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Why Johnny Depp Quit Drinking

The "Lone Ranger" star tells Rolling Stone: "I investigated wine and spirits thoroughly, and they certainly investigated me as well"

Johnny Depp may need to get rid of that Wino Forever tattoo.

"The Lone Ranger" star has been off the bottle for a year an a half, according to a new Rolling Stone magazine cover story.

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"I just decided that I pretty much got everything I could get out of it," Depp tells Rolling Stone. "I investigated wine and spirits thoroughly, and they certainly investigated me as well, and we found out that we got along beautifully, but maybe too well."

As an up-and-coming actor, Depp had a reputation for being something of a Dionysian figure. Now that's he's turned 50, he's apparently mellowed, even revealing that the blue-tinted aviator glasses he wore to the interview are prescription.

Although he has palled around with legendary substance-aficionados like Keith Richards and Hunter S. Thompson, Depp said he was not an alcoholic.

"No, I don't have the physical need for the drug alcohol," Depp said. "No, it's more my medication, my self-medication over the years just to calm the circus. Once the circus kicks in, the festivities in the brain, it can be ruthless."

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He admitted that he could be a prodigious drinker at times, but said he recognized that the imbibing had to end at some point.

"Maybe that's why Hunter and I got along so well," he said. "I'm able to continue for great periods of time, weirdly. For weeks. There's no great point to it, ultimately. You realize that you wouldn't treat your car that way."