Lily-Rose Depp is quickly cementing her Hollywood superstar status.
The actress, supermodel, influencer and the daughter of Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Vanessa Paradis will star alongside The Weeknd in an upcoming HBO drama, The Idol. The Blinding Lights singer is both executive-producing and starring in the series, and Lily-Rose is set to star as his love interest.
The Idol, set in the music industry, sees a self-help guru who also heads up a modern day cult, played by The Weeknd, develop a complex relationship with a burgeoning pop idol, played by Lily-Rose. Considering it was co-created by the man behind the Gen Z-obsessed show Euphoria, and the fact the trailer has already gone viral on TikTok, many are already calling it The. Next. Big. Thing. on the silver screen.
To add fuel to the hysteria, Britney Spears is even rumoured to be starring in the series when she revealed on Instagram that following the end of her conservatorship she’d been working on a movie called The Idol.
Although there is no official release date, HBO have teased that it is coming “very soon”, and when it does – expect to see Lily-Rose ascend further up the Hollywood ranks.
Of course, it helps that she already has cool girl pedigree. Her parents are icons in their respective fields, she splits her time between Paris and Los Angeles, dated the internet’s crush, Timothée Chalamet and even her godfather is famous, albeit unexpected – it’s shock rocker Marilyn Manson.
As the rising star gears up for her biggest role yet, we go inside her childhood as the daughter of two Hollywood heavyweights.
A laissez-faire, bilingual childhood
With dad Johnny Depp nominated for three Best Actor Oscars before her tenth birthday, and her French supermodel mother Vanessa Paradis fronting Chanel campaigns, Lily-Rose was never going to have a normal upbringing.
As the daughter of one of the world’s most famous former power couples, she split her childhood between film premieres in LA and summer holidays in Paris. “I feel so connected to my French roots and my American roots. I’m connected to both cultures. I feel very lucky to speak both languages,” she has said of her bilingual upbringing.
Despite now being one of Hollywood’s most exciting young actresses, Lily-Rose was actually more interested in emulating her mother’s singing career growing up. Paradis, now 49, became a child star at 14 with hit 1991 single Joe Le Taxi. It was a huge success in France, topping the charts for almost three months.
“When I was little, I wanted to be a singer, just because I wanted to be like Mum. Every little girl wants to be like her mum,” Lily-Rose told The Sun in 2019. However, a disastrous school talent show at the age of 10 apparently dashed those hopes.
Her teen years were relaxed. “My parents weren’t very strict. They’ve always trusted me to be independent and make my own decisions. There wasn’t really anything to rebel against,” she added of being a teenager. “I’m not really a club-goer. I’m really a chilled person. I like staying at home. I honestly watch cooking shows more than anything.”
She lists Marcus Aurelius as her favourite philosophers and watching documentaries as her favourite way to unwind.
But her childhood wasn’t without its darker moments. In 2007, then seven-year-old Lily-Rose was hospitalised for nine days due to kidney failure caused by food poisoning. Johnny Depp described this as the “darkest period of his life” in a 2015 interview on The Graham Norton Show.
“They told us her kidneys had shut down and that she would be lucky to survive. For nine days, we sat by her bed, and refused to move until she began to pull through.”
From playing dress up in the changing rooms to being le visage of Chanel
In a story that sounds like a fashion fairytale, a young Lily-Rose spent the early noughties of her childhood accompanying her mother to fittings at the Parisian atelier after she landed one of many of her Chanel campaigns for the fragrance Coco.
“The first time I ever met Karl [Lagerfeld] was when I went up to the studio with my mum,” she told Vogue Australia. “I was really little and I had been with my mum to have all her fittings, which was so exciting and magical, and she was trying on all the amazing dresses. She used to say hi to Karl so I remember meeting him and I think it’s really rare to meet someone like Karl, because he’s obviously such an icon in so many ways, but he was so sweet, down-to-earth and really caring.”
It didn’t take long for the fashion maven’s head to be turned by the young starlet. Lily-Rose later recalled the moment she found out she would become the brand’s youngest ambassador in an interview with The Face. “It was a call from my grandmother, and I actually could not believe it. I called the team that I now know pretty well, that I love so much. I talked to them, talked to Karl, and it was just a really special moment for me.”
