For decades, Johnny Depp was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But amid his divorce drama with ex-wife Amber Heard — which included a nasty 2022 defamation trial that exposed disturbing details of their toxic five-year marriage, from alcohol and drug-fueled arguments to physical assault — he became persona non grata in the industry. In fact, the actor was dropped from two major movie franchises: Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts. “People stopped calling,” he shared last year. “I’ve been sitting around.”

So, it’s perhaps no surprise Johnny now says he feels “strangely, oddly, perversely lucky” to be given the chance to appear in new flick Jeanne du Barry. Looking thinner and more cleaned up than he had in years, the leading man made the comments on April 15 at the film’s U.K. premiere, where he happily signed autographs and posed with director Maïwenn. “Johnny has fallen down and gotten back up dozens of times in his career. Even when his movies were being trashed by critics, he never seemed to let it affect him,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “But this time around, those close to him told Johnny he may not get another chance, so he’d better take it seriously. In many ways, it’s like he is starting over at the age of 60.”

Inside Johnny Depp’s Substance and Financial Struggles

Since he first became a heartthrob in the late ’80s, Johnny has been known for his wild partying. (He fittingly changed his “Winona Forever” tattoo to “Wino Forever” when he broke up with fiancée Winona Ryder in 1993.) During the trial with Amber, 38, the world was shocked to learn just what a mess he really was, though. And it may have shocked Johnny, too.

“His life has changed considerably in the two years since. He took a step back because he needed to regroup after everything that came out,” says the insider. “Johnny never hid his hard-partying lifestyle, but the extent of his drinking and drug use made headlines around the world.

Something had to give.” Since then, Johnny — who once blew through a $600M fortune, reportedly spending $30,000 a month on vino alone — has been leading a quiet existence at his home in the English countryside and working on himself. “He seems a lot healthier; he’s lost weight and isn’t as disheveled and puffy,” the insider tells In Touch. “Johnny’s gotten a makeover, cut his hair, and is using stylists to refine his appearance.”

Essentially being forced to quit Hollywood saved his life. It also gave the movie industry time to soften. Besides his role in Jeanne, Johnny recently finished directing the biopic Modì about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, starring Al Pacino. “He’s staging a comeback,” says the insider, “and making the most of every opportunity he gets.”

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