Dave and Chuck the Freak

Lily-Rose Depp attends the "Wolf" Premiere during the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 17, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario.

Fame is something Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose Depp had to spend a lifetime grappling with. She discussed this in the December/January cover feature for Elle. Growing up, “my parents protected my brother [Jack] and me from it as much as possible,” she told the magazine. “I know my childhood didn’t look like everybody’s childhood, and it’s a very particular thing to deal with, but it’s also the only thing that I know.” Similarly, she’s consciously chosen to avoid commenting on the recent headlines about her famous father’s return to Hollywood. She said, “When it’s something that’s so private and so personal that all of a sudden becomes not so personal… I feel really entitled to my secret garden of thoughts. I also think that I’m not here to answer for anybody, and I feel like for a lot of my career, people have really wanted to define me by the men in my life, whether that’s my family members or my boyfriends, whatever. And I’m really ready to be defined for the things that I put out there.”

With her new role starring in HBO’s upcoming drama series The Idol, Depp, 23, is following in her mom Vanessa Paradis’ footsteps — her character is a singer. Depp’s Jocelyn is a troubled character who starts a romance with an enigmatic L.A. club owner, played by The Weeknd. He is the leader of a secret cult.

Though confronting fame as an adult has been “a weird thing to navigate,” Lily-Rose admits, “It’s different experiencing it firsthand rather than by proxy. I guess it’s something that I’ve had to make my own way with.” She adds that she’s “just been raised in a manner that has taught me that privacy is something that’s important to protect.”

She was asked about the “whole ‘nepo baby’ conversation” in Hollywood: the idea that children of rich and famous families have a leg up in life (inheriting businesses, wealth and star power). Lily-Rose responded, “The internet seems to care a lot about that kind of stuff. People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except for being right for the part. The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who are casting you in things. Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.”

She does find it “interesting,” that she rarely hears anyone refer to a man as a nepo baby. “It’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing. It just doesn’t make any sense. If somebody’s mom or dad is a doctor, and then the kid becomes a doctor, you’re not going to be like, ‘Well, you’re only a doctor because your parent is a doctor.’ It’s like, ‘No, I went to medical school and trained.’” She quickly clarified that she wasn’t comparing her own work to that of someone in the medical field. “I just hear it a lot more about women, and I don’t think that it’s a coincidence.”

HBO’s The Idol is coming in 2023. Lily-Rose Depp will star alongside The Weeknd, who created the series alongside Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.