The problem with being avant-garde is knowing who’s trying to fool who, as it’s been said in a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. The only thing about it is that for all that one might want to play at being avant-garde or in any way different from those around them, there’s no denying that they’ll embrace the same ideals that many cling to when it comes getting paid for what they do. That kind of destroys the whole idea of doing something new, doesn’t it? Johnny Depp might not fully agree since he’s been living his life according to his rules, so long as he steps in line every now and then to get that paycheck. That’s the one thing about not calling himself a Hollywood celebrity that doesn’t ring true, he doesn’t mind taking the payment for stepping inside the boundaries that he’s required to when it comes to collecting the sums that he’s enjoyed throughout the years. Playing by his own rules is all well and good, he’s even gotten away with asking when had been the last time an actor assassinated a president only a few years back, but again, calling the act of being a celebrity grotesque sounds a bit hollow coming from a person that’s been able to demand the kind of money he has.
I’d imagine that many people would jump to his defense at this moment and I likely wouldn’t be disappointed since many happen to embrace his lifestyle, or his ideals at least, of not belonging to the elite and going their own way. That’s great, it’s commendable, but at the same time, it’s also laughable since at one point it’s easy to see how the freedom of not belonging to the Hollywood elite would be preferable since it would keep a person safe and sound in their own area without needing to be hounded continually by the same paparazzi that follow the elite that stick together. And yet, Depp still finds the spotlight occasionally, he still takes advantage of the same ‘grotesque’ celebrity status that he apparently doesn’t care for all that much. The funny thing about going your own way is that once enough people follow or come to embrace that way then it’s time to be a rebel yet again and find another way to go, since the flood of fans and admirers that are going to follow a movie star doggedly and without any reservations will always be there, and the free-flowing path will become a choked and overused highway, much like the one that Depp has espoused in the past.
Depp isn’t an idiot, of course, he wants to be paid for what he does, but taking the money and then denouncing his own celebrity status in the same instant is a bit hypocritical, not to mention funny as hell since it speaks of a person that wants to be a rebel so long as he has the permission. It’s been said that Depp and many others basically have free reign on just about any set they’re on, but maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it would be a bit different if they were held accountable for their behavior, their attitude, and reminded of the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around them. A lot of people would love the ability to state that the very thing that makes them important in any way is simply ‘grotesque’ that it doesn’t have the same meaning for them as it does for others. But the fact of the matter is that many people are accountable for what they do in this world, and unless they’re filthy rich or somehow have the influence that so many celebrities do, they’re made to be accountable whether they like it or not. Perhaps it’s time to remind the celebrities that despite their influence and the popularity they enjoy, they’re beholden to the people that pay for their movies, their merchandise, and whatever other goods their name is stamped on. At this point, the only way to wake many of them up and remind them that the world is not revolving around their ideals and that they too need to embrace reality from time to time is to hit them where it really hurts, their bank accounts.
I happen to like Depp as an actor and think that he’s done quite well for himself, but talk such as this doesn’t help his case in any way since it tends to make him appear less than grateful for the position he finds himself in. That might not be the case, he might be the nicest person in the world, but watching what you say at times is far wiser than acting as though you’re beyond the world that made you famous in the first place. No offense to Mr. Depp, but he could come crashing down just as hard as anyone.