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Amber Heard

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Amber Heard
Amber Heard (43723454772).jpg
Heard at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Born
Amber Laura Heard

(1986-04-22) April 22, 1986 (age 35)
OccupationActress
Years active2003–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2015; div. 2017)
Partner(s)Tasya van Ree
(2008–2012)
Children1

Amber Laura Heard (born April 22, 1986) is an American film and television actress. After a series of small roles in film and television, Heard had her first starring role in the horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006). She first gained mainstream recognition for supporting roles in the action film Never Back Down (2008) and the comedy Pineapple Express (2008). In the following years, she appeared in films such as The Joneses (2009), The Ward (2010), The Rum Diary (2011), Drive Angry (2011), Machete Kills (2013) and Magic Mike XXL (2015).

In 2017, Heard joined the DC Extended Universe to play Atlantean queen Mera in superhero films Justice League (2017), Aquaman (2018), and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021). In addition to acting, Heard has been a global spokesperson for the cosmetics giant L'Oréal Paris since 2018. She also engages in human rights activism.

Heard was married to actor Johnny Depp from 2015 to 2017. Their divorce drew significant media attention as she alleged that he had been abusive through most of their relationship. He then sued her for defamation in 2019 after Heard wrote an op-ed discussing being a public victim of domestic violence. He also sued the publishers of The Sun in a related libel suit in England. In 2020, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Depp had lost his libel case and that the majority of Heard's allegations had been proven to a civil standard.[1][2]

Early life

Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige (née Parsons), an internet researcher (1956–2020), and David Clinton Heard (born 1950), who owned a small construction company.[3] She has a younger sister, Whitney.[4] The family lived outside Austin.[5] Heard's father broke horses in his free time, and she grew up riding horses, hunting, and fishing with him.[5] She also participated in beauty pageants, although as an adult she has said that she can no longer "support the objectification".[5][6] At the age of 17, Heard no longer felt comfortable in "conservative, God-fearin’ Texas"[5] and dropped out of her Catholic high school to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles.[3][4] She eventually earned a diploma through a home-study course.[6]

Career

2003–2007: Early roles

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", and small supporting roles in the television series Jack & Bobby (2004), The Mountain (2004), and The O.C. (2005). She made her film debut in a minor role in the sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), followed by brief supporting roles in films such as Drop Dead Sexy (2005), North Country (2005), Side FX (2005), Price to Pay (2006), Alpha Dog (2006), and Spin (2007), and a guest starring spot in an episode of the police procedural Criminal Minds. Heard received her first leading role in the unconventional slasher film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, but was not released in Europe until 2008 and in the US until 2013 due to distribution problems.[7][8][9]

In 2007, Heard played the love interest of the main character in The CW's teen drama Hidden Palms, which the network wanted to replace summer reruns of other series aimed for teenage audiences. The series premiered in the US in May 2007 to mixed reviews and poor ratings, leading the CW to air only eight of the planned 12 episodes before canceling it.[10][11] The same year, Heard also appeared in the short movie Day 73 with Sarah,[12] in the teen drama Remember the Daze, and in an episode of the Showtime series Californication.[13]

2008–2016: Mainstream recognition

Heard gained moderate mainstream recognition in 2008[14][15] with 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 appeared as part of an ensemble cast in an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel The Informers (2008), but the film was a critical failure.[16] The following year, Heard starred in The Joneses (2009) opposite David Duchovny and Demi Moore; Variety wrote that Heard "steals the show" from Moore.[17] Outside a brief appearance in the box office hit Zombieland (2009), Heard's other films during this time were either independent films that received only limited theatrical release —ExTerminators (2009), The River Why (2010), And Soon the Darkness (2010)[18]— or critically panned horror films —The Stepfather (2009), The Ward.[19]

Heard's first film release in 2011 was Drive Angry, a supernatural action thriller in which she was paired with Nicolas Cage.[20] The film received mainly bad reviews[21] and underperformed commercially,[22] but film critic Roger Ebert wrote 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.[23] In early 2011, Heard also appeared on the British television program Top Gear.[24] Heard next starred in NBC's The Playboy Club, a crime drama series about the original Playboy Club in 1960s Chicago. After poor reviews and ratings as well as protests from both feminists[25] and conservative groups,[26] the series was canceled after only three episodes had aired.[27] Heard's third role of 2011 was as the love interest of the main character, played by Johnny Depp, in the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary (2011). The film was not a commercial success,[28][29] and received mixed reviews,[30][31] with Heard's part considered underdeveloped.[32][33][34] In 2011, Heard also appeared in an advertisement campaign for the fashion brand Guess.[35][36]

Heard at the premiere of The Rum Diary (2011)

Heard next starred in the thriller Paranoia (2013), the exploitation film Machete Kills (2013) and the satire Syrup (2013), none of which were critical or commercial successes. The year also saw the US limited release of All the Boys Mandy Lane. Although the film's reviews were overall mixed to negative, Heard's performance was called her "most definitive to date" by the Los Angeles Times[37] and "psychologically interesting" by The Washington Post.[38] In 2014, Heard appeared in a supporting role in the commercially successful action-thriller 3 Days to Kill.

