dating Winona Ryder, Kate Moss and Vanessa Paradis.
Bizarre episodes like firing the ashes of Hunter S Thompson from a cannon (cost: $3m) and smuggling his Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo into Australia only burnished the kooky vibe. The glow survived even commercial and critical duds like The Lone Ranger and The Tourist – box office analysts said he was overpaid – and fatigue with Pirates sequels.
From 2016 the picture darkened.
Amber Heard filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining order, alleging physical and verbal abuse. A leaked video showed him raging in their kitchen.
The couple settled their divorce in a $7m deal and issued a joint statement saying their relationship was “intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love”.
Warner Bros and JK Rowling have stuck with Depp for Fantastic Beasts, sparing him banishment to the ranks of #MeToo blackguards. “The film-makers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies,” Rowling said in a statement.
But in a climate where actors such as Kevin Spacey and Kian Lawley are being replaced after misconduct, some observers worry about the long-lasting effect of his role.
Forbes’ Scott Mendelson suggests that his place in the film “will poison the entire franchise’s legacy” while Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, has said they he can “see why people are frustrated” with the situation.
Depp’s career – and bank balance – will partly hinge on whether Disney gives Captain Sparrow a sixth Pirates film (the last outing was a disappointment domestically but made $794m worldwide). But with each controversy, will audiences still turn up to watch him?