Doing It Depp's Way

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SECRET WINDOW: As a writer stalked by a dairy farmer (John Turturro), Depp explores a different kind of insanity

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This nonchalance is no act. Depp enjoys being in movies, and he says he enjoyed attending the Oscars, but he saw none of his fellow nominees' performances and guesses the last movie he saw was Pirates — and only because he had to. "I like not knowing what's happening out there — who's doing what, how they were, what the box office was," he says. "Even when I'm in the soup bowl of Hollywood, I just play Barbies and hang out with the kiddies."

Depp; his longtime girlfriend, French actress Vanessa Paradis; and their children Lily-Rose, 4, and Jack, 1, spend about half their time in Los Angeles and half in the south of France. Depp still owns the L.A. club the Viper Room, but at 40, he's no longer a regular. "I swing by every now and again. But being a dad, waking up at 5:30 in the morning to make the bottle for the baby, you start thinking about being in a nightclub until 2 in the morning, and you go, Nah. I've done it. No point in repeating yourself."

In violation of the no-repeat principle, Depp has signed on for a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. Otherwise, his choices remain abidingly idiosyncratic. He'll play J.M. Barrie in Neverland, which traces Barrie's inspiration for the Peter Pan story; he has a small part in a French-language film, Ils Se Marierent et Eurent Beaucoup d'Enfants, and in June he teams for the fourth time with director Tim Burton to begin work on a long-discussed remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "I hope it's going to be quite weird," says Depp. "Weird and wonderful."

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