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Amber Heard

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Amber Heard
Amber Heard 2011.jpg
Heard in Paris at a The Rum Diary premiere, November 2011
Born Amber Laura Heard
(1986-04-22) April 22, 1986 (age 30)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2004–present
Spouse(s) Johnny Depp (m. 2015; separated 2016)

Amber Laura Heard (born April 22, 1986)[1] 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.[2][3]

Early life

Heard was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Paige (née Parsons), an internet researcher, and David Clinton Heard, a contractor.[1][4][5] She has a sister, Whitney.[1] She dropped out of high school, eventually earning a diploma through a home-study course.[6] 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.[6] She has 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."[6]


While in Los Angeles, Heard made appearances in several TV shows and two music videos, Kenny Chesney's "There Goes My Life" and Eisley's "I Wasn't Prepared". She was cast as Liz in the pilot episode of The WB's Jack & Bobby (2004), as Riley in an episode of The Mountain (2004) and she had a guest starring role as a salesgirl in The O.C. (2005). Her first movie role was Maria in Friday Night Lights (2004), starring Billy Bob Thornton. Based on actual events, the movie was both a commercial and critical success.[7] She next starred as Shay in Side FX (2005), an independent horror film, and had supporting roles in Drop Dead Sexy (2005), Price to Pay (2006) and You Are Here (2006). Heard had a more prominent role in Niki Caro's North Country (2005), in which she played the teenage version of Josey, Charlize Theron's character.[8] She also appeared in a minor role in Nick Cassavetes' Alpha Dog (2006). In the same year, she starred in an episode of Criminal Minds as Lila Archer, a love interest of main character Spencer Reid.

Heard was next cast in the CW's Hidden Palms. On the show she portrayed Greta Matthews, who suffered the losses of both her mother and boyfriend, Eddie, and befriends Johnny, the antihero of the show. In order to get the part, Heard was asked to lose weight. It took her four months between the pilot and the second episode to lose 25 pounds, giving up alcohol, increasing her workouts and following a macrobiotic diet (no meat, dairy or processed sugar).[6] Hidden Palms premiered in the United States on May 30, 2007. Ultimately, the CW wrapped the summer series early; instead of the initial 12-episode arc, only 8 were aired. The show ended on July 4, 2007 two weeks earlier than originally planned.[9]

Heard was cast in the title role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, a horror film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2006. The film immediately garnered attention and a deal was secured with Harvey Weinstein.[10][11] However, nearly a year after its Toronto début, the movie had not reached theaters. In July 2007, Mandy Lane found a new distribution home and the film finally was released in 2008 with a February UK release and June DVD release.[12] The film's director Jonathan Levine said about Amber's casting in the title role that "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."[13] The Los Angeles Times praised's Heard's acting, saying it's her most "definitive [performance] to date."[14] and The Washington Post stated that Heard gave a "psychologically interesting performance."[15]

In 2007, Heard also appeared in the 16-minute-long short movie Day 73 with Sarah[16] and Jess Manafort's indie drama Remember the Daze (aka The Beautiful Ordinary), which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival.[17] She then appeared in the Judd Apatow-produced comedy Pineapple Express[18] and the martial arts drama Never Back Down, both of which were released in 2008.[19] Both films were box office successes and brought Heard into mainstream attention, including a win for Breakthrough Award in Hollywood Film Festival. Richard Roeper praised Heard's performance in Pineapple Express.[20] She also made a brief appearance in Showtime's Californication and joined the ensemble cast of 2009's The Informers, based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same title.[19] She filmed the horror film The Stepfather and the comedy film Ex-Terminators back-to-back in 2008 while promoting Never Back Down, Mandy Lane and Remember the Daze.[21]

In late 2008, Heard filmed The River Why and The Joneses; two independent features. Variety highly praised Heard's acting performance, saying "she steals the show" and that she actually delivered better work than film's leading star Demi Moore in The Joneses.[22] James Berardinelli, despite giving a negative review, also praised Heard's performance.[23]

At the beginning of 2009, The Informers made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Despite an all-star cast, the movie received generally negative reviews. Heard next appeared in Zombieland, playing a small role as the object of Jesse Eisenberg’s affection who turns into a zombie. She subsequently appeared in John Carpenter's The Ward. Carpenter described Heard as "very smart, very driven and very talented."[24] In March, Heard began filming The Rum Diary, opposite Johnny Depp, in Puerto Rico. Heard was reported to have won the role out over Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley. In 2010, she starred in and produced And Soon the Darkness, co-starring Odette Yustman and Karl Urban.[25]

In February 2010, Heard was cast in Drive Angry, a 3-D action thriller directed by Patrick Lussier and released in February 2011.[26] Prominent film critic Roger Ebert stated in his review for Drive Angry that Amber "does everything that can possibly be done" with her character.[27] In February 2011, she appeared on Top Gear in the UK. She talked about her love of guns and muscle cars, and revealed that she used to line-dance in Texas bars.[28] She later appeared in Paranoia, Machete Kills, and 3 Days to Kill, the latter of which was a box office success. Amber also starred in Syrup, a film based on the novel by Max Barry who called Heard "amazing" and that she "annihilated that character. In a good way."[29] Isaac Feldberg of We Got This Covered was not impressed by the film but stated that "only Heard makes a real impression" yet her "great performance can't save Syrup from its half-baked, sluggish script and obnoxious complacency."[30]

