I hadn’t played a concert in years as my Hollywood life had taken control. I was damned. I had become a scenester. A fixture. I was like the couch at the Chateau Marmont lost in the seen and be seen nightlife that the city of lost angels had to offer. Threesomes with Playboy models were the norm and having a regular relationship was something I laughed at while downing a 1982 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. I removed all the mirrors in my home, as I felt embarrassed about who I’d become. I pined for the days of making 10 bucks and a pint of beer while grooving my tunes to the best 10 fans a guy could ever have. And my pining didn’t fall on deaf ears it seemed, as I got the call to join the cast of Cry-Baby, thank the heavens. I felt like was about to have a John Waters Christmas and it couldn’t have come soon enough.
For those of you who don’t know of John Waters, you should be ashamed of yourselves. He is a master auteur of the transgressive film movement who didn’t care about money. He is a true uncompromising artist. He was everything I was not, and my envy knew no bounds. A calm came over me as I signed my contract. I was to make barely enough money to feed my housekeeper, and it was invigorating.
I left the sunny skies and tiny waistlines of Los Angeles for the gritty but real habitat of Baltimore, Maryland. I had hope in my eyes for the first time in the last six years of my life. When I got to the home of Mr. Waters, I met the other cast members for the first time and broke into tears of unabashed joy when I was surprised to learn that a musical hero of mine, the original Stooge, Mr. Iggy Pop, was cast as my Uncle Belvedere Rickettes. As I rest at Iggy’s feet in the fetal position, I felt like I was meant to be here at this moment and I never wanted it to end. I had a new family now, and Baltimore was my rebirth place.
The next three weeks was a glorious time in my life. I picked the brains of Waters and Pop, hoping they could provide me with the guidance I needed to combat my internal struggle of phoniness. I was in a film version of rehab. It was a controlled environment, and my counselors were selling me on a 12-step-program, and I bought in like my life depended on it. I didn’t even have coitus with the ravishing, Amy Locane, or the hot-to-trot, Traci Lords. I respected the set as my intake facility and them as my fellow addicts. I listened and followed the rules, so having relations with them was strictly off limits. And because of that, I was focused. I brought my ‘A’ game, and it showed. But like all great things, this also had to come to an end. Time flew by, against my behest and now I had to travel back to the real world of Los Angeles with all my vices to tempt my corrupt soul. My John Waters Christmas was over.
– Johnny Depp
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