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Ellen Barkin talks Hollywood misogyny and the Johnny Depp trial: “I could deal without all those men”



“The truth is, I am 68 years old,” Ellen Barkin says in a new interview with HuffPost. “I don’t give a fuck. I’m fresh out of all my fucks.” No wonder, then, she is bold enough to both acknowledge her white privilege while also stating that she literally doesn’t identify as white when filling out paperwork. (“I’m a Jew. I never called myself white. My grandmother taught me that.”) It’s that kind of no-fucks-given attitude that makes for a great celebrity profile, so needless to say, Barkin brings it.

She’s unflinching about the misogyny and over-sexualization she’s been subjected to in her career. She recalls overhearing a producer say “She looks like a girl who could give you a disease,” and having Sea Of Love director Harold Becker “literally [rip] my merkin off, taking some pubic hair with him” on set. While working on TNT’s Animal Kingdom, “Men used to come in my trailer and just scream at me,” Barkin shares. “I was like, ‘Wow, I hate these men.’ Most of them were just like little boys.”

Perhaps the most hot-button issue Barkin discusses, however, is the trial of Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp. Her 2019 pre-recorded deposition was featured in the 2022 court case, in which she testified that Depp was “controlling,” “jealous,” and “demanding” during their romantic relationship in the 1990s. Now, Barkin says she was “proud” to be identified by lawyers in the case as someone who wouldn’t lie. “I’ve never met Amber Heard in my life, but I know what I know about Johnny Depp. He never touched me, but I saw violence,” Barkin states now. “I saw him strangle an AD [assistant director]. He did throw a wine bottle. But I didn’t feel at the time that [testifying] was an act of bravery. I felt it’s just what you do.”

Barkin has more positive things to say about her experience with Poker Face, which was more “relaxed and safe” in part because it was a more female-oriented environment. There’s a lot she enjoys about working in television, but “I could live without the domineering white, cis, het—whatever the fuck it is,” she says. “I could deal without all those men.” The full interview can be read here