Heard in November 2011
|Born||Amber Laura Heard
(1986-04-22) April 22, 1986
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Johnny Depp (m. 2015; div. 2017)|
Amber Laura Heard (born April 22, 1986) is an American actress. She made her film debut in 2004 in the sports drama Friday Night Lights, starring Billy Bob Thornton. After small roles in North Country and Alpha Dog, Heard played her first leading role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) and appeared in The CW television show Hidden Palms (2007).
Her breakthrough came in 2008 with roles in Never Back Down and Pineapple Express. She received the Breakthrough Award at Young Hollywood Awards. Her appearance in films such as The Informers, The Stepfather, Zombieland and The Joneses brought her further attention. She next starred in John Carpenter‘s The Ward, alongside Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry, and alongside Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary, for which she won a Spotlight Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. In 2014 she appeared in 3 Days to Kill, and in 2015 in Magic Mike XXL and The Danish Girl. In 2017, Heard will appear as Mera in Zack Snyder‘s upcoming superhero film, Justice League.
Heard is involved in social activism for causes such as LGBT rights and is a supporter of Habitat for Humanity; Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign; The Art of Elysium; and Amnesty International.
Heard was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Paige (née Parsons), an Internet researcher, and David Clinton Heard, a contractor. She has a sister, Whitney. She dropped out of high school, eventually earning a diploma through a home-study course. When Heard was 16, her best friend died in a car crash; Heard, who was raised Catholic, subsequently declared herself an atheist after being introduced to the works of Ayn Rand by her then-boyfriend. She said of Rand, “I’ve read all of her books. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with her ideals. All I’ve ever needed is myself.”
Heard’s earliest acting work included appearances in two music videos, Kenny Chesney‘s “There Goes My Life” and Eisley‘s “I Wasn’t Prepared”, small supporting roles in The WB‘s short-lived series Jack & Bobby (2004) and The Mountain (2004), and a guest starring role as a salesgirl in the popular teen drama series The O.C. (2005). She made her film debut in the sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), which starred Billy Bob Thornton and was a commercial and critical success. In the next two years, she had small supporting roles in several feature films, including Drop Dead Sexy (2005), Price to Pay (2006), You Are Here (2006), and Alpha Dog (2006), and appeared in an episode of the police procedural Criminal Minds as a love interest of main character Spencer Reid. She had more prominent film roles in the independent horror film Side FX (2005), and in Niki Caro‘s drama North Country (2005), in which she was cast as the teenage version of the protagonist, played by Charlize Theron.
Heard was next cast as the main character’s love interest in the CW‘s teen drama Hidden Palms, which the network wanted to replace summer re-runs of other series aimed for teenage audiences. In order to get the part, she was required to lose 25 pounds. The series premiered in the United States on May 30, 2007 to mixed to negative reviews from the critics. It was also not popular with television audiences, and thus the CW decided to cancel it, airing only eight of the planned twelve episodes. In 2007, Heard also appeared in the short movie Day 73 with Sarah, the critically panned indie drama Remember the Daze, and in an episode of the Showtime series Californication.
Heard gained more mainstream recognition in 2008, when she appeared in supporting roles in the Judd Apatow-produced stoner comedy Pineapple Express, and the martial arts drama Never Back Down, both of which were box office successes. She also won a Breakthrough Award in Hollywood Film Festival. Her other film releases in 2008 were the critically panned Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Informers, in which she was part of an ensemble cast, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, an unconventional slasher film in which she had one of her first leading roles. Its director Jonathan Levine stated that she had chosen Heard for the title role because “there was a certain type of beauty and a certain type of innate intelligence that Amber brought to it that is not something you find every day. Certainly, not something you would find in somebody her age. The wisdom she projects, I thought was pretty remarkable.” Mandy Lane had already premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, and had been initially picked for distribution by Harvey Weinstein. After a negative test screening, Weinstein dropped the film, and it was then released in the United Kingdom in 2008 by a different distributing company. It did not have theatrical release in the United States until 2013. The Los Angeles Times stated that Heard gave her most “definitive [performance] to date” in the film, and The Washington Post wrote that she gave a “psychologically interesting performance”.
In 2009, Heard had roles in the horror film The Stepfather, and in three comedies: ExTerminators, Zombieland, and The Joneses. In their review of the latter, Variety wrote that “she steals the show” from film’s more established star, Demi Moore. Critic James Berardinelli, despite giving an overall negative review to the film, also liked Heard’s performance. In 2010, she starred in the romantic drama The River Why and continued her work in the horror genre in John Carpenter‘s The Ward. Carpenter described Heard as “very smart, very driven and very talented.” She also co-produced and starred in the independent thriller And Soon the Darkness.
