There’s been much news about the life and times of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard as his two major court cases brought new stories to the forefront. In fact, his role in Pirates of the Caribbean came to the forefront as one story about himself and Amber Heard’s relationship occurred while one of those franchise movies was filming. Now a new story has reportedly come to light showing Depp had become less reliable by the time he had filmed Murder on the Orient Express in 2017.
A new report detailing Johnny Depp’s legal cases and career has highlighted how on the set of Murder on the Orient Express the actor’s behavior had become a bit more erratic. This began to mean he’d show up late for filming, which is never fun for those who are waiting around, particularly when one happens to be a part of a big ensemble set like that Agatha Christie adaptation was. It seems like Kenneth Branagh managed to get things under control as an unnamed Disney executive allegedly revealed to Business Insider.
Shoots, interviews. He never hid his partying. But he finally hit the wall on Murder on the Orient Express. Right when rehearsals began, in 2017, he walked in late the first day and Ken Branagh, who directed, very calmly said: ‘That’s not the way I work. I don’t allow lateness. If you choose that behavior, you can leave the film. Right now. It’s fine.’ Johnny just said, ‘I hear you, sir, I won’t do it again.’ It humiliated him in front of stars, as big as he was.
At the time the movie was filming, the reportee notes that Johnny Depp was really going hard with the partying. The filming of Murder on the Orient Express occurred after Amber Heard had filed for divorce in 2016; the divorce would be finalized the same year he ultimately decided to play Edward Ratchett for Kenneth Branagh’s film.
If the story is accurate, it sounds like Kenneth Branagh was able to keep the situation in hand enough to help the movie stay on the rails. However, it does reveal more about what Johnny Depp’s state of mind was at that time. It would be a couple of years later before he pursued the libel case against The Sun’s parent company and the defamation case against Amber Heard herself, but things were seemingly not copacetic in the actor's personal life well before then.
It’s also worth noting that 2017 was the year a lot of Johnny Depp’s money woes were front and center in the news cycle. At one point in 2017, the news broke the actor had been using new movies to help him pay old debts. He was also reportedly spending upwards of $2 million dollars on expenses every single month, with another report mentioning that a few years prior he'd spent $5 million to shoot his pal Hunter S. Thompson's ashes out of a cannon. Yes, a cannon.
Johnny Depp has been open about issues with drugs and alcohol recently as part of the libel case in the U.K., but this story further lays bare the frame of mind Johnny Depp was in when he was struggling particularly hard. He's since been let go from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and only has some smaller radar projects in the works like next month's Minamata. This hasn't stopped the actor from continuing to make headlines though.