Johnny Depp driven "nuts" by French language

Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:23pm EST
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By John Irish

PARIS (Reuters) - Having trouble with your French conjugations? Struggling to tell masculine from feminine? Fear not. Hollywood's No. 1 francophile, Johnny Depp, is in the same boat.

The 47 year-old star may consider France his spiritual home and have Parisian actress and singer Vanessa Paradis as his companion to help, but like so many before him, the subtleties of the Gallic tongue are proving a little frustrating.

Speaking to Reuters ahead of next week's premiere of action-filled, romantic comedy "The Tourist," in which he stars with Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, Depp smiles when asked how his French is coming along.

"Good? I don't know. It's difficult still, the conjugation ... the masculine and feminine thing," he said in French with a hint of an American accent. Then, he added in slang. "It drives me nuts."

Depp met Paradis in 1998 and the couple now divide their time between the Hollywood Hills and a farm in southern France as well as homes near Paris, Manhattan and the Bahamas.

Taking a break from his usual line of eccentric characters, the star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise plays an everyday math teacher in "The Tourist," who gets embroiled in a web of deceit spun by Jolie's glamorous character.

For Depp, France gives his life a measure of simplicity which may have easily been taken away in Hollywood by his superstar status.

"France is everything," he said, puffing on a roll-up cigarette. "It's afforded me the idea of a semi-normal life ... There's something magnetic (here), I don't know what it is."   Continued...

<p>U.S. actor Johnny Depp poses for photographers as he arrives for the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" at Leicester Square in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Jas Lehal</p>