I’ve seen the movie blow 7 times. There is something about this story that I love so much. There is tons of sincere honesty about life in there.
Blow offers a great view from being on top of the world — and the next moment having your old friends walking past without blinking an eye when you’re in the gutter.
Depp is so incredibly natural in that movie. It is only lately that I start to understand why.
In blow, Johnny Depp is playing out his own life, only years before similar stuff happened in reality
Agree, there is divergence. In real life he isn’t a marijuana and coke dealer. In real life he supposed to have abused his ex-wife. In the movie he didn’t. In Blow, he is adorable, all the way through. In real life, he is probably not in the eyes of the many people he sued.
One thing I am sure of. Both in Blow and in this real-life, he became a victim of circumstances.
Of life, of marriage, of wine, of money.
Both in the movie as in his real life, this makes him lose almost everything.
Almost 20 years after blow, Johnny Depp’s real-life story is as dramatic as in that movie. What can we learn from his journey?
What happened to Johnny Depp?
Amber Heard accused Johnny Depp in 2016 of domestic violence. He supposedly had thrown a glass of wine at her.
They met in 2011 on the set of Rum Diaries, married in 2015, and just when the paint of their newly bought love nest had dried up, the famous Jack Sparrow impersonator decided to throw a glass of wine at it. Not realizing his wife was in between.
By the way, this has never been proven.
In 2016, Heard divorces Depp, he pays her $7M, and the restraining order that had been put in place is lifted. Case settled, time to get back to business, lesson learned?
Not even remotely. Depp must have been seriously pissed off.
Just moments before things were going amazing for Depp. His life back then was a wild fiesta of Hollywood stardom and everything that comes with it. A huge estate in the French Riviera, exuberant hobbies like spending more than $30k on wine a month, and a very respectable reputation.
Exactly the middle part of the movie Blow. George Jung, played by Depp, owns a gigantic villa in the hills, throws exuberant parties, and embarrasses his lower-middle-class parents with showing off to his dad with his shiny sports cars.
In Blow, his business partner gets greedy and frames him. That signals the start of the downturn. In Johnny Depp’s real life, it’s the aura of domestic violence, and a continuing fight for justice.
Depp, On a Quest for Justice, Picks the Wrong Momentum
On December 18th, 2018, Amber Heard, now an ambassador for the #MeToo movement, writes an op-ed for the Washington Post. She never mentions Depp, but the piece contains many implicit references to her 2016 allegations of domestic abuse coming from Depp.
Depp gets triggered again. Wasn’t that case settled and done with?
Fearing a further downslope of his reputation, Depp decides to fight back and quickly filed suit over the piece, claiming it defamed him. His claim is $50M.
He has a point there, since only 4 days later, on December 22nd, Depp gets thrown off the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean. His ultimate cash cow, the movie franchise that made over $4.5 billion, and made Depp over $350M.
Depp probably isn’t aware of the rise of the #MeToo movement, a gigantic wave that tries to use him as another example of the abusive white man protected by institutions. This is my own assumption and I’m not here to defend him. I’ll come back on abuse later.
Now Depp is properly heated up.
In April 2018, The Sun in the UK publishes an article referring to Depp as a “wife-beater”. This leads Depp to sue the paper’s publisher.
Taking this course of events into consideration, there are 3 things standing out for me.
- Depp’s reputation and career has taken a nosedive, ever since the first rumors over domestic abuse
- Depp’s appears to experience to be the victim of things, of women, substances and life itself
- He has taken on a mission for truth and justice, at least in his perspective, to repair the damage that has been done
This becomes clear from an article gq-magazine publishes in October 2018, 2 months before his ‘revenge’ court case.
“I want the truth. That’s really my biggest obsession in the world ” —Johnny Depp in gq-magazine
How we get triggered by partners that carry the same pain
Behind the tabloid sensation, the public fights, court cases, and the many judgments from bystanders, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are just humans.
Like you and me.
They have been hurt in their lives, they have their weaknesses and their strengths. And amazing talents that brought their careers to the Mount Everest of fame.
There is always another side to the story. Both Amber Heart and Johnny Depp have been exposed to abuse when they were young.
“Was there fuck loads of physical abuse? Yes. And never-ending, to the point that pain, physical pain, was just a given” — Johhny Depp in GQ Magazine.
I do not claim to have a crystal ball and I am not a psychotherapist either, but I know from my own past relationships that when a man and a woman with similar trauma and pain start a relationship, it is more than likely that they will trigger each other exactly from that old pain.
