Johnny Depp 'Doing Fantastic' After Cannes Appearance: 'He Is Much Happier' Now, Says Source (Exclusive)

A source tells PEOPLE that those closest to the actor are "excited about how he turned things around"

Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool/Getty Images
Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool/Getty Images

Johnny Depp has found happiness again after debuting his latest movie a year after his defamation trial against Amber Heard.

Last week, the actor's French-language film Jeanne du Barry opened the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where Depp signed autographs and posed for selfies with applauding fans, later speaking about his movie "comeback" at a press conference afterward.

A source tells PEOPLE that Depp, 59, "is doing fantastic" now, one year removed from the controversial Virginia trial with ex-wife Heard, 37.

"Johnny is doing fantastic. He really enjoys working and touring again. He has managed to turn his life around," says the source of Depp, who will next direct the movie Modi after touring with his band The Hollywood Vampires. "He is prioritizing his health and work."

The source adds, "He was living a destructive life and people close to him were concerned. Everyone is excited about how he turned things around. He is much happier too."

Related:Amber Heard Supporters Protest Cannes Film Festival for Inclusion of Johnny Depp Movie

Doug Peters/PA Images via Getty Images Johnny Depp
Doug Peters/PA Images via Getty Images Johnny Depp

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At the Cannes press conference Wednesday, Depp was asked whether he feels boycotted by Hollywood after his highly publicized legal battles. "Do I feel boycotted now? No, not at all," he said. "But I don't feel boycotted by Hollywood because I don't think about it. I don't think about Hollywood. I don't have much further need for Hollywood myself."

He later added, "I keep wondering about the word comeback because I didn't go anywhere. As a matter of fact, I live about 45 minutes away. So yeah, maybe people stopped calling out of whatever their fear was at the time. But no, I didn't go nowhere. I've been sitting around."

Steve Helber/POOL/AFP/Getty; JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP/Getty Johnny Depp; Amber Heard
Steve Helber/POOL/AFP/Getty; JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP/Getty Johnny Depp; Amber Heard

While Depp was in France for the film festival launch, Heard was photographed in Madrid, Spain, where she moved with her 2-year-old daughter Oonagh Paige. In December, she announced that she and Depp reached a settlement and they both dropped their appeals to the June 1, 2022, verdict.

A source previously told PEOPLE of the Aquaman actress, "The trial was beyond stressful for her and she just wanted to start fresh out of the country."

"She is excited about working and filming again. She was exhausted and disappointed about the trial. She felt she was mistreated," the source added. "This is all behind her now, though. She has new energy and is focused on things that she loves."

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