Delving into the details of her role in Wolf and her attitude towards film, the actress sits with her close friend Margaret in a no-holding-back interview.

lily-rose depp


lily-rose depp

Taken from our Winter 21 issue, order your copy here

It’s been 15 minutes since Lily-Rose Depp was scheduled to join our Sunday night Zoom call. I know what you’re thinking – Hollywood diva. The daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis has to be one…right? Wrong.

She’s just landed in LA, and due to a dodgy Zoom connection, Depp can’t join. Instead, we make a WhatsApp group to start the conversation with her close friend and actor, Margaret Qualley, who is patiently waiting to interview her.

“So sorry for this whole mess!’ Depp quickly messages to our WhatsApp group. A humble apology for an actor, who, just 20 minutes late to start the conversation is actually unconventionally early, in my experience.

lily-rose depp
lily-rose depp

(LEFT) Top and belt by CHARLOTTE KNOWLES, Shorts and swimwear by ISA BOULDER, Earrings and bracelet by ELENA MOTTOLA
(RIGHT) Shirt and skirt by ISA BOULDER

lily-rose depp
Top and belt by CHARLOTTE KNOWLES, Shorts and swimwear by ISA BOULDER, Earrings and bracelet by ELENA MOTTOLA
lily-rose depp
Shirt and skirt by ISA BOULDER

Depp is immediately void of any unduly expected pretence – she’s infectiously charismatic, as eloquent as they come, and would rather delve into the colourful life of Margaret Qualley than endlessly into her own. So yes, a Hollywood diva is one thing Lily-Rose Depp is certainly not.

As the two women continue to fight the fickle fate of a bad internet connection and humorously debate who is interviewing who (luckily they come to the conclusion Depp was, in fact, the one being interviewed today) they land at the topic at hand: Lily-Rose’s – in true Depp spirit – ever-quirky upcoming film, Wolf. And to make it impossibly quirkier, she plays a woman who believes she’s a cat.

As they chat, laugh a lot, and open up without inhibition, Depp’s raw insight into the world around her, who she is, and how her upcoming film reflects it, makes something abundantly clear: the fictitious might surround her as an actor, and the fantastical as a certified Depp, but Lily-Rose herself couldn’t be more real.

lily-rose depp
lily-rose depp

(LEFT) Jacket by BLUMARINE, Shorts, belt and shoes by JACQUEMUS, Rings by LA MANSO

lily-rose depp
Jacket by BLUMARINE, Shorts, belt and shoes by JACQUEMUS, Rings by LA MANSO
lily-rose depp

Lily-Rose Depp Sarah-Margaret!

Margaret Qualley Lily-Rose [giggles]! We recently discovered that we both have double names. I mean, we both knew that about ourselves and I also knew that her name was Lily-Rose, but anyway, now we’re really clinging on to the Lily-Rose, Sarah-Margaret vibe.

LRD I know and ever since we met, we’re like, ‘I feel like I have known you for 1000 years!’ And I realise today that our names sound so perfect together, we’re the duo that always should have been.

MQ That’s exactly how I feel. First of all, I need to just shower you with a bunch of compliments. I watched Wolf, it took my breath away. Like, holy smokes. You were magnificent in this movie and it’s such a miraculous transformation. It’s so deep in your body, there’s nothing ‘put on’ about it. You’re fully a cat despite the fact that you are fully a woman.

LRD [Laughs] Thank you so much!

MQ George MacKay’s amazing in it.

LRD George is fucking incredible. The chance to work alongside somebody like George who is so invested in what he’s doing, so passionate, so kind and is down to do anything was amazing. Especially with a role like this, there can be no ego or discomfort.

MQ Yeah! My favourite scene is when you guys are crawling around on all fours. It’s like the first time that you become animals together and it’s one of the most breathtaking scenes. So, walk me through the prep.

LRD Well, so we were supposed to shoot this movie in April 2020. I was shooting Silent Night in London and I was supposed to go straight into Wolf. Then the world shut down, as we are all familiar with.

MQ Super bummer.

LRD [Laughs] Massive bummer. We all went into lockdown obviously but [the crew] were all keeping in touch being like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna delay [filming] for three weeks.’ I was like, ‘God! Three weeks, that’s such a long time.’ And then it was months and months and months….

MQ Like, ‘Oh wait, will I ever act again?’

LRD Yeah! Luckily we were able to get the show-up and running in August and we all tried to make the most of our quarantine time by keeping prepping. We were all being really enthusiastic about it being like, ‘This will be great, there’ll be more time to get to know our characters.’ But I was also kind of like, ‘Damn, what if we never get to shoot this thing?’ I will have just spent months crawling around like a cat in my apartment scaring my family for nothing.

MQ [Laughs] Well that totally tracks because it seems so in your body. There’s not an ounce of insecurity there. It is you, you are cat.

