(Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash)
For the Original Rolling Stone Article, click here, it’s a good read, and this won’t be funny if you don’t know the source material.
Essie Carter isn’t here yet. Still, her presence is all around the 500 square-foot rented studio at 83 Thronton Lane in Bismark Idaho’s North End.
She’s here in the Jack Sparrow figurine on the Staples-bought student desk. She’s here in the DVD collection of Johnny Depp’s various movies, even the bad ones like 2015’s Mortdecai. She is here in the multiple framed photos of her and Johnny Depp intimately embracing. The photos seem real, but on closer inspection show signs of digital manipulation.
It’s clear Essie Carter has never met Johnny Depp, yet here she is, desperately clinging to the idea that her idol is still relevant, and “in his prime.” Essie has come home from her shift at the nearby CVS, where she works as a cashier. “I’ve always hated how the tabloids have treated him,” Essie remarks, as she empties out a dishwasher filled with mugs depicting Depp as his character from the film Rear Window. “Whenever I see a People magazine that’s alleging he’s an abuser, I just turn that magazine around and shut out that fake news.”
Still it’s been tough for Ms. Carter to block out the “outside noise” – her reference to her family members. Essie’s sister Sharon has been trying for years to get Essie to stop making Facebook posts that center around Depp “fighting off the liberals who are trying to smear him”. Other posts refer to the “deep state” as an active agent against Johnny Depp’s success.
Essie plays the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in the background. She claims she was ecstatic when Netflix began streaming the movies, and equally furious when they took them down. She went back to playing the DVD’s once that happened. Frequently throughout the interview she’ll take a moment to skip scenes or change DVD’s once she believes the Johnny Depp parts are done.
I asked her if she also listened to Johnny Depp’s band, the Hollywood Vampires. But she stated even she isn’t a fan. “I love Johnny Depp, I think he’s the greatest human being on the planet, but god that band is awful.”
Despite her beliefs around the man’s music, she is still a persistent denier that he is in desperate money trouble, and shows signs of a deep, downward spiral. “I can’t wait for his next film. He only does them because he feels a deep artistic connection to the concepts and ideas, like when he starred in Rango.”
Ms. Carter also believes that Johnny Depp still has a vibrant sexual appeal about him. “I can’t believe these fake news people are spouting about how Johnny isn’t a sex symbol anymore, next you’re going to tell me that the United States is locking children up in dog cages.”
At this point I had to end the interview, as Essie was beginning to replay behind the scenes from Pirates of The Caribbean DVD where the crew applies Depp’s makeup. It’s 4 a.m. and Essie has a shift in a few hours, but she still seems energized.
After mentioning I was going to leave, Essie insisted on seeing me out, apparently afraid I would steal her Depp memorabilia she claims is priceless. Ultimately, she was unable to open the several locks on her front door, and told me I would have to help myself out of the window, so she could get back to her DVD’s. We were thankfully on the first floor, so I obliged.
After slamming the window shut, I could see her turn off the living room lights. Only through the faint glow of the television could I see her silhouette, rummaging through a collection of DVD’s, searching for what to play next. For Essie, the world will stay in a state where Johnny Depp, and perhaps the rest of the world, is in its prime.