In 2015, Heard had a prominent supporting role in the comedy-drama Magic Mike XXL, playing the love interest of the film's protagonist, Channing Tatum.[39] Like its predecessor, the film was a large box office success.[40] Heard also had a small supporting role in Tom Hooper's period drama The Danish Girl (2015),[41][42] and a starring role opposite James Franco and Ed Harris in the independent crime thriller The Adderall Diaries (2015). Although reviews for the latter were generally negative, Indiewire stated that although Heard was "miscast", she "displays much potential and has succeeded in a bid to be taken more seriously."[43] Her fourth role in 2015 was opposite Christopher Walken in the television film One More Time, which aired on Starz. For her role as a struggling singer-songwriter, she took singing lessons and learned to play piano and guitar.[44] The Los Angeles Times called her performance "superb" and The Film Stage stated that Heard did an "admirable job".[45][46]

In addition to her other roles in 2015, Heard played the female lead in London Fields, an adaptation of Martin Amis' novel about a clairvoyant who knows she will be murdered. After its press premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Heard's performance received highly negative reviews,[47][48][49] and she later 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."[39] Shortly after the initial screening, the film was pulled from release due to disagreements between its director and producers, and due to litigation[a] was not released until 2018.[55][56][57][58] Heard was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for the film.[59][60]

2017–present: DC Extended Universe and other projects

In 2017, Heard appeared as part of an ensemble cast in Lake Bell's indie comedy I Do... Until I Don't and joined the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) cast as Mera, Aquaman's Atlantean queen, in the superhero film Justice League. She reprised the role the following year in Aquaman (2018), which co-starred Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe and marked Heard's first major role in a studio film.[4][61][62] She has stated that one of the reasons attracting her to the part was Mera being "a strong, independent, self-possessed superhero in her own right",[4] who rejects being called Aquawoman instead of by her own name.[5] Aquaman became the fifth most profitable release of 2018, and the most profitable DCEU installment up to that point.[63] The same year, Heard was appointed global ambassador for cosmetics giant L'Oréal Paris.[5]

In 2019, Heard had supporting roles in the independent dramas Her Smell, opposite Elisabeth Moss, and Gully.[64][65] Her only project released in 2020 was the post-apocalyptic miniseries The Stand, based on Stephen King's novel of the same name.[66] She starred as Nadine Cross, a school teacher who is among the few survivors of an apocalyptic plague. It co-starred James Marsden, Odessa Young, Alexander Skarsgård and Henry Zaga, and premiered on CBS All Access in December 2020, with the series finale airing in February 2021.[67] In 2021, Heard reprised her role as Mera in the superhero film Zack Snyder's Justice League, a director's cut of the 2017 film.[68] She will next appear in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel to Aquaman, which began filming in summer 2021 and is set for release in late 2022.[69]

Activism

Heard is an ambassador for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to whom she pledged half of her divorce settlement,[70][71][72][73] and a Human Rights Champion for the Stand Up for Human Rights campaign by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.[74] In May 2019, she gave a speech in support of the SHIELD Act on Capitol Hill, discussing her experience of having had her private nude photos hacked and distributed online without her consent during the 2014 iCloud leaks of celebrity photos.[75]

Heard wrote about her experiences of domestic violence in the December 2016 issue of Porter magazine[76] and in an op-ed for The Washington Post in December 2018.[77] In November 2019, The New York Times published an op-ed written by Heard on the subject of revenge porn.[78] She also made a public service announcement about domestic violence for the #GirlGaze Project.[79] Prior to the 2020 United States presidential election, Heard appeared in an election ad created by artist Marilyn Minter in support of Planned Parenthood.[73]

Personal life

Heard publicly came out in 2010,[80] but 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."[81] In 2018, Heard revealed that she had been warned not to come out as bisexual, as it could negatively impact her career.[82]

Heard was raised Catholic but began identifying as atheist at 16 when her best friend died in a car crash.[83]

Heard was in a relationship with photographer Tasya van Ree from 2008 to 2012.[80][84] In 2009, Heard was arrested in Washington for misdemeanor domestic violence, after allegedly grabbing van Ree and hitting her arm, but was never charged. The arrest only became public knowledge during Heard's divorce proceedings from Johnny Depp in 2016, after which van Ree issued a statement that Heard had been "wrongfully" accused and that the incident had been "misinterpreted and over-sensationalized".[85][86]

In 2014, Heard was one of the victims of the iCloud leaks of celebrity photos, in which her private nude photos were hacked and distributed without her consent.[78]

Following her divorce from actor Johnny Depp,[87] Heard dated tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for a year, until early 2018.[4][88][89] In 2020, she began dating cinematographer Bianca Butti.[90]

In July 2021, Heard announced that she had welcomed a daughter, Oonagh Paige Heard (born April 8, 2021), via surrogate.[91]

Relationship with Johnny Depp

Heard and Depp began dating in 2012 and were married in a civil ceremony in February 2015.[92][93][94] In April 2015, Heard breached Australia's biosecurity laws when she failed to declare her and Depp's two dogs to the customs when they flew into Queensland, where he was working on a film.[95][96] Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she had made a mistake due to sleep deprivation.[97] She was placed on a $1,000 one-month good behavior bond for producing a false document;[98] Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the biosecurity laws.[98] The Guardian called the case the "highest profile criminal quarantine case" in Australian history.[98]