LRD I am cat! Looking on the bright side of things, I honestly think even just the claustrophobia of those months of being stuck inside and not knowing, you know, when we were going to be allowed out, and the outside world becoming this kind of weird phenomenon informed me a lot about how my character felt about her situation. I feel like there’s a lot of parallels to be drawn between the characters’ situations in the movie and the time and space in which we were making it.

lily-rose depp

Dress and swimsuit by ISA BOULDER, Shoes by LUCILLE THIEVRE, Earrings by JACQUEMUS

lily-rose depp
Dress and swimsuit by ISA BOULDER, Shoes by LUCILLE THIEVRE, Earrings by JACQUEMUS

MQ Isn’t it the weirdest thing how that always happens? I feel like art imitates life every fucking time.

LRD Every fucking time!

MQ I’m always like, ‘Well, of course, I’m doing this movie in the middle of this thing because all of this is happening. Here we go again!’

LRD I know, it’s really strange. There seems to always be a link between what you’re working on and what you’re going through in your real life. I know this is my interview but I just started Maid yesterday, like I told you, and you were so fucking amazing in it. You broke my heart like you really broke my heart. I really have a hard time watching things when I’m tired because I fall asleep immediately, and you kept me awake.

MQ Oh no I’m so sorry! [Laughs]

LRD I was like, ‘Oh my God, what’s gonna happen to her?’ I just wanted to hug you. You made me so sad, you’re so so amazing.

MQ Thank you, Lily. I love you. I miss you. Okay, now we have to go back to you because this is literally supposed to be about you [both laugh]. But that just goes to show how incredibly generous, kind, and sweet you are which is why I love you. I think it’s super interesting the way that you are perceived out there and obviously, I was aware of you before I met you.

LRD Same, aware of you before I met you.

MQ Of course we all draw conclusions about somebody before we meet them, that’s just human nature. But for me, I care what people think about me and I want to come across a certain way. And for some reason, you peg me as the kind of person that just like, doesn’t give a shit. Am I wrong?

LRD You’re not wrong, honestly. I have a good grasp of the fact that what really matters to me is the people that know me personally. You’re being perceived in 4000 million different ways if you really think about every person who’s ever had you come into their mind, all these people are gonna make their little assumptions and like, if you’re too attached to that, you’re just gonna lose sleep over something that doesn’t matter.

MQ Is this something that you were born with? Or is it a skin that you grew? Because I think growing up in the way that we did, coming from families who are in this business and having had exposure to this world for a long time…yo what’s up my nepotism baby! Hi [Laughs]!

LRD [Laughs] I feel like I’ve grown up with an awareness of the fact that people may have had preconceived notions about me, my family, or who I might be because of my family.

MQ I just got a flash of what it must be like to be in your skin in the sense that it’s like, it must be kind of fun and liberating to be like, well, I know who I am. So fuck it! Doesn’t matter.

LRD I just think that’s the only way I can be. If I wasted time being any other way, I would just hold a lot more anxiety in my tummy than I need to. Life is complicated enough, honestly. There are so many people in the world, if I care about what every single person thinks I’m never going to get on with my day.

MQ You can’t be too affected by either side. Like you can’t be affected by people hating you or loving you.

LRD Exactly, the two go hand in hand and that’s something that my mom also has really instilled in me: if you believe the good press, you have to believe the bad press. Also growing up the way that we did, there’s always an awareness people are going to have opinions on you so maybe you just let go of them earlier.

MQ I grew up in North Carolina so weirdly my mum was like, the only famous person there. When you’re the only one, everyone is interested, even if it’s not that interesting. But I do think that it made me develop the same [resilience] you were just talking about but I still want everyone to think I’m kind [laughs]. Another thing that I wanted to comment on, which is just like, really not a question, but I just have to say it: your voice is one of the greatest gifts.

LRD [Laughs] Really?

MQ You have the best voice. I could listen to it all day. I just love it. It’s so deep and interesting and cool. And like, totally not what I would match with you if I hadn’t heard it, and it’s the most beautiful surprise.

LRD I’m glad you like it because I feel like we’re big voice message girls. We’re constantly sending like 2+ minute long voice messages. So needless to say, I love your voice too.

lily-rose depp

Shirt and skirt by ISA BOULDER

lily-rose depp
Shirt and skirt by ISA BOULDER

MQ Okay one silly question, if you could be any animal what would you be?

LRD Maybe this is too easy but honestly a cat. Maybe because it’s the animal I’ve gotten to know the best, and maybe because I worked on it for so long but I see a lot of cat qualities in myself. Not to toot my own horn about this but I feel like whenever I’ve said to people ‘I did this thing where I played a girl who thinks she’s a cat’ I’ve had a lot of people be like ‘that makes sense.’

MQ Oh it makes total sense, I cannot imagine anyone else in that role. Although this film portrays a world we don’t think we’re living in, it actually holds up a mirror to issues plaguing our society. What do you hope viewers learn from the film and/or what does it point out?

