The Warner Bros. panel at San Diego Comic-Con provided an awkward moment for fans, as Johnny Depp appeared on the same stage as Amber Heard less than an hour apart.
Depp made a surprise appearance during the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald portion of the studio’s panel, appearing in character as the evil Gellert Grindelwald. Moments later, his ex-wife, Heard, took the Hall H stage with her Aquaman co-stars. The two were never onstage at the same time.
“The great gift of your applause is not for me but for yourselves,” Depp said as he waved a wand. “Magic blooms only in rare souls. It is granted to those who live for higher purposes. What a world we would make for all of humanity. We, who live for freedom, for truth — the moment has come to rise up an take our rightful place in the world.”
After the speech, Depp left the stage and did not take questions from the audience.
Depp and Heard were married for little over a year before she filed for divorce in May 2016. The public break-up included allegations of domestic abuse against Depp and Heard requested a temporary restraining order.
After the divorce was finalized, the couple issued a statement, in which they referred to their relationship as “intensely passionate and at times volatile but always bound by love.”
Last year, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling defended Depp’s involvement in the franchise after fans called on her and director David Yates to recast Grindelwald.
“I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing,” Rowling wrote.
Depp has also faced other personal troubles, including a long-running $25 million court battle with his former business managers at The Management Group over finances. Last week, the lawsuit finally came to an end, with both sides agreeing to an undisclosed agreement.
The actor’s troubles were detailed in a new Rolling Stone profile, in which he admitted to some of the outrageous spending alleged in the lawsuit. At one point, Depp admitted he hired a sound engineer to feed him sound effects through an earpiece while filming.
“I’ve got bagpipes, a baby crying and bombs going off. It creates a truth. Some of my biggest heroes were in silent film,” Depp told Rolling Stone. “It had to be behind the eyes. And my feeling is, that if there’s no truth behind the eyes, doesn’t matter what the f–g words are.”