"In terms of the breakup, I definitely wasn't going to rely on the drink to ease things or cushion the blow or cushion the situation," says Depp. I felt it was my duty to be real clear throughout that. So you can at least be honest with your kids, and you say the absolute truth to your child – that was very important to not pussyfoot around." Not drinking helped him with that, he says, allowing him to "bite the bullet and deal with real life, deal with clarity."xcept for his own office, the headquarters of Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil (it means "infinite nothing," a reference to a Tolstoy line), are bright, airy and Internet-startup modern, with a big, open kitchen in the front.
His jeans are huge, carpenter-cut, shredded practically to bits, with white paint splattered up the legs and duct tape covering some of the worst holes at the rear.
He's thrown a shapeless brown canvas jacket over a blue denim shirt that's open to reveal a bonus shirt, an orange-striped Henley, beneath.
ometimes, maybe late at night, on location, after he's put down his guitar or closed one of the four or five books he's reading or shut off the "trashiest television imaginable" (he's a man), Johnny Depp starts asking himself questions. "I'm kicking 50 right up the ass," he says, just a couple of weeks before the end of his forties, dragging on one of his fat, brown, proficiently self-rolled cigarettes. If you're, in any way, sensitive to that stuff and you just keep taking in, taking in, taking in, you'll drive yourself fucking nuts. So whenever he's acting – unless he's lucky enough to be in a scene where his character wears sunglasses – Depp can see only a few inches away from his face.
He loves his job, has had a lot worse ones, and there's been increasingly decent money in it – island-buying money, recording-studio-in-your-house money, your-kids-and-grandkids-never-have-to-worry money. "I can't say that I'd want to be doing this for another 10 years."Thoughts of retirement pop up "every day," he says. "I think while I've got the opportunity and the desire and the creative spark to do the things that I can do right now, I should do them," Depp says, in his rather mesmerizing, if mumbly, tobacco-basted baritone. You start getting into things, like – people are fighting because each one says their god is better than the other. As for the duct tape on his jeans: "I realized one morning as I was going to a thing my boy had at school – one of those things where, you know, they get up and sing a song?
When Depp lets his mind go, it can go like this: "There's a great part of me that has deep concerns for, let's say, the world, as everyone does. Protect yourself in away, like..."He pauses, looks up through his blue-tinted aviator glasses and laughs, recognizing the mental cul-de-sac he just hit. His brown leather boots (worn over white socks) are the only faux-distressed element of his outfit – a gift from their manufacturer, A. Since birth, he's been "basically blind as a bat" in that one, in a way that's impossible to correct. "I've never had proper vision." The right eye is simply nearsighted (and lately, far-sighted).
I get, I get antsy." He stubs out his cigarette in an ashtray set on a wooden coffee table with a roulette wheel built into its top. And, I mean, there's no way – you can't take that in as a machine and then spit it out as data that makes sense. So you've got – you've got to protect – I don't know. He's wearing a bunch of skull rings on his fingers. He has a goatee and a mustache and many, many tattoos, some of them very recently acquired. His glasses are prescription, and he needs them badly, though they don't do anything for his left eye.
The movie star's house was one of his first stops.
"Come here, fucker," Depp told Echols, and brought him inside, where he had a meal waiting for him.
So when he discusses his own breakup, he returns again and again to his kids. In the hallway leading to his own office is the huge oil painting of Depp as a vampire that hung over the fireplace in poster, and on the right, another of his paintings, a surreal and faintly creepy portrait of a faceless man in a featureless white uniform (hilariously, I later learn he titled it "Phil Collins").