They’ll both need tons of safety, and when the safety net is gone, they, well, feel attacked and they’ll start attacking each other. Many times with words, and maybe sometimes with glasses of wine or Iphone’s? We’ll never know, and it doesn’t matter for this story.
This is not about who is right or wrong.
Amber and Johnny are both victims in this story. Whatever they do is magnified through the biased lens of the public domain. That means you and me. It’s the price they pay for their fame.
When the pain and conflicts don’t get resolved, the relationship becomes toxic. There seems no way back now. Especially when the conflict is taken outside of the relative safety of the house, the private space, and the rest of the world starts taking sides, starts judging.
Now all safety is gone.
A third party is called in to do justice to the situation. And, o yeah, a shitload of money is involved.
It’s a bit like walking to daddy or mommy when you got hit as a child by your sister or brother. What is the reason you can’t resolve this on your own when you’ve grown up?
Getting out of a toxic relationship is one of the hardest things to do on this planet. It comes with knowing yourself, making an agreement to grow inside the relationship, and knowing when a trigger occurs, and what to do next.
Read more about how to get out of a toxic relationship here:
How to Transform Your Toxic Relationship and Thrive
Identify triggers, increase self-awareness, and grow
What I find very interesting in this story, is Depp’s marriage with Vanessa Paradis. They know each other for 25 years, raised 2 children together, and lived 15 years side by side. Vanessa Paradis testified in the SUN Libel case:
“Through all these years I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.” She added: “He was never violent or abusive to me.” — Vanessa Paradis, The Guardian
Apparently, Paradis and Depp didn’t trigger each other at all.
Triggers are a great opportunity for personal growth.
When the opposite happens, when things go bad and turn toxic, the thing that often occurs is that both the man and the woman are thrown back in the victim position, instead of helping each other to grow out of their pain.
Millions of dollars and reputations are at stake. Now, being famous, the only option left seems to be Hard Divorce with a Vengeance.
Does that really solve anything?
Healing a divided world starts with ourselves
What we resist persists, and eventually can destroy us.
Johnny Depp’s fight for justice and the rehabilitation of his reputation are just an outer layer that sells well. A victory in time won’t ease the pain deep in his heart
This story is another representation of a divided world. We cling to this kind of stories because we rage battles in our own hearts. Sometimes with our partners, more with ourselves.
We can’t find safety and a sense of belonging in our polarized world anymore. So we stand proud on the barricades of yet another ‘freedom fight’.
We look outside, into this divided word, instead of inside. Movements like #MeToo serve a purpose. They expose things, institutions, powerful men that have been protected by corrupted laws.
But they should be no reason to demonize, dehumanize and shame-blame an entire group. It should not lead to shortsightedness.
Maybe Depp fell a victim of this movement, maybe his quest for justice was met with a collective female rage and anger, coming from the wound of abuse and being unheard, belittles and shut down for too long.
Maybe his timing was just a little off
But it brings valuable things to the light. Maybe Depp was a victim from violence and abuse from Amber heart too. In fact, that is what claims in the UK court case. This brings up a completely different discussion about how modern men should tackle abuse to themselves in relationships.
I don’t want to go there now. This is not who is right in the battle of the sexes. I feel sad that this battle is still going on.
The core of the matter is that movements in society, from #MeToo to Men’s groups, those movements are made out of humans. Vulnerable creatures with their own pain, abuse, trauma and unhealed stuff.
To heal our divided society starts with healing our own pain and make our relationships and communities thrive.
We all can become the heroes of our lives when we own our stuff
When pain is not met and healed inside, it will be created and projected outside.
The only way to move out of our polarized society is by looking inside first, by dealing with our own pain. In doing so, we’ll move from being a victim into creating something beautiful for this world, together.
Depp made the opposite journey. He started with making millions of us happy with his movies and ended up being triggered by his old wound, touching his own pain, and not being able to deal with it. At least, that’s how it appears from the outside.
Justice, money and a re-established reputation probably won’t heal his wound. Until the moment you understand that you actually can heal your own pain, you’ll be and feel a victim.
Just like Georgie Jung in Blow. At the end of the movie, Jung believes he joins his friends for an ultimate coke smuggle to be able to pay off his debts. But his old mates abuse his ultimate trust and frame him in return for their own sentence reduction. The day Jung should be there for his daughter for a long-awaited reunion, he can’t make it since he’s back in jail, heartbroken.
In Blow, Jung/Depp makes the journey from being on top of the world to being the absolute loser, used and abused. The world failed Jung, there is nobody left to trust.
Real-life will always grand Depp the opportunity to regain his pride, to own his pain and let go of being the victim. To unite with his ex, to forgive her and himself, and to become the hero of his own life again.