“I've worked really hard to bring something more to 'pretty girl' roles over the years. I consider it a challenge".—Amber Heard.
When it comes to Hollywood blondes, Amber Heard is among the most essential. As an actress, a model, a LGTBQ activist, and ex-partner to some of the most eccentric figures in the world, Heard’s personal life rivals her filmography—at least in terms of public interest. Although not a singer, Heard makes sure her voice is heard when she talks about social issues in the industry. She’s worked in horror movies, drama thrillers, and even TV; although some of these projects weren’t exactly “blockbusters,” these roles show that Heard has the experience to back up her opinions.
These days, Heard’s tumultuous relationships seem to attract more attention than her movies. But it goes without saying that she’s more than a pretty face. Get star-struck to these 42 surprising facts about Amber Heard.
1. School’s Out Forever
Amber Heard is a high-school dropout. Instead, she opted to complete her diploma via a home study course. Who need degrees when you know what you want?
2. Why Put a Name On It?
Although Heard came out of the closet at the 2010 GLAAD anniversary, she hesitates to label her sexuality definitively. She has said, "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".
3. Was There Some Overlap?
Before she came out of the closet in 2010, Heard had been dating photographer Tasya van Ree since 2008. They broke up in 2012. Coincidentally, Heard encountered her future husband, Johnny Depp, during the filming of The Diary in 2011. They began dating the following year.
4. Working Relationship
At the time, Heard described working on the film with Johnny Depp as the "best experience I've ever had". The two were married in a private civil ceremony at their Los Angeles home in February 2015.
5. Down the Rabbit Hole, Along with the Ratings
In 2011, Heard took on the role of a Bunny in the contentious NBC drama, The Club. Despite the scandalous content and press attention, Heard’s drama was canceled after just three episodes due to low ratings.
6. Better Out Than In
Coming out isn’t easy for anyone. But in 2010, people told Amber Heard that she would be “throwing away her career” if she came out of the closet. Starring in roles opposite Nick Cage and Johnny Depp, would the image of holding hands with a woman really ruin the straight fantasy? While going public did affect her prospects, as Heard herself admitted, she has no regrets. In her words, "I [was] holding her hand, and I realized that I have two options: I can let go of her hand and, when asked about it, I can say that my private life is my private life. Or I could not let go and own it".
7. When Atlas Shrugged
Amber Heard is an Ayn Rand fan. After losing her best friend to a car crash at the age of 16, Heard fell into despair and decided there was no God. Another friend introduced Heard to the atheistic-objectivist works of Ayn Rand and the future actress was hooked. I guess Rand’s principles of extreme self-sufficiency appealed to her, as reflected in Heard saying, “I've read all of her books. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with her ideals. All I've ever needed is myself".
8. Hold ‘Em Up
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Heard (naturally) still owns guns. When she departed from Texas for Los Angeles, her father presented her with a .38 firearm featuring a fine pearl handle as a farewell present. In addition to the memento from home, she also owns a .357 Magnum.
9. Lady of Many Tongues
As an avid communicator, Amber Heard is fluent in Spanish and sign language.
Amber Heard is a certified lifeguard. We’re not sure she has time for that these days, so don’t hold your breath for CPR.
11. Burn Your Ticket
Following allegations of mistreatment against husband Johnny Depp, Heard's fans organized a boycott of Depp's latest film, Alice Through the Looking Glass. While the film did falter in its opening weekend, the $170 million budget feature made almost $300 million back. So much for grassroots movements…
12. Degrees of Separation
On May 23, 2016, Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp and it was only five days later she felt compelled to file a restraining order against him due to continuous verbal altercations and aggressive behavior from him throughout their relationship. While Depp’s lawyers accused her of falsifying accusations to secure a quick settlement, Heard’s lawyers spent the next three months releasing information about Depp’s alleged violent outbursts to the media. In one instance, People magazine was able to acquire images of Heard’s bruises after one altercation. The latest incident apparently occurred just two days before Heard filed for divorce.
13. Parting Gifts
During their divorce proceedings, Heard publicly announced her plans to donate her settlement to charity. When Heard was awarded $7 million, some naysayers were doubtful that she’d part with that much money to charitable causes.
So far, she's demonstrating their doubts to be untrue; after overcoming some postponements due to tax laws, Heard vowed to donate millions to the L.A. Children's Hospital and the American Civil Liberties Union to assist with efforts tied to issues related to domestic conflicts.
14. Making Her Own Way
In the wake of her divorce from Johnny Depp, many people accused her of being a gold-digger. When it comes to raw numbers, this was perhaps unfair. With a $9 million net worth in her own right, Heard’s earnings pale a little bit to her ex-husband’s estate (valued at $400 million). But Heard’s value is expected to rise with her role in the Justice League and Aquaman franchises. She’s doing fine.
