Johnny Depp is getting a lot of praise during his controversial appearance at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 59, made his return to the spotlight one year after his bombshell defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp received applause from fans as he arrived at the red carpet around 7 p.m. for opening night of his French film, “Jeanne Du Barry,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Depp stars in the French-speaking role as King Louis XV, alongside director Maïwenn in the film.
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According to the outlet, the actor, who arrived with his security team, posed for selfies with fans and signed autographs as he made his way down the carpet. There were signs that said “Viva Johnny” as onlookers shouted Depp’s name while he greeted fans for more than five minutes.
The “Jeanne Du Barry” cast walked the carpet to The Clash’s song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
Once they stepped inside the theater, Depp and the cast received a standing ovation, the outlet reported. The audience also gave the cast another standing ovation after the screening, prompting Depp and Maïwenn to tear up. Maïwenn made a brief speech, highlighting how it was difficult to secure financing for the film.
Maïwenn has made controversial headlines recently, too.
The French actor-director has been accused of spitting at French journalist Edwy Plenel at a restaurant. Earlier this month, she confirmed the allegations.
Depp’s appearance at the festival has been a hot topic. Actress Brie Larson was asked about his attendance but said she “did not understand” why she was being asked about it.
The “Fast X” actress was asked how she felt about Depp’s new film kicking off the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
“You’re asking me that?” she replied.
“Um, I‘m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation of why me specifically,” Larson said, according to Deadline.
Per the outlet, Larson was considered an “outspoken advocate for Time’s Up” during the press conference, which is why she specifically was asked about Depp.
When asked if she will see the film, which is not up for competition, Larson replied, “I’ll see it when I see it. I don’t know how I feel about it frankly.”
On Monday, Cannes Film Festival’s chief Thierry Fremaux addressed choosing Depp’s film to kick off the festival.
“I don’t know the image of Johnny Depp in the United States,” he told reporters, according to Deadline. “He is extraordinary in the film in a role which is difficult. I don’t [know] why he was cast. You will have to ask Maïwenn her reasons for choosing him.
“For the rest, I’m the last person to talk to about this because if there is one person in the world who is not interested in this very mediatized process, it’s me. I am interested in Johnny Depp as an actor.”
Depp and Heard had an explosive 2022 trial that resulted in a civil jury awarding Depp $10 million in damages and $2 million to Heard.
A coterie of stars streamed down Cannes’ famous red carpet for the opening-night ceremony, including Uma Thurman and a blue-haired Helen Mirren, who carried a fan labeled #worthit.
During the opening ceremony, Michael Douglas received an honorary Palme d’Or award with his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas, looking on from the audience.
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“I’m even older than the festival,” said Douglas, 78, after receiving a warm standing ovation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.