In 2011, Heard appeared as the female lead opposite Johnny Depp in the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, which received mixed reviews and was not a commercial success. Heard’s other film release in 2011 was Drive Angry, a supernatural action thriller in which she was paired with Nicolas Cage. Film critic Roger Ebert stated that she “does everything that can possibly be done” with her character, a waitress who becomes entangled in an undead man’s mission to save his daughter from a cult. In February 2011, she also appeared on the British television program Top Gear.
Heard appeared in no new films until 2013, when she starred in the thriller Paranoia, the action-comedy Machete Kills, and the satirical drama Syrup. The latter was based on a novel by Max Barry, who called Heard “amazing” and stated that she “annihilated that character. In a good way.” Her only film release in 2014, action-thriller 3 Days to Kill, was a box office success.
According to journalist James Mottram of the British newspaper The Independent, 2015 was a “watershed year” in Heard’s career. She had a prominent role as a photographer who flirts with Channing Tatum‘s protagonist in the comedy-drama Magic Mike XXL, a sequel to Magic Mike (2012); like its predecessor, the film was a huge box office success. Digital Spy described Heard as “a convincing girl-next-door type” in their review. Heard also had a small supporting role as a ballet dancer in Tom Hooper‘s historical drama The Danish Girl (2015), which premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival to overall positive reviews. She also starred in the independent crime thriller The Adderall Diaries alongside James Franco, Christian Slater and Ed Harris. Indiewire gave film a mixed review and stated that Heard was “miscast” but yet “she displays much potential and has succeeded in a bid to be taken more seriously.” Her fourth role in 2015 was opposite Christopher Walken in the musical drama One More Time; for the role, she took singing lessons and learned how to play the piano and guitar. International Business Times described Heard as “talented enough to share a few heartfelt moments in a character that mostly operates on the defensive.” Los Angeles Times praised her “superb” performance and The Film Stage stated that Heard does an “admirable job”.
As of August 2016, Heard’s next film to be released is London Fields, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Martin Amis, in which she plays a femme fatale opposite Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, Cara Delevingne, and Theo James. Filmed already in 2013, it was initially scheduled to premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, but was pulled from the festival roster after director Mathew Cullen sued its producers, accusing them of fraud and of using his name to promote a cut of the film he did not support. The film’s stars, including Heard, had also written to the producers, objecting to the cut that was seen at press and industry screenings at Toronto. London Fields and Heard’s performance received highly negative reviews, and she stated that “it was one of the most difficult movies to film and it has proven to continue to be difficult…I can’t say I did her [the character] justice.” Heard will also be appearing as Mera, Aquaman‘s Atlantean queen, in the upcoming DC Comics superhero films Justice League (2017) and Aquaman (2018).
Heard publicly came out in 2010 at GLAAD‘s 25th anniversary event, and has stated, “I don’t label myself one way or another—I have had successful relationships with men and now a woman. I love who I love; it’s the person that matters.” Of her decision to come out, she said: “I think when I became aware of my role in the media, I had to ask myself an important question ‘Am I part of the problem?’ And I think that when millions and millions of hard-working, taxpaying Americans are denied their rights and denied their equality you have to ask yourself what are the factors that are an epidemic problem and that’s what this is.”
Heard was in a relationship with photographer Tasya van Ree from 2008 to 2012. She met actor Johnny Depp while filming The Rum Diary in 2011, and they began living together the following year. They were married in a private civil ceremony at their home in Los Angeles on February 3, 2015.
In April 2015, Heard and Depp breached Australia’s strict biosecurity laws when they failed to declare their two Yorkshire terriers to the Australian Customs Service when they flew by private jet into Queensland, where he was working on a film. Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document. In April 2016, she appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she was sleep deprived and made a mistake. The two biosecurity charges were dropped, and she was placed on a one-month good behaviour bond, paying a $1,000 fine for producing a false document. Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the biosecurity laws. The Guardian called the case the “highest profile criminal quarantine case” in Australian history.
