Shortly after the film Mortdecai stunk up movie theaters in 2015, there was talk that it shook Johnny Depp so much that he was strongly considering firing his longtime agent Tracey Jacobs. Johnny was allegedly sick of all the box office bombs, and he wanted a fresh start with some new representation. Johnny did eventually fire Tracey after 28 years and left United Talent Agency for CAA in October 2016. Neither Johnny nor UTA gave a reason for why he decided to switch; UTA simply wished him well and good luck in his future endeavors. Well, Page Six seems to think they’ve gotten to the bottom of the mystery of why Johnny left Tracey and UTA.
A Hollywood insider claims Johnny’s switch had nothing to do with wanting less box office bombs. They say that a financially-panicked Johnny was trying to save some money. The source claims that Johnny told Tracey that he wanted to pay lower commissions to them. Tracey and UTA weren’t feeling Johnny’s haggling, and refused to lower their commission percentage. That’s when he got together with CAA, who reportedly worked out some kind of lower-commissions deal.
A second source claims that CAA doesn’t “do blue-light specials.” You hear that, fellow financially-fucked actors? CAA is not Walmart on Black Friday! However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t work out something that put a little less pressure on Johnny’s bank account. The source adds that CAA was “sensitive” to Johnny’s financial situation when he signed with them.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from CAA denies this story. They told Page Six that not only did CAA never lower their commissions for Johnny Depp, but that the subject was never even brought up. UTA on the other hand, has declined to comment.
Last week we learned that it costs a lost of money to be Johnny Depp. His monthly wine budget alone could buy enough $1 tacos for the citizens of a mid-sized town. So that was very nice of CAA to give him a break on their commissions, if that’s something they actually did. And really, they should have. How hard is it to be Johnny Depp’s agent? Answer: not very. To paraphrase Donna Summer, you’re not exactly working hard for the money. Every year is the same. “Here’s the script for your next pirate movie“, and then six months later, it’s all “Here’s a script for a Tim Burton movie in which you play a wacky weirdo.” Every once in a while you’ll be required to find him something vaguely Oscar-baity, but other than that, it’s a pretty easy job if you ask me.