LRD Well I think as much as the film is this beautiful abstract piece of art set in a faraway world that you can’t really put a finger on, the movie is ultimately very human. It picks up on the theme of identity and ultimately how there are boxes we’re always going to be stuffed into in, whatever environment we’re in, and those boxes – which we’re chipping away at little by little – just shouldn’t exist. It’s okay to be whoever it is that you are, and there’s community everywhere. No matter how alone you may feel with whatever you’re fighting internally, there’s always going to be people who understand you and can connect to that.

MQ Is there a certain part of yourself that you have a hard time expressing or there hasn’t necessarily been space for in the past? For me it’s anger, I have a really hard time expressing it in real-time.

LRD Do you feel like that’s something you’ve then found the space for in certain roles?

MQ Totally. It’s something I’ve found space for in certain roles but it’s also something I’m growing into. I’m growing into popping off when I’m actually there, but the 16-year-old me wouldn’t have done it.

LRD I feel like I’m growing into popping less off.

MQ [Laughs] Oh cool! So I’m becoming an asshole and your becoming…

LRD I’ve never had a problem expressing anger, I’m definitely a confrontational person and as I’m growing up I’m learning to be calmer. Ultimately, anger hurts the person harbouring it more than the person it is aimed at. Hopefully, I’m getting wiser.

MQ You’re definitely one of those people that is an old, wise soul whose been around for forever. Your feistiness is something I really love about you, it’s very fun.

LRD I think also one of the magical parts of our job is that it teaches you a lot about yourself. I feel like when you’re doing a scene if you’re connecting to a certain part of the scene, and then you do it and you go full throttle into whatever that emotion is, then you might walk away from the take being like, ‘Damn, I didn’t know that I had all that to express.’ Do you feel like that in more heated scenes?

MQ God, I remember, this director came up to me and whispered the word shame in my ear before we did a take and I was like [mimics crying noise].

LRD WHAT? To express that’s what he wanted to be feeling from you?

MQ Excuse me Lily-Rose, it was a woman.

LRD Isn’t that crazy? Wow, I’ve actually worked with way more female directors than male directors.

MQ Me too! I think that was one of the most exciting parts about when we both started working, the path had already been paved by so many women who had to endure a completely unsuitable environment, we now get to enter at this time when women are on top and there are opportunities for us all.

LRD Yeah, in front of the camera and behind it. But isn’t that crazy that we both worked with more female directors than males and we still say ‘he’ when we’re talking – it’s instinctual and deeply ingrained. That’s another thing we’re chipping away at.

lily-rose depp


lily-rose depp

MQ I cannot wait for the world to see you in this. Did I tell you I watched it twice?

LRD No way! Oh my God, thank you! Something else I took away from it was just how much I love pouring my heart and soul into my roles.

MQ That’s one thing I’ve loved from you from the get-go. Okay, I was actually with you when you were first auditioning for The Idol and I was sure that you were obviously going to get it because who wouldn’t hire you? Tell me everything.

LRD I’m so excited, that’s actually what I’m doing here in LA. I don’t know how much I can actually say about it but the more I learn about the story and the character, the more I have a special feeling about this. The team around me are so great and I’m in really great hands. I’ve never done a show before and I’ve never held on to a character for this long before so I’m ready for that challenge as well. What was it like for you because I know you shot Maid for a really long time? The longest I’ve been with a character is like two and a half months.

MQ Yeah, I was in Canada for nine months. I mean, it was really great but I was really ready to do something else by the end of it [laughs]! I’m mostly joking, there is something special about being with a character for a long time. I feel like when you’re with a character for a long time during a TV show, the arc is happening to you. Because first of all, I didn’t have all 10 episodes when I started, I had the first three and then it’s like your experiencing it in real-time with the character. Also over nine months a lot in my life changed, I went through a lot of things. I started a relationship and I ended one, well I didn’t start it but I ended it! All of those things play into everything and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m a completely different person than I was nine months ago.’ Yes, the core of me is the same but I’ve really learned a lot. So I think maybe the coolest part about it is over the course of a great amount of time you have the opportunity to bring a different version of yourself to the character than you started off with because that’s just like the way that life works.

LRD That’s so beautifully said and that makes me so excited to sit with my character for a long time. I’m sure you get to know the character in such a deeper way than you would when you only have a few weeks or two months with her and also I’m just excited to see how whatever I’m going to go through in these next six months – and what life chucks at me – is gonna align with what life’s chucking at my character.

MQ I can’t wait to hear your singing voice now because I’m already in love with your speaking voice. And I just love you so much.

LRD I love you! Next time I need to be interviewed by a friend I will be calling you again.

MQ I’ll be calling you!

lily-rose depp

Dress by CHANEL, Bag by Y/PROJECT, Shoes by ATTICO

lily-rose depp
Dress by CHANEL, Bag by Y/PROJECT, Shoes by ATTICO
Corentin Leroux
Elena Mottola
Margaret Qualley
Ella Bardsley
Alexandry Costa
Stephanie Marais
Amy Elizabeth
Art Director
Olivia Woodgate
Producing Love
Production Director
Samuel Geroldi
Production Assistant
Morgane Millot