Alice Cooper reveals he has only once ever brought up with his friend Johnny Depp the subject of the actor’s acrimonious divorce, which saw Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard embroiled in courtroom battles on either side of the Atlantic.
Cooper, who has for eight years played in the band Hollywood Vampires with Depp, told the UK’s Times newspaper that he once suggested to Depp: “’I have a great idea. You and Amber do a remake of The War of the Roses. Who wouldn’t go and see that?’”
According to Cooper, Depp laughed at the idea of reprising the 1989 movie, in which married couple played by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner battled with each other, although Cooper added that his friend has always tried to dodge the attention his personal life generates: “Johnny is a good guitarist and in a way he would have been happiest doing that, playing side of stage in a band and not having to deal with the level of attention he gets. He just happens to be a really good actor. He has never seen a single one of his movies.”
Depp was married to Heard between 2015 and 2017. Their divorce drew global media attention, with both alleging abuse by the other and engaging in defamation cases in the UK and US.
Cooper – who has appeared in dozens of films including Waynes World (1992), Dark Shadows (2012) and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well as becoming one of rock’s veteran bad men – knows something of creating dramatic headlines, in his case that he allegedly bit the head off a chicken, a myth which he explained began after he performed at a Toronto concert in 1969:
“The great thing is that it never happened. I’m up there on stage and I look down to see a chicken. I have no idea where it came from. Being from Detroit I had never been on a farm in my life, so I was not used to something that had feathers and wings and could fly.
“I picked it up and threw it into the audience, thinking someone would take it home, call it Alice and make it their pet. Instead the audience — actually, the people in the front row, who were all in wheelchairs — tore it to pieces before throwing it back on the stage. The next day it was, ‘Alice Cooper Kills Chicken.’ Frank Zappa called up and said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t deny it.’ That’s when I knew: rock needed a villain.”