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Depp, Cruz in Cannes with 'Pirates'

Johnny Depp chuckled when asked if he was worried about the notoriously harsh critics at the Cannes Film Festival, where his new swashbuckler "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" played amid far more sober fare.

Depp, 47, said his family -- French actress and romantic partner Vanessa Paradis and their two children -- are the only critics he needs, The Associated Press reports.

"My family have seen more of my movies than I have. In fact, a lot more, including this one," Depp said at a news conference before the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel screened. "They've been angels through this process, because I started out secretly testing characters on them to see how the reactions would be. When my daughter was little, we'd be playing Barbies, and I'd start doing these voices. Finally, she just said, 'Stop.'

"So they go and see the movies, and basically, I can tell by their reaction if I did all right or not. So I'm very lucky in that way. They seem to enjoy them so far. I haven't been fired by my kids."

The fourth movie in the "Pirates" franchise inspired by the Disney theme-park ride, "On Stranger Tides" casts Depp's boozy, woozy buccaneer Jack Sparrow alongside a female pirate (Penélope Cruz) and her notorious dad, Blackbeard (Ian McShane), in search of the fountain of youth.

Geoffrey Rush reprises his role as Sparrow's foil, Barbossa, with Jerry Bruckheimer back as producer on the blockbuster franchise and "Chicago" filmmaker Rob Marshall taking the wheel as director. The movie sails into theaters worldwide starting Wednesday.

It was a reunion for Depp and Cruz, who previously co-starred in 2001's crime story "Blow." While the characters of "On Stranger Tides" are obsessed with finding eternal youth, the 37-year-old Cruz said she does not fret about growing old.

"Birthdays are always something to celebrate. I'm looking forward to every step of the way," Cruz said. "Maybe because I'm from Spain, that's looked at in a different way there than, for example, a place like Los Angeles . . . there are a lot of things that I keep from my roots. And that's one of them, the way we look at that. I never want to be afraid of that. Change is good."

Bruckheimer has a script for a fifth "Pirates" movie in the works, and Depp said he's on board to keep playing Sparrow as long as the right ingredients go in.


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