Johnny Depp: I Attended Scientology Meetings -- for Cash!

The reigning highest-paid actor talks about his cash-strapped days, and reveals why he won't turn down Hollywood's "stupid money"

Johnny Depp is Hollywood's highest-paid actor right now, but there was a time in his life when he would attend Scientology study groups just because they paid him $3 per meeting. "I went to a bunch, man," the 48-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star admits in this month's Vanity Fair. "It was so great, it was so fantastic."

These days, Depp doesn't have to count his pennies, pump gas (he used to) or study the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard to make ends meet. Last year, he earned more than $100 million, and a report this summer suggested Depp's booty from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has already exceeded $350 million. Johnny knows that number is ridiculously astronomical, but that's not going to stop him from accepting those paychecks.

"Basically, if they're going to pay me the stupid money right now, I'm going to take it," Depp tells Vanity Fair. "I have to. I mean, it's not for me. Do you know what I mean? At this point, it's for my kids. It's ridiculous, yeah, yeah. But ultimately is it for me? No. No. It's for the kids."

Depp's two children Lily-Rose Melody, 12, and John Christopher, 9 (mom is French singer-actress Vanessa Paradis, 38), certainly don't have anything to worry about financially these days -- or likely ever. Depp has two big projects -- Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and the long-gestating Lone Ranger remake -- coming up, and his latest film, The Rum Diary, hits theaters this fall.

But the Pirates star has told iVillage before that everything he does, he does for his children.

"I think I'm very good at being a dad and I'm proud to say it, because as parents do, I worship my kids and I learn from my kids," he shared last year. "It's the only thing I want to be good at in my life."

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