Helen Mirren arrived at the Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the controversial Johnny Depp film “Jeanne du Barry” with a dramatic look – her hair dyed an enchanting blue (to match her dress) with a folding bamboo-style fan in hand.
But it was what the fan contained that made people really take notice – it said #WorthIt, a hashtag perceived by some to be in support for Amber Heard, who was married to Depp and who sued the actor for abuse in a case she lost last June.
Mirren clarified the sign Tuesday.
“No secret message was intended,” she said in a statement to media. “I am a L’Oréal ambassador, they are a sponsor of the festival, and quite truthfully, I picked up a fan because I was hot. ‘Because You’re Worth It’ is the official L’Oréal Paris slogan.”
“Jeanne du Barry” has been a lightning rod for controversy. Last week, director Maïwenn admitted to assaulting a journalist (the journalist was part of an organization covering the allegations against Maïwenn’s ex-husband, French filmmaker Luc Besson, who started dating Maïwenn when she was 15). Earlier Tuesday, Brie Larson, a Cannes juror, responded to questions about whether she would watch the film at all. “You’ll see, I guess, if I will see it. And I don’t know how I’ll feel about it if I do,” Larson responded.
Mirren’s fan had been thought by some to be a show of support for Heard as an extension of the hashtag #AmberIsWorthIt that was meant as a show of support for the actress, who starred in “Magic Mike XXL” and as Mara in the former DC Extended Universe (she’ll appear in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” out this Christmas).
The film was the opening night selection of the Cannes Film Festival, a lavish international affair that will also include the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s historical epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Disney’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and much more.
“Jeanne du Barry” tells the story of Madame du Barry (Maïwenn), the last maîtresse-en-titre of King Louis XV of France (Depp) and how her arrival at Versailles sent shockwaves through the royal court. For a film about a true disrupter, it has done a fair amount of disrupting so far.
This is certainly the most high-profile job Depp has received since 2018, when he starred in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” as the titular baddie. Following the allegations by Heard, Depp was quietly fired and replaced by Mads Mikkelsen for the third film in that franchise. Since then, Depp has mostly starred in independent features.