Thursday, September 21, 2006


Johnny Depp And F. Scoot Fitzgerald: On The Lam In France
Americans love to hate the French. And the French savor a little anti-American venom sprinkled in their vichyssoise. And Americans respond by renaming french fries, freedom fries. Hey, let's all take the pacifiers outta our mouths and french kiss and make up, okay!

Moving to France proved to be a great career move for Johnny Depp. He found love and incredible happiness with French pop singer Vanessa Paradis. The former Hollywood bad boy became besotted by fatherhood with the birth of his first child. He swooned: "I was born that day. Its like the fog was lifted. I met my reason to live." He was no less baby struck when his second tot came along.

Parenthood seems to work miracles for Hollywood's Lost Generation, while drug rehab often does not. Johnny Depp, like Angelina Jolie, did a lot of drugs starting in his teens, has scars from cutting himself due to numbing stress AND from altered tattoos due to the vicissitudes of his love life. "Winona forever" is now "Wino forever". (Winona Ryder and Kate Moss are but two in his bevy of ex-girlfriends.)

Before Vanessa, the kids & France, Johnny got into a heap of trouble all the time. Arrests for bad behavior in hotel suites and lobbies. Allegations that he sold drugs in his Viper Room nightclub on the Sunset Strip. After River Phoenix's drug overdose death on the club's front sidewalk in 1993, the probe intensified. His last arrest was in 1999 in London after a fight with the paparazzi outside a restaurant.

Because of his kids, Johnny ventured into PG fare with movie roles like Willy Wonka and Capt. Jack Sparrow. And last week, the pirate plunderer led Johnny Depp into movie history. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest had the largest opening weekend take in Hollywood history, $132 million! Johnny's PG choice catapulted him into the stratosphere of bona fide superstars.

F. Scott Fitzgerald moved to Paris in 1924 for fame and fortune with his talented, gorgeous flapper wife Zelda. In the first year, he wrote The Great American Novel: The Great Gatsby. The Fitzgeralds worshipped at the altar of the superficial and the ephemeral. For them, France did not foster the same fabulous family life that Johnny Depp found there. Scott & Zelda were self-centered, lackadaisical parents to their only child Scottie. The kid knew only nannies, boarding schools and surrogate parents not related by blood.

The always broke writer's alcoholism became full blown. Zelda kept up with his drinking, and began a slide into the abyss of mental illness. Fitzgerald lived a dissolute Jazz Age lifestyle of endless booze soaked parties and being overshadowed by famous ex-patriate egos like Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.

Zelda and Scott often clashed over his friendship with Hemingway, whose macho posturing she characterized as "bullfighting, bullslinging, and bullshitting." History has proven Zelda 100 r ight on.

There is some speculation that after Zelda mocked the size of her husband's manhood: "You can never satisfy any woman. It's a matter of measurements," he ran to Hemingway for reassurance. Hemingway tried to convince the shamed novelist that his phallus was normal sized. "Papa" even took Scott to the Louvre for a peek at the Greek statues' privates. Hemingway's exaggerated macho swaggering in bed, in bars and on the plains of Africa is attributed to HIS manhood being the size of a woman's pinky, so who better for Scott to go to for an impartial opinion?

Southern belle Zelda's husband denied her truths, plagiarized from her writings and gave her no credit. Like many seers, she went mad. Zelda died a diagnosed schizophrenic in a mental institution fire at age 48.

As Fitzgerald wrote: "Show me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy." His was a Lost Generation that found death before redemption.

In life, Fitzgerald relentlessly pursued fame, fortune and beauty. He had no peace, and few sober days. He suffered from a huge inferiority complex. "Let me tell you about the very rich," he wrote. "They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are..."

He died in Hollywood at 44 in the arms of his gossip columnist mistress. The famed writer Dorothy Parker murmured by his open coffin: "The poor son of a bitch." Zelda would have smiled at the fact that his pal Parker plagiarized THAT line from Jay Gatsby's funeral in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby!

Unlike Fitzgerald, Johnny Depp went to France to escape the Hollywood culture of fame and fortune. "I like keeping a distance from Hollywood because I don't have the pressure or responsibility of knowing who's the top dog this week and who's out from last week. I don't know who anybody is and I like it," the No. 1 Box Office Star in the World confides.

"Even before I met Vanessa, I always loved Europe. It's a very agreeable culture, the quality of life. Not so uptight." After he met her, he swooned: "She made me feel like a human being instead of someone Hollywood manufactured. Very quickly I realized I couldn't live without her."

