Blast from the past: Talking to Johnny Depp's ex wife

Johnny Depp certainly has dated his share of lovely ladies, even getting engaged a number of times, but the actor has only been down the aisle a total of two times (now married to Amber Heard). Meet the first Mrs.: She’s Lori Depp, a makeup artist who still carries the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s last name. The two met back in the day while he was living in Miramar and playing with his ’80s garage band the Kids. These days, Lori, who was born in Miami Beach and raised in Normandy Isle, works as a successful makeup artist in Los Angeles and recently started her own line of lip glosses, Serendeppity (get it?).

You are such a 305 person. Which schools did you attend?

I went to Treasure Island Elementary School, Nautilus Middle School, did a short sentence (felt like prison) at Miami Beach [Senior] High then transferred to Abbott, a private, self -progressive school on Miami Beach. If you wanted to participate in phys-ed you were provided a surfboard since classes took place on the beach one block from school.

Who is your favorite celebrity to work with and why?

Over the past couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to work with Cheap Trick. They don’t generally require makeup, but if they’re doing TV or something that’s being filmed here in L.A. then I usually get a call to work with them. It’s probably my favorite job all around because they’re my favorite band to see live so it’s a work/play situation.

How did a target-shooting mishap lead you to where you are now?

During a stay in Miami I went target shooting and lost 80 percent of the hearing in my left ear due to not wearing the proper ear protection. Once that happened I knew that pursuing a career in the recording industry was out of the question, so I started doing makeup for up-and-coming photographers and then began getting paying jobs. I eventually got an agent at a high-profile artists’ agency in Los Angeles and started working non-stop.

You once had a makeup mishap with Adam Ant and “Evian water”. What happened?

I can’t help but laugh every time I think of this story. Adam (Ant) and I were working on a film called “Cyber Bandits” in 1995. I was in his trailer finishing up his makeup before it was time to go to the set. I would usually grab a spray bottle of Evian Water and spritz his face to tone down the powder that I’d applied, but this time I grabbed a bottle of hair spray and proceeded to spritz his face with that instead. Thankfully his eyes were closed tightly because getting hairspray on his contact lenses would have been a disaster. Soon after I learned that using hairspray to “set” make-up isn’t uncommon.

Talk about the mirror that’s been in your kit for 15 years.

Recently I was working on a short film called “Recalculating” written and directed by one of my old Treasure Island Elementary School friends, Diane Fredel and as I was handing my mirror to Cloris Leachman who has a cameo in the short film I’d realized that I’d had the same mirror in my set bag for 15 years and how many celebrities have looked at themselves while holding it… Jason Robards, Bonnie Raitt, Josh Groban and about 100 other people have used it to check their hair and make-up just before walking to the set, or red carpet. When I retire I’ll frame it.

Why did you decide to start a lip gloss company?

My favorite and most challenging part of doing make up is making sure the lips look right. Sometimes it’ll take me 20 minutes to get the exact look that I’m going for on my clients (this applies to women mostly). I will spend up to 30 minutes on my own lips when I’m going out at night. So, because I’m a lip person it seemed like the perfect product for me to start with. I think more people wear lip gloss than any other make-up product.

Did you really get a guitar lesson from Eric Clapton?

I did. More than one actually. Eric was in town (while I was still living in Miami) recording “461 Ocean Blvd.” and I would go over and hang out at the house. One day I picked up one of his guitars and he showed me how to play a song called “Little Black Egg”. Although it was only one song with maybe three chords it took several lessons for me to get it right. Apparently I’m a slow learner. Years later when I was working at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, Steve Lukather from the band Toto would re-teach me. I still forget how to play it within an hour of learning it.

What is the hot makeup look for fall/winter in Miami?

Stop with the over contouring, use a good foundation, do a nice warm-looking smoky eye with a brown/black pencil or shadow, add some shimmery bronze or brown shadow, mascara, blusher and a bold lip if you can. Don’t worry about the “rule” of heavy eyes, light lips… it doesn’t always apply. My only rule when giving make-up tips is do what you’re comfortable with. Experiment if you want to but practice until you get it right.

What is Johnny Depp like in person?

Well, we all know he’s a talented actor and can pull off the pirate thing like nobody’s business, but he’s also an extremely talented guitar player and started out in South Florida playing the local Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale club circuit.

Photo courtesy Lori Depp Archives.

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