15. Seven Seas of Fashion
Regarding the costume for DCEU character, Mera, Heard described it as “strange". In her defense, she was asked this while the half-armor/half-scales things was still in the design stage. Anything looks weird half-built…even a fish suit.
16. Just Do It
Armed with her GED, 60 bucks, and some headshots printed from a copy center—see, she prepared a little—Heard left home abruptly to pursue modeling and acting. Basically, she told her parents she was catching a plane that very day. She admits it was “kind of brash,” but it, hey, at least it paid off.
17. Hollywood Has a Lot of Blondes, But Still…
Just because you’re a movie star, doesn’t mean you’re memorable. Case in point: Richard Dreyfuss had difficulty keeping Heard's face and name straight for the entire duration they were filming Paranoia. To be fair to Dreyfuss, he has over 100 film and TV credits to his name—that’s a lot of co-stars!
18. Pimp Her Ride
Heard restores classic cars as a pastime. Sitting in her collection are a 1968 Mustang and 1967 Mercedes 250SL. If you sell car parts off eBay, you might be selling them to Amber Heard.
19. Small Worlds, Big Parts
To get her breakout role in The Diary, Heard was alleged to have beat out the likes of Scarlet Johansson and Keira Knightley, who’d co-starred with Heard’s future husband in Pirates of the Caribbean.
20. We Tried.jpg
Heard starred in a film adaptation of Martin Amis’s novel of the same name, London Fields. The film was slated for release at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, but its debut was rescinded due to reasons associated with law. The director, Matthew Cullen, filed a lawsuit against the producers for deceit and for associating his name with a version of the film he couldn't endorse. Those who’ve managed to see London Fields have given not only the film but also Heard’s performance truly terrible reviews. Not one to take it personally, Heard agrees it’s not her best output and has said “I 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".
21. Roll Over and Fire
Unsurprisingly for a girl who owns two guns, Heard named her golden teacup terrier dog “Pistol".
22. Can’t Shapeshift Into Everything
Amber Heard was reportedly in the running to play Mystique in X-Men: First Class (2011). She lost out to another blonde, Jennifer Lawrence.
23. Gotta Die Fast
Heard had just two days to prepare for her role in Zombieland as the undead “406".
24. Check Out this Checkpoint
In 2018, Amber Heard drew the ire of some people when she used social media to warn immigrants about an ICE checkpoint in Hollywood. Growing up in the border state of Texas, Heard has remained sympathetic to the plight of migrants. According to her, “Having been born north of this proverbial line in the sand, I have the privilege to be able to speak up on behalf of so many who can’t".
25. Miss Understanding
Heard was previously held responsible for aggressive incidents with her ex-partner, Tasya van Ree. In 2009, it was reported that Heard seized van Ree’s arm, resulting in her detention for misdemeanor domestic aggression. To this day, however, van Ree has labeled the charges as "misinterpreted" and driven by bias. The charges were dismissed, and the exes remain close to this day.
26. Shop ‘Til You Drop
According to court documents, Heard’s clothing budget amounts to $2,000 a month.
27. Confession on Four Hooves
According to rumors, Johnny Depp proclaimed his love to Amber Heard by purchasing her a horse. He owns a horse farm in Kentucky and is notoriously eccentric in his spending habits, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
While the words “private civil ceremony” evoke something low-budget, the union between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was far from a city hall quickie wedding. It took place on Depp’s property, a $3 million private island called Little Halls Pond Cay.
29. Bait and Switch
To assist Paranoia co-star Liam Hemsworth with his anxiety during the filming of intimate scenes, Heard executed a risqué prank on him. She discovered a mega-sized adult “toy” in the prop rack and asked the director if she could bring it to set. During the bedroom scene, Heard switched her arm for the toy, “surprising” Hemsworth.
30. Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
In 2016, a comedian named Doug Stanhope published an essay titled, “Johnny Depp is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard—Here’s How I Know". In it, Stanhope asserted that Depp would never treat someone in the manner Heard alleges and labeled her as "manipulative". Heard promptly launched a defamation lawsuit. It was dropped, but it goes to show we should think before we hit “publish".
31. Blockbuster Before Broken Hearts
Is it a bit awkward that both Heard and Depp went on to star in big Warner Bros. film franchises, the DC Comics and Fantastic Beasts movies, respectively? Warner Bros. felt the need to address it. With Depp, they released a statement in which they stated that “neither party has made false accusations for financial gain". Does that really clear things up?
32. Between the Ribs
Heard is a bookworm. Fittingly, she has lines from a Pablo Neruda tattooed on her side. They read, “te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras, secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma,” which is Spanish for “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul".
33. Get Inked and Be Merry
Continuing her love affair with literature, Amber Heard has a second poetry tattoo. This one is on her back and written in Persian. From the poet Omar Khayyam, it read “Since The Fate Of The World Is Non-Existence, Since You Exist, Be Merry".
