He’s 49, close to the crucial five-zero. And like many of us, the kid’s hormones are in havoc. But – surprise! – Johnny decided to have a mid-life crisis the predictable way. By Glyn Brown
Oh Johnny, Johnny, Johnny – I’m so disappointed. One minute you’re happily settled with Vanessa Paradis and, in terms of conjugal bliss, setting a fabulous example to us all. Next minute, you’ve done what all those approaching 50 do, or think they’d like to do. You’ve let your hormones go to your, er, head. And it’s hurtful.
Just last week, we discovered with astonishment that after 14 years, you were now separé from the waifish Vanessa, she of the Amélie accent, spindly legs and the gap men feel needs filling between the front teeth.
Every woman I know had liked you for that relationship. Paradis isn’t your conventional Hollywood wife. She’s beautiful but jolie-laide, from a hallowed line of ugly/pretty women that includes such temptresses as Béatrice Dalle and Juliette Lewis.
She’s unusual, and we admired that, particularly because you’ve spent so much time hanging out on set with conventional lovelies and supersonic sex bombs. It was said that Vanessa was anxious when, two years ago, you filmed The Tourist with Angelina Jolie, who has or certainly had a rep for knocking off her co-stars. You emerged as pure as the driven snow.
Aah, we all cooed. It was nice. And if you could do it, we could bloody do it. It hit us right between the eyes that there was a heat and attractiveness to being true.
In your hands, devotion seemed radical
Things carried on. God knows how much of Keira Knightley and Penelope Cruz you’ve seen backstage. Not the merest whisper of a fling.
Some of the filming for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took place in Greenwich, where I live, at the magnificent Royal Naval College, where I don’t live. For the whole time you were here, the area was ankle-deep in young girls screaming and pulsating, but according to rumour you couldn’t wait to board your private plane home every Friday to Paris, where you lived with your delightful little family.
Johnny, you were decent then. You went into a local Greenwich school right next to the college because a seven-year-old had dropped a fan note into your trailer, and you spent an afternoon with the delighted kids there, in character as Captain Jack Sparrow.
There was even a night when, pedalling home late from work in a downpour and crossing the set which was on my route, I saw a Charlie Chaplin-esque figure walking toward me in the gloom. As he neared, I saw that this chap wore a black trilby pulled over his face, and had a beard and elaborate moustache and seriously kohl-rimmed eyes. I held his gaze as he walked toward the boat pier, and as we passed he tipped his hat and grinned, ‘All right?’
Turning round, I noticed the long fake dreads of Captain Jack Sparrow. I have told this story many times and if it wasn’t you, Johnny, it’s made everyone I know like you, so you should give that double at least a tenner.
My question is: que pasa? Seven days ago, the news that the split is amicable and you’re giving Vanessa $100 million. This week, confirmation of where you’re really at. Glued to the side of actress Amber Heard.
I was doing lengths with my sister when I told her you’d left your wife for someone else. My sister is a dedicated swimmer, but she stopped and stood still, dripping. “What’s the new one look like?” sah asked. I sighed. “She’s a tall, blonde 24-year-old Texan bisexual who’s the spit of a younger Scarlett Johannson.”
My sister dived and swam underwater for some time. When she came up, I said, “They met on the set of The Rum Diary, where they have some very hot scenes.” My sister said, “That film sounded like crap from the start.”
Not that wonderful in the saddle
It’s a strange thing, what happens to us when we hit 50. It’s like a kind of Saturn return. Male or female, we think, This is it. Do something now, go wild. And that’s cool. But going wild shouldn’t involve carelessly throwing away something of great value, and it especially shouldn’t involve cliché.
Johnny, are you listening? Today I find that Vanessa found sexy texts from Amber on your mobile. That you yelled at Vanessa, “I don’t love you any more!” That once you met Amber, Vanessa was boring. And that you’ve bought Amber a horse so she can get back to her crazy Texan roots and you can go riding together. Oh boy.
Meanwhile, on the set of The Lone Ranger, where you play native American Tonto, you can’t stay on a horse for five minutes. “Producers are worried he’ll do permanent damage to his tailbone,” say reports. It’s so sad.
But we’ll all get over it. It’ll be like Woody Allen, only a bit different, and we forgave him, most of us. We’ll see you out, with Amber towering over you in her heels, and it will be as if you were always together.
Or will it? Could it be that Amber might chuck you in ten years or so? And then you’ll look at Vanessa, with her curls and cheeky smile. You might even want her back. But Johnny – she’ll be 49. Just a minute away from 50. She will never listen.
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