Now that he has two kids, he's happy that, "They're growing up in a very simple and calm environment, where everything is not about the next movie or the next success."
Johnny Depp and his family live in a tiny, remote village on the French Riviera. He enjoys the snail's pace (or is it escargot race?). Unlike America, there's very little technology in the village. French families here spend their balmy evenings in their gardens with friends, serenading each other over red wine and barbeque. There are no paparazzi ("buzzing insects") to annoy and to deploy one's pugilistic instincts. Life is serene.

Not that Johnny doesn't miss American culture a tad. He occasionally rides his Harley up to the local McDonald's drive-thru, ordering a Big Mac and fries in impeccable French.

He likes riding his honey on the back of his bike to a little local bar. He has coffee "with my girl... France has given me the opportunity to live a basic and simple life with my kiddies, a life of normalcy."

While his fellow Kentuckian George Clooney found the good life at his villa on Italy's Lake Como, Johnny's found his bliss in a small farmhouse in a rural French town.

L'amour, l'amour, toujours l'amour, y'all!

(c) 2006 Sistarrs International


Bridgette Marie said...

i've never been to europe, but it seems so lovely. i don't blame johnny. then again, i don't despise the french like

political conservatives do. it's not just them that abhor us, most countries despise us because of our administration.

and i don't blame them. george w. really messed it up for us, understatement of the year. fitzgerald sounds like a lot

of celebs now such as amdonna who send their kids to giant lycees and give them over to nannies most of the time. not

that i'm dissing madonna, i admire her for her diligence and commitment in so many aspects of her life. clooney is

lucky as well. having a little villa in italy, what a gorgeous image : ).


~Wyzowl~ said...

I've had the pleasure of visiting France twice in my life...the first time was on honeymoon in's a

picturesque, magical part of the world and yet I've never felt truly welcome...probably because my French is so awful!

I can order a coffee and a grilled cheese sandwich...and ask some basic directions, but that's about it.

I have always said that the French are weird, even though I must admit my great-grandfather was French... This

recently heard true story proves my point: A woman living in Nice, France, had to get approval from the president of

France before she could marry. Why? Because the man she married is DEAD. Now most people in the U.S.upon hearing this

assume that there is money involved. Maybe if this was in the states, but this is France. They are just weird! She

said she was still emotionally attached to him and still communicated with him on a spiritual level. There are obvious

advantages to this relationship. He will never come home late. He will never scream at her or say bad things to her.

Of course, she could never get him to sign divorce papers if she one day tires of him. My feeling is she'll probably

cremate him and make an ash out of him. The French are weird.This is why we don't want them running Iraq or the U.N.

Just watch them jumping around like a bunch of goof balls during Bastille Day. I rest my case.

Alex said...

Hemingway with a little weiner & a big ego...figures!! God I wish I was Johnny Depp or George Clooney, those lucky

bastards! "Show me a hero & I'll write you a tragedy", that's a drunk rambling. Look at Johnny, look at

George...Thanks Starr girls. Another great one!!

V for Vanessa said...

How appropriate that I should be listening to Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" as I read this....

I loved this to pieces....

You make the most incredible connections...

I cried for Zelda....

Mr Depp has a fine head on his shoulders, indeed...

Angel said...

Very, Very interesting!! I like this blog! I am a through & through American, I even did my time in the Armed Forces,

HOWEVER! You can't blame a guy (or gal) for wanting some normalcy in their life! I've always prefered the small town,

out of the way places myself. Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor, and a sexy man, good for him for accomplishing all

that he has...Even if he's more comfortable in France...I mean for crying out loud...LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE!!! If everyone

would stop worrying about what everyone else is doing...And start living their own damn lives...The world would be a

MUCH MUCH happier place!

SPMachado said...

When I become rich and famous, and I will...oh yes I will!..., it would be nice to have the freedom and the ability to

live anywhere you choose...To the rich and famous, a move to say, France or London isn't the move that it would be for

us, say living in Los Angeles. For me to pack up and move to France, would basically mean, saying goodbye to everyone

I love, and not seeing them for a number of years....For people like Johnny Depp, a move like that is the same as a

move across town. They have the ability to jump on the concord and be back in the US in a couple hours or so....For

them its like moving from Los Angeles to the valley kind of...ok maybe San Diego.....I love reading your blogs by the

way, they make for very interesting reading...I hope you continue to have fun with them, my best to you:)

Lumonics Light Museum said...

thank you for activating our brains did you get them to all agree to a photo shoot? :)

Margaret said...

This, like all your stuff, is very thorough and interesting, but I like hearing you guys narrate!! btw...I didn't know about Zelda being mentally ill. I wonder if Fitzgerald burned the hospital down to get revenge for the tiny penis don't publicly call a man out on his penis your stuff!!