34. Not Just a Pretty Face
Amber Heard has openly criticized Hollywood for their limited offerings when it comes to female roles. Having spent most of her early career in parts that demanded more from her beauty than her acting chops, she’s tried to branch out as she gets older. In her words: "As a woman, I usually have two options: Object of Desire or the Best Friend Who Isn't Considered Attractive," she said. "It’s not creatively fulfilling to just be sexy. I did nothing to look the way I look. The genetic cards that anyone is dealt are not in their control, so to take pride in my looks would be a mistake. And besides, in LA, there’s always someone more beautiful".
35. We All Start Somewhere
After leaving for Hollywood, Heard was lucky to land her first role fairly early on the WB series Jack & Bobby. The show was short-lived, but the early brush with small-screen stardom was more than most actors get.
36. Fast Times At Hollywood High
Pineapple Express was Heard’s first major role in a big-screen comedy. She played Seth Rogen’s character’s high school girlfriend and found that her biggest acting challenge was keeping a straight face when working with comedy veteran Rogen.
37. What a Loss
Heard lost 25 pounds in order to play the main love interest in the CW’s Hidden Palms. For all her efforts, the show was critically panned and promptly canceled after just eight episodes.
38. Finish the Job
In 2017, a UK-production company launched a $40 million lawsuit against Heard for breach of contract in their film, London Fields. The company alleged she shirked post-production duties like marketing the film and other postproduction work. In turn…
39. In Breach
Amber Heard filed a countersuit against the producers of London Fields in 2017. The actress alleges she was the victim of a “sexually exploitative couple,”—that being producer Christopher Hanley and his wife, Roberta. Reportedly, the couple used a body double to film sexually explicit scenes of her character without her permission. In Heard's interpretation, she was completely unaware of the intimate nature of her role until she received feedback about how explicitly she is portrayed in it. Heard only consented to participate in the film after producers accepted her "intimacy clause" and limitations on explicitly romantic scenes.
40. Minister of Heartbreak
In a bizarre episode, some fans blamed the Australian Minister of Agriculture for the divorce of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. After their terrier quarantine scandal at Australian customs, the couple were embroiled in a 12-month court battle with the country. When they separated, Depp went after the minister, Barnaby Joyce, on Twitter and the rest of the Internet followed him.
41. Too Young for This
Before Hollywood, Heard made a pitstop in New York City to pursue modeling. At the age of 17, she found living and getting work difficult since she was only a minor. It’s alleged she forged her parents’ signature on some documents to keep the gigs coming.
42. Love Triangle?
Amber’s younger sister, Whitney, made minor headlines after the actress’ sister was alleged to have an affair with married musician Ryan Adams. In 2015, it was rumored that Adams even left his wife Mandy Moore for Whitney Heard. A spokesperson for Adams has denied all rumors.
43. Law-Related Mistakes and Terriers
In April 2015, Heard and Johnny Depp were caught up in an international scandal involving dog smuggling... The couple had broken Australian biosecurity laws by failing to declare their Yorkshire Terriers at customs. Heard argued that, under extreme sleep deprivation, she faked the quarantine documents required for the dogs. Eventually, she pled guilty to falsifying official documents, for which she was placed on a one-month good behavior bond and fined $1,000. On a lighter note, Depp kept drifting off during the court proceedings and his wife had to nudge him awake.
44. Waiting in the Wings of His Tesla
After her divorce was finalized in 2017, Heard soon began dating Elon Musk… but she apparently made the billionaire “sweat” a little before agreeing. In fact, Musk had been hankering to get with Heard for a long time, even before she was married. In 2013, Musk had a cameo in the film Machete Kills, in which Heard was also starring. The two did not share a scene together, but Musk wrote coy emails to the film’s director, Robert Rodriguez, in which he asked to be informed if Heard would be at any parties. He had heard about her interest in George Orwell and Ayn Rand and his curiosity was piqued. Heard stood Musk up for lunch as some point during production, but it eventually worked out… for at least a bit. They broke up later in 2017.
45. One Needle Says A Thousand Words
As part of the non-disclosure agreement, Depp can’t talk about Heard after their divorce. But sometimes, ink says it all. Depp has since blackened the tattoo of Heard on his biceps. Also, his knuckles once bore the words “Slim,” allegedly for his nickname for Heard. In the midst of their divorce, he changed the words to say “Scum” before changing the “u” into an anarchy symbol and therefore the whole tattoo to read “Scam". Edgy.
46. Writing on the Walls
Depp’s reputation for violent jealousy didn’t end with his marriage to Heard, leading to the infamous “finger incident". While she was filming London Fields, Depp began to get jealous of her relationship with co-star Billy Bob Thornton. Depp, naturally, responded by cutting his finger and writing on the mirror in blood, “Starring Billy Bob and Easy Amber".