Heard filed for divorce from Depp in May 2016, and obtained a temporary restraining order against him, alleging in her court declaration that he had been verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship, usually while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.[99][100][101][102] Depp claimed that she was "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution".[99][103] A settlement was reached in August 2016,[104] and the divorce was finalized in January 2017.[105] Heard dismissed the restraining order, and they issued a joint statement saying 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."[104] Depp paid Heard a settlement of US$7 million, which she pledged to donate to the ACLU[106] and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[107] In 2021, Heard's legal team stated that she had been "delayed in that goal because Mr. Depp filed a lawsuit against her, and consequently, she has been forced to spend millions of dollars defending Mr. Depp’s false accusations against her."[108]

In June 2018,[109] Depp brought a libel lawsuit in the UK against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the company publishing The Sun, which had called him a "wife beater" in an April 2018 article.[1][2] Heard was a key witness for NGN during the highly publicized trial in July 2020.[110] In November 2020, the High Court of Justice ruled that Depp had lost his claim and that "the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp [12 out of the 14] have been proved to the civil standard", rejecting any notion of a hoax against him.[1][2] The verdict also found that Heard's career and activism had been negatively affected by making the abuse public.[1][2] Depp's appeal to overturn the verdict was rejected in March 2021.[111]

In early 2019, Depp sued Heard for defamation over an op-ed she wrote about her experiences of leaving an abusive relationship, which was published by The Washington Post in December 2018.[112][113] Depp also alleged that Heard had been the abuser, and that her allegations constituted a hoax against him.[113] The case is scheduled to go to trial in Fairfax County, Virginia in April 2022.[114]

Following the verdict in the Depp v NGN case, a Change.org petition asking for Heard to be fired from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom reached over one million supporters.[115][116] In August 2020, Heard countersued Depp, alleging that he had coordinated "a harassment campaign via Twitter and [by] orchestrating online petitions in an effort to get her fired from Aquaman and L'Oreal".[117][118]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Friday Night Lights Maria
2005 Side FX Shay
Drop Dead Sexy Candy
North Country Young Josey Aimes
2006 Price to Pay Trish
Alpha Dog Alma
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane Mandy Lane
2007 Spin Amber
Day 73 with Sarah Mary Short film
Remember the Daze Julia Ford
2008 Never Back Down Baja Miller
The Informers Christie
Pineapple Express Angie Anderson
2009 ExTerminators Nikki
The Joneses Jenn Jones
Zombieland 406
The Stepfather Kelly Porter
2010 And Soon the Darkness Stephanie Also co-producer
The River Why Eddy
The Ward Kristen
2011 Drive Angry Piper
The Rum Diary Chenault
2013 Syrup Six Also executive producer
Paranoia Emma Jennings
Machete Kills Miss San Antonio
2014 3 Days to Kill Agent Vivi Delay
2015 The Adderall Diaries Lana Edmond
One More Time Jude
Magic Mike XXL Zoe
The Danish Girl Ulla Paulson
2017 I Do... Until I Don't Fanny
Justice League Mera
2018 Her Smell Zelda E. Zekiel
London Fields Nicola Six Filmed in 2013
Aquaman Mera
2019 Gully Joyce
2021 Zack Snyder's Justice League Mera
2022 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Filming

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Jack & Bobby Liz Episode: "Pilot"
The Mountain Riley Episode: "A Piece of the Rock"
2005 The O.C. Salesgirl Episode: "Mallpisode"
2006 Criminal Minds Lila Archer Episode: "Somebody's Watching"
2007 Californication Amber Episode: "California Son"
Hidden Palms Greta Matthews 8 episodes
2010 The Cleveland Show Herself (voice) Episode: "Beer Walk!"
2011 Top Gear Herself Episode: "Episode #16.5"
The Playboy Club Bunny Maureen 7 episodes
2015 Overhaulin' Herself Episode: "In Too Depp"
The Prince Serena Television film
2020–2021 The Stand Nadine Cross 7 episodes

Music videos

Year Title Artist
2003 "There Goes My Life" Kenny Chesney
2005 "I Wasn't Prepared" (Version 1) Eisley

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Young Hollywood Awards Breakthrough of the Year Herself Won
2009 Detroit Film Critics Society Awards Best Ensemble Zombieland Nominated
2010 Scream Awards Won
Dallas International Film Festival Dallas Star Award Herself Won
2011 Hollywood Film Festival Spotlight Award The Rum Diary Won
2014 Texas Film Hall of Fame Inductee Herself Won
2019 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress London Fields Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss Aquaman Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actress Nominated

Footnotes

  1. ^ In November 2016, Heard was sued by the film's producers for $10 million for allegedly making unauthorized changes to the film's script with Cullen and for failing to finish voice-over work.[50][51][52] Heard countersued, claiming the producers had violated a nudity clause in her contract.[53] In September 2018, a settlement was reached between Heard and the producers.[54]

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