In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Johnny Depp opens up about his past alcohol use, but unlike his infamous on-screen character, Captain Jack Sparrow, he says he is not an alcoholic. Depp denies ever having to depend on alcohol, though he made a conscious decision over a year ago to give up drinking.
“No, I don’t have the physical need for the drug alcohol,” he tells Rolling Stone. “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.”
Depp, who just turned 50 last month, adds that his decision to give up alcohol stemmed from his own realization that though he was able to function just fine with alcohol on a day-to-day basis, he could manage almost just as well without it.
“I just decided that I pretty much got everything I could out of it,” he says about his drinking. “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.”
The actor, who created rules for himself like drinking wine but no hard liquor, found a partner in crime in the writer Hunter S. Thompson, who he would binge drink with for weeks.
“Maybe that’s why Hunter and I got along so well. 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.”
Depp is so dedicated to his new pledge of sobriety, he says, that even after he split with longtime girlfriend Vanessa Paradis last year, he hasn’t been turning to alcohol the way that he might’ve for previous breakups.
“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,” he explains. “Cause that could have been fatal. I felt it was my duty to be real clear throughout that.“
The couple dated for 14 years and had two children together — Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11.
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