Jeanne du Barry movie director blasts Johnny Depp for inappropriate behaviour on set

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Apr 22, 2024 at 12:25 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

French actress and filmmaker Maïwenn, also known as Maïwenn Aurélia Nedjma Le Besco, just got real about what it was like to direct and star alongside disgraced movie actor Johnny Depp in the romantic drama Jeanne du Barry. During an explosive interview with The Independent, Maïwenn spilled the tea and exposed Depp’s alleged diva behaviour on set… Is anyone surprised?

Jeanne du Barry is a historical drama based on the life of Madame du Barry, the last maîtresse-en-titre, aka chief mistress, of King Louis XV of France.

The film tells the story of Jeanne, a young working-class woman who was born as an illegitimate daughter. Hungry for more than her humble upbringing, Jeanne uses her intelligence and attractiveness to girlboss her way to the highest levels of French society.

This is where she meets King Louis XV played by Depp, who regains his appetite for life through Jeanne and takes her as his mistress. The two fall in love and Jeanne moves to the royal seat in Versailles, where her relationship with the king scandalises the court. Saucy.

According to Maïwenn, who starred as the titular heroine, Depp wanted to be treated as an icon “all the time.” In her interview, the director also went on to say that Depp demanded special treatment, “wouldn’t do what the script demanded,” and had the crew afraid” of him. Despite all of this, the director and actor emphasised she still didn’t regret hiring Depp.

In another interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Maïwenn also revealed that Depp wasn’t actually the first choice for playing King Louis XV. In fact, the director’s first choice had been an unnamed American actor, who seemed accessible to her but turned out not to be interested. So, she settled for three times Academy Award nominee Depp, who was sent the script when Maïwenn had lost all hope that the project would come to fruition.

Maïwenn offered the Pirates of the Caribbean star the role of Louis XV before Christmas 2019. Depp agreed immediately, after his friend, Stephen Deuters, who is also a screenwriter and producer, read the script and fell in love with it. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

During her chat with Charlotte O’Sullivan from The Independent, Maïwenn added that it upsets her when journalists focus on Depp, rather than the film’s working-class heroine.

There is something to be said about Depp’s cinematic comeback following a highly publicised defamation case robbing all of the headlines and switching focus from a movie that centres around a young woman coming into power. One look at the trailer reveals that Depp is really just Ken in this one.

Yet, nothing else can be expected when casting Depp, whose lawsuit against Amber Heard has undoubtedly added an asterisk to his name.

Jeanne du Barry has been a box office flop so far, only grossing $13.6 million on a budget of $22.4 million. The critical reception of the movie has also been lukewarm with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 49 per cent.

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