Heard filed for divorce from Depp on May 23, 2016. Five days later, she filed for and obtained a temporary restraining order against him, stating in her court declaration that he had been “verbally and physically abusive” throughout their relationship. She stated that the latest incident of violence had taken place on May 21, and provided statements by two witnesses —her and Depp’s friend iO Tillett Wright and neighbor Raquel Pennington— and photographs of her injuries. Wright had called the LAPD during the incident, but Heard, wishing to protect Depp, stated to them that it was a “verbal dispute only”, and the officers saw “no evidence of a crime at that time”.
In response, Depp’s lawyers said that Heard was “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse”. On May 31, Heard gave a statement to the LAPD on the May 21 incident; her lawyers stated that she had initially been reluctant to involve law enforcement in the case in order to “protect her privacy and Johnny’s career”, but was forced to do so due to “the vicious false and malicious allegations [by Depp’s team] that have infected the media”. The following day, People published images of Heard’s injuries from an alleged earlier incident of domestic violence, and on June 4, Wright published an essay on Refinery29, in which he wrote about witnessing evidence of abuse throughout the marriage, and criticized the media for victim-blaming Heard when she decided to go public about it. Later that month, Heard sued Depp’s friend, comedian Doug Stanhope for defamation after he wrote in a column for TheWrap that she was blackmailing Depp, and withdrew her initial request for spousal support.
A settlement was reached in the divorce case on August 16, 2016, with Heard receiving US$7 million and dismissing the restraining order against Depp. She also dropped her lawsuit against Stanhope, and issued a joint statement with Depp, which said that their “relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.” Heard stated that she would donate the entire proceeds from the divorce to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The divorce was finalized in January 2017.
Heard has raised awareness about domestic and sexual violence. At Glamour‘s Women of the Year Awards in November, she, Gabourey Sidibe and Freida Pinto read a speech by rape survivor Emily Doe, who was the recipient of an award. Later that same month, Heard made a public service announcement about domestic violence for the #GirlGaze Project, and wrote an open letter about her experiences for the December 2016 issue of Porter magazine.
|2004||Friday Night Lights||Maria|
|2005||Drop Dead Sexy||Candy|
|2005||North Country||Young Josey Aimes|
|2006||Price to Pay||Trish|
|2006||Prince, TheThe Prince||Serena|
|2006||All the Boys Love Mandy Lane||Mandy Lane|
|2007||Day 73 with Sarah||Mary||Short film|
|2007||Remember the Daze||Julia Ford|
|2008||Never Back Down||Baja Miller|
|2008||Pineapple Express||Angie Anderson|
|2008||Informers, TheThe Informers||Christie|
|2009||Joneses, TheThe Joneses||Jenn Jones|
|2009||Stepfather, TheThe Stepfather||Kelly Porter|
|2010||And Soon the Darkness||Stephanie||Also co-producer|
|2010||River Why, TheThe River Why||Eddy|
|2010||Ward, TheThe Ward||Kristen|
|2011||Rum Diary, TheThe Rum Diary||Chenault|
|2013||Machete Kills||Miss San Antonio|
|2014||3 Days to Kill||Agent Vivi|
|2015||The Adderall Diaries||Lana Edmond|
|2015||One More Time||Jude|
|2015||Magic Mike XXL||Zoe|
|2015||The Danish Girl||Ulla Paulson|
|2017||London Fields||Nicola Six||Completed|
|2017||What’s The Point||Fanny||Post-production|
|2004||Jack & Bobby||Liz||1×01 – “Pilot”|
|2004||Mountain, TheThe Mountain||Riley||1×08 – “A Piece of the Rock”|
|2005||O.C., TheThe O.C.||Salesgirl||2×15 – “Mallpisode”|
|2006||Criminal Minds||Lila Archer||1×18 – “Somebody’s Watching”|
|2007||Californication||Amber||1×08 – “California Son”|
|2007||Hidden Palms||Greta Matthews||8 episodes|
|2011||Playboy Club, TheThe Playboy Club||Bunny Maureen||7 episodes (4 unaired)|
|2015||Overhaulin’||Herself||9×01 – “In Too Depp”|
|2008||Herself||Young Hollywood Awards||Breakthrough of the Year||Won|
|2009||Zombieland||Detroit Film Critics Society Awards||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
|2010||Zombieland||Scream Awards||Best Ensemble||Won|
|2010||Herself||Dallas International Film Festival||Dallas Star Award||Won|
|2011||The Rum Diary||Hollywood Film Festival||Spotlight Award||Won|
|2014||Herself||Texas Film Hall of Fame||Inductee||Won|