Johnny Depp says Vanessa Paradis saved him

Oct 28, 2011 at 4:45 p.m. ET

Johnny Depp says he instantly fell in love when he first met his partner, Vanessa Paradis.

While actor Johnny Depp is considered one of Hollywood's biggest stars, he was once one of the baddest boys as well. These days though, The Rum Diary actor has put his partying days behind him for a quieter, stable lifestyle with his partner Vanessa Paradis and their two children, Lily, 12, and Jack, 9.

The actor says that it was Paradis who insisted he clean up his act and put his parting days behind him. For her, Depp cut down on smoking and drinking alcohol -- taking up exercise and a healthier diet, instead.

Depp, who famously dated actresses Winona Ryder, Kate Moss and Jennifer Grey, says that he also didn't fall in love for the first time until he met Paradis.

Recalling the first time he met her, he told the Daily Mail, "She was wearing a dress with an exposed back and I saw that back and that neck, and then she turned around and I saw those eyes, and -- boom! My life as a single man was done."

"You have this feeling -- I can't really explain what it was, but I had it when I met her. I saw her across a room and thought: 'What's happening to me?'"

Depp says that prior to meeting Paradis, he wasted a lot of time during what he calls his "dumb years." "When I was in a social situation, I was nervous and uncomfortable. The only way I could get through it was to drink my guts out! I wasted a lot of years."

These days, a sober Depp spends his time with his family, traveling between Los Angeles and their homes in France and the Bahamas -- which means the only buzz he's been getting lately is for his on-screen work. His latest film, The Rum Diary is in theaters now.

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