Johnny Depp Says He Just Enjoys Living in France

Johnny Depp says the media's perception of him as a European wannabe has been exaggerated, and that he just likes the anonymity of living in France.

In this week's issue of Newsweek, the 43-year-old actor says life is simpler there.

"I've always loved it there," he said. "The phones don't ring as much. Movies are never brought up in conversation. I'll take the kids and we'll go out to the trampoline and the swing set, and we'll stop by the garden and see how our tomatoes are doing. You know, old-fart stuff. Good stuff."

It's a sharp contrast to his early acting days when he became a teen idol starring on the TV series "21 Jump Street."

"Suddenly, you go into restaurants and people are pointing at you and whispering," he said. "You feel spooked by it because that freedom of anonymity is gone. You never get used to that. You'd leave the hotel to go to dinner and there'd be tons of cameras and flashbulbs."

In 2003, Depp gave an interview to the German magazine Stern in which he was quoted as criticizing Washington's confrontation with France over the war in Iraq.

Depp was quoted as saying that "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth — that can bite and hurt you, aggressive."

He later said he intended no anti-American sentiment and called it an "inaccurate and out of context misquote." The magazine stood by its story.

Depp, French actress-singer Vanessa Paradis and their two children split their time between homes in France and Los Angeles.

Depp says his life changed dramatically when daughter Lily-Rose was born in 1999. His son, Jack, was born three years later.

"I was never horribly self-obsessed or wrapped up in my own weirdness, but when my daughter was born, suddenly there was clarity," he said. "I wasn't angry anymore. It was the first purely selfless moment that I had ever experienced. And it was liberating. In that moment, it's like you become something else. The real you is revealed."