In 2015, she starred in 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."[31] Nick Leyland of The Movie Network enjoyed the film and praised Heard's performance as well.[32] She also starred in a musical drama When I Live My Life Over Again (retitled One More Time), co-starring Christopher Walken. Heard took singing lessons and learned how to play the piano and guitar for her role.[33] International Business Times described Heard as "talented enough to share a few heartfelt moments in a character that mostly operates on the defensive."[34] Los Angeles Times praised her "superb" performance and The Film Stage stated that Heard does an "admirable job".[35][36]

In September 2014, Heard joined the cast of Magic Mike XXL, sequel to the 2012 film Magic Mike.[37] The film was released in July 2015. She portrayed Zoe, a photographer who flirts with the main character Mike, portrayed by Channing Tatum. Digital Spy described the character as "a convincing girl-next-door type."[38]

Actors Nicolas Cage, Heard and William Fichtner at a Drive Angry panel at San Diego 2010 Comic-Con International

Heard was starred in London Fields— co-starring Billy Bob Thornton (her third collaboration with him), Jim Sturgess, Cara Delevingne, and Theo James— a film directed by newcomer Mathew Cullen. London Fields, in which Johnny Depp appears in a cameo role, was supposed to premiere in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival,[39] but it was pulled from the festival roster after director Mathew Cullen sued the film's producers, accusing them of fraud and of using his name to promote a cut of the film he did not support.[40] During its short run, the film received highly negative reviews; Heard's performance, in particular, was criticized.[41] The Hollywood Reporter defended her, recalling her "perfectly fine" performances in her early works such as All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Rum Diary, adding that "it may not be fair to entirely blame her for not being able to carry the film as the role requires; she probably didn’t have much help."[42] It was reported that the film's stars, including Heard, had written to the producers, objecting to the cut that was seen at press and industry screenings at Toronto.[43]

Heard also had a supporting role in Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl (2015). The film premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival to positive reviews and was released on November 27, 2015.[44][45] Her performance was described as "minxy" and "staggeringly good."[46][47] Her co-star Alicia Vikander stated in an interview that Heard was in two "extraordinary" dance scenes which were cut from the final release due to length but both Alicia and Eddie Redmayne insisted on putting them on DVD extra materials.[48]

On January 13, 2016, it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Heard was in talks to play Mera, Aquaman's Atlantean Queen, in the upcoming 2018 film, Aquaman. This film will be part of the DC Extended Universe film series; the report indicated that Mera will first appear in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which premieres in 2017.[49]

On March 17, 2016, Amber Heard confirmed on ET her 'Aquaman' role in Justice League. She has been cast as Mera, the undersea queen and wife of Aquaman in the DC Comics canon. Heard will make her first appearance as Mera in 2017's Justice League before appearing in the 2018 standalone Aquaman film opposite Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa.[50]

Personal life

Heard in 2009

Heard came out in 2010 at GLAAD's 25th anniversary event,[51] 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."[52] 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."[51]

Heard dated photographer Tasya van Ree.[51] She met actor Johnny Depp while filming The Rum Diary, and they began dating in 2012.[53][54] On February 3, 2015, Heard married Depp in a private civil ceremony at their home in Los Angeles.[55] Heard filed for divorce on May 23, 2016.[56][57] On May 28, Heard filed for and obtained a temporary restraining order against Depp, alleging that he had abused her on May 21; she provided pictures of her battered face as evidence.[58][59] In turn, Depp's attorney declared that "Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse".[60]

In an incident the Australian press dubbed "Terriergate", or "The War on Terriers", Heard and Depp failed to declare "Pistol" and "Boo", their two Yorkshire Terrier dogs, to the Australian Customs Service when they flew into Queensland by private jet,[61] for which Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document.[62] (Because a number of serious parasites and diseases transmitted by animals and common elsewhere in the world do not exist in Australia, the country has adopted strict biosecurity regulations.[63]) In April 2016, Heard appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents. The two biosecurity charges were dropped. A minute-long video of Heard and Depp was played to the packed courtroom in which Heard apologized for not declaring Pistol and Boo. Her lawyer told the court the actress was sleep deprived and had made a mistake when she filled out the quarantine documents incorrectly.[64] She escaped conviction for failing to declare her dogs and was put on a one-month good behaviour bond, paying a $1,000 fine for producing a false document.[65][66]



Year Film Role Notes
2004 Friday Night Lights Maria
2005 Side FX Shay
2005 Drop Dead Sexy Candy
2005 North Country Young Josey Aimes
2006 Price to Pay Trish
2006 Prince, TheThe Prince Serena
2006 Alpha Dog Alma
2006 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane Mandy Lane
2007 Spin Amber
2007 Day 73 with Sarah Mary Short film
2007 Remember the Daze Julia
2008 Never Back Down Baja Miller
2008 Pineapple Express Angie Anderson
2008 Informers, TheThe Informers Christie
2009 ExTerminators Nikki
2009 Joneses, TheThe Joneses Jenn Jones
2009 Zombieland 406
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 Drive Angry Piper
2011 Rum Diary, TheThe Rum Diary Chenault
2013 Syrup Six
2013 Paranoia Emma Jennings
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
2016 London Fields Nicola Six Completed
2017 What's The Point Fanny Post-production
2017 Justice League Mera Filming


Year Show Role Episode(s)
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 Top Gear Herself 16×05
2011 Playboy Club, TheThe Playboy Club Bunny Maureen 7 episodes (4 unaired)[67][68] Source confirmed to be Laura Benanti by her official website[69]
2015 Overhaulin' Herself 9×01 – "In Too Depp"


Year Nominated work Event Award Result
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


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