Although Johnny Depp has been living mostly in France since 1998, the word on the quiet, tree-lined streets of tony, rural Weston, Connecticut, is that he’s discovered that some things function better back home. In 2003, Depp was quoted saying he didn’t want to raise his kids in the U.S.: “America is dumb, it’s like a dumb puppy . . . I’d like them [his children] to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out.” According to the town rumor mill, Weston’s top-ranked schools attracted Depp, his girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, and their two kids into returning from their exile. He’s said to have paid close to $10 million for a big white traditional house on nine acres that he’s partly gutted and is doubling in size. Depp apparently fell in love with the town when he was visiting his friend Keith Richards, the inspiration for his campy, Oscar-nominated performance in Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Newman and Christopher Walken also live in the area). Depp’s rep, Robin Baum, denied that he was becoming a suburbanite.