“Jeanne du Barry,” a historical drama with Depp playing Louis XV in French, was to open the festival out of competition later in the day. It is his first role since a series of legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard in which they accused each other of abuse. Last year she was ordered to pay $10 million in a defamation suit by Depp. Depp was ordered to pay $2 million in Heard’s countersuit. The two settled on a much smaller payout months later.
Larson, an Oscar-winning actor best known for “Captain Marvel,” seemed taken aback when a reporter noted her advocacy for sexual assault survivors while wanting to know what she thought of Cannes screening the movie with Depp and whether she would see it. (Jurors are not required to see films out of competition.)
“You’re asking me that?” she replied in a clip shared by Variety. “I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.”
The reporter explained that she had been on a celebrity advisory council for Time’s Up (disbanded in 2021) and was likely aware of the controversy around Depp and the movie.
“You’ll see, I guess, if I’ll see it, and I don’t know how I feel about it if I do,” she said.
A protest called #CannesYouNot has emerged online, noting the festival’s inclusion of accused or convicted abusers such as Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Gerard Depardieu and Luc Besson over the years. “Cannes seem proud of their history supporting rapists and abusers,” wrote Eve Barlow, a journalist and friend of Heard.
Festival head Thierry Fremaux attempted to assuage objections. “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,” he said Monday, per Deadline.