“When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
In a year that he would like to forget, which included his acrimonious divorce to Amber Heard, Johnny Depp appeared at a Q&A at the new Cinemageddon stage at Glastonbury.
Introducing his 2004 film The Libertine, about a 17th-century poet who notoriously drank himself to an early death, the 54-year-old chose to discuss American politics.
“I think [Donald] Trump needs help,” he said. “There are a lot of dark places he could go.”
He added: “I’m not insinuating anything – by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible – but when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
Responding to loud cheers, Depp said: “Don’t worry, I’m not an actor, I lie for a living.”
Speaking about The Libertine, which was maligned by critics, Depp said: “It’s a film that needs to be seen.”
Depp has been working with organisers on the latest addition to Glastonbury’s expansive site, which boasts the biggest screen in the UK and will show films to festivalgoers sitting in remodelled vintage cars.
He helped come up with the showings of the films on Thursday night of the festival, which, in addition to The Libertine, included Withnail & I, and Dead Man, and is curated by the film-maker Julien Temple.
Depp hoped that by giving the film a fresh airing at Glastonbury, people would be able to see it – and its protagonist, John Wilmot – in a new light. He said in a statement:
“This is one of those films that got lost in the shuffle. It’s a film that a lot of people on which worked very hard, and one that I am very proud of. The second Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot, is a man that everyone deserves to know more about. He wasn’t just some drunken jester. He was a sublime wit in the court of King Charles II and an individual of great literary importance.”
In the crowd for The Libertine was former Chancellor Ed Balls, who told The Telegraph that he had never seen The Libertine.