She has since closed the brand’s autumn/winter 2015 couture show, fronted a Chanel No5 L’Eau fragrance campaign and worn a stunning Chanel halterneck white gown to her first Met Gala in 2016.
Speaking about Lily-Rose’s early foray into fashion, Johnny Depp admitted he was “quite worried”, saying: “I wasn’t expecting all this to happen to Lily-Rose, especially not at this age. But it’s her passion and she’s having fun.”
Following in her father’s footsteps
Alongside modelling, Lily-Rose has also been pursuing the other side of her heritage – acting. It all started when her friend’s dad, Clerks director Kevin Smith, reached out and offered her a small cameo alongside his daughter (and her own dad, credited as “Guy LaPointe”) in his 2014 body horror, Tusk.
Aged 14 at the time, she made the low-budget indie “just for fun” according to Vogue. However, it later transpired that Smith liked his daughter and Depp’s characters so much he then wrote Yoga Hosers as a showcase for their sardonic wit as two yoga-obsessed, Nazi-fighting gas station attendants.
It was this role that “was the beginning” for Lily Rose’s acting career. “That’s when I really realised: ‘Wow, I love this.’ You know when you just start doing something, you begin to feel like this is where you belong? I had never truly felt like I was in the right place before, career-wise. Now I know that this is what I want to do forever.”
She went on to quit her exclusive Los Angeles school in 2016 to properly focus on a career in showbiz. The young actress conceded it was impossible for her to pursue acting as a career and still attend classes and do her homework. Speaking of her parents to The Face, she said: “They both left school when they were 15, so they can’t really say anything. I never thought of university as my goal. I’ve always just wanted to work.”
Despite performances in several French and English-language productions (including 2018’s A Faithful Man, for which she was nominated for a César Award), it was her appearance in David Michôd’s Shakespearean epic The King that marked Lily-Rose’s entrance into the mainstream.
“This is definitely the biggest project I’ve ever been a part of,” she told W Magazine. “Working at that scale can be nerve-racking, but with that comes a lot of excitement and drive to do the best job I can.” She starred as Catherine of Valois, opposite Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton and Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V (whom she began dating - more on this later).
Now she’s set to star in the upcoming HBO series The Idol.
A roster of A-list exes
Lily-Rose has been linked to some of the world’s most eligible bachelors. She was first romantically linked to model Ash Stymest in 2016. The fashion forward couple are understood to have dated for nearly two years prior to their split, and although they never spoke publicly about their relationship, they made several media appearances hand-in-hand during that time.
Her next boyfriend was Gen Z pin-up TimothéeChalamet. Like all great Hollywood love stories, the two are understood to have met on a movie set — Netflix’s The King to be exact. They dated between October 2018 and April 2020 and were often spotted at Tompkins Square Bagels in New York’s East Village during this time.
The pair were photographed holding hands in the rain after eating at fast-food joint Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken and in September 2019 they were caught snogging aboard the yacht Valeria in Capri, Italy. Asked whether the PDA photos were a PR stunt in a 2020 interview with GQ, Chalamet responded: “A PR stunt?! Do you think I’d want to look like that in front of all of you?”
Later in summer 2021, Lily-Rose and Elvis actor Austin Butler, who previously dated Vanessa Hudgens, sparked relationship rumours after the two were seen sharing a kiss and spending lots of time together in London. However, those rumours have since been squashed, with Lily-Rose having been most recently photographed with current boo, French rapper Yassine Stein.
The poster girl of “Rich girl skin”
Over the past year, “rich girl skin” has been all over TikTok. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s that impossibly dewy, off-duty supermodel look – think: “I’ve slept for 12 hours and had a $500 vitamin IV drip.”
Of course, Lily-Rose’s glowing, seemingly poreless face and sleek locks have become synonymous with the term, with countless pouty photos of the model accompanying the onslaught of “rich girl skin” beauty tutorials and shopping haul videos.
It’s not the only time the star has gone viral on the app – her makeup look created by Chanel makeup artist Nina Park for the premiere of The King back in 2019 has also made a recent resurgence on the app.
In an Instagram post, Lily-Rose is seen in a makeup chair with a gorgeous soft smoky eye, but her nude matte lip is the star of the show – the particular shade she was wearing has now pretty much sold out everywhere after being dubbed “the nude of the century.”
An influencer as well as a supermodel and actress, then. Not bad for 23.