"In terms of the breakup, I definitely wasn't going to rely on the drink to ease things or cushion the blow or cushion the situation," says Depp. I felt it was my duty to be real clear throughout that. So you can at least be honest with your kids, and you say the absolute truth to your child – that was very important to not pussyfoot around." Not drinking helped him with that, he says, allowing him to "bite the bullet and deal with real life, deal with clarity."xcept for his own office, the headquarters of Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil (it means "infinite nothing," a reference to a Tolstoy line), are bright, airy and Internet-startup modern, with a big, open kitchen in the front.I had something pretty serious to focus on, really, which was making sure that my kids were gonna be cool."Depp's own parents divorced when he was 15, and he took it hard. A meeting room is temporarily overflowing with posters and theater displays, sent over by Disney – and that's the least of the memorabilia here. On his head is a battered, ancient brown fedora with a big tear on top, like Indiana Jones' post-refrigerator-ride.
"They've been incredibly understanding, incredibly strong throughout the whole ordeal," he says. There's a hundred-year-old acoustic guitar in the corner, and vintage-y art-deco chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
(Says Depp, "I thought if I had just got out of the pokey after 18 years, I'd want some fucking Tater Tots, man. Give me some deeply trashy food.") They've since gotten five or six matching tattoos together, including one of the crow that's on Depp's head in .
"Whenever we're together," says Echols, "it's not like you're with a movie star. He smells like home to me."Though a younger Depp was known for bouts of debauchery and hotel-room-smashing in the wake of past splits (Kate Moss, Winona Ryder), he insists that wasn't the case this time. You can't shield them, because then you'd be lying.
"I'm able to continue for great periods of time, weirdly. "I'm kind of socially inept," Depp says, laughing in a way that says . Mingling at parties and stuff like that has always been not a nice experience for me. If you're a cigarette smoker, a serious smoker, then you're a junkie. He sets it down on the fucking table and eight kids see it. I swear to God, he doesn't realize."Depp (who's been dating 27-year-old actress Amber Heard) has also been spending time with a friend he only recently got to meet in person: Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, who had been imprisoned for 18 years for murders that evidence suggests he didn't commit.
You're a junkie to that drug." He smokes less than he used to, going through maybe six cigarettes over the course of three and a half hours today, but it's obviously a fraught issue: With every one of his tobacco packets, he takes the trouble to grab a Sharpie and X out the grotesque you'll-get-cancer picture and warning box."They show some guy with three and a half teeth and some sort of red, dangly bit in his mouth," he says. Identifying with a fellow small-town outcast, Depp had been funding and supporting Echols' case for years.