Despite Amber Heard apparently being public enemy no. 1 for many, she’s having a good few months. After her ex-husband Johnny Depp suffered a catastrophic defeat in the British High Court her claims of violence have been vindicated. Heard is now feted as an abuse survivor, is charging top dollar to give speeches and there are rumors that studios are courting her a couple of major roles.
Heard is currently appearing on our screens in CBS’ adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, where she plays Nadine Cross. Without wanting to spoil too much of the book for those watching the show, Nadine is a complex character torn between good and evil. In a recent interview Heard explained how she interpreted the role:
“During the course of the show, I’ve tried to do Nadine justice and bring out her humanity. A seducer can also be vulnerable, right? The seduction and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. I don’t feel as a woman, I have to apologise for one in order to justify the other or vice versa. I think Nadine is no more of a seducer than she is a survivor; she’s using the tools that she has to survive in a world that’s treated her a certain way.”
Heard also went on to joke that it’s currently easy for her to play villainous women, contrasting Nadine with her heroic role as Queen Mera in the DCEU:
“Both Nadina and Mera are totally different. What I seem to be really good at is getting an audience to believe in the villainous woman character! (laughs). Actually in Aquaman, it was a bit of a departure for me to play someone who’s not using her womanly ways to bring evil to the world. But Nadine, on the other hand, is a character coming with a lot of psychological baggage. There’s a lot of preparation for frankly, how people behave when they have been groomed. Owning her journey was understanding people who come out of cults or those who have committed horrendous crimes.”
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Aquaman 2 is expected to shoot fairly soon and while it seems certain that Heard will be back as Mera. Her return will undoubtedly be controversial for many, though the two million signatures on a petition to have her fired has fallen on deaf ears over at Warner Bros.
Even so, it appears that the studio is still hedging their bets. Depp has launched an appeal against the decision of the British judge and there remains pending domestic court cases. As such, it’s been reported that a second female lead is being written in to allow Heard’s role to be reduced if the legal tide turns against her.
But, for now, Warner Bros are all too aware that firing a woman who a judge recently ruled was a victim of domestic abuse isn’t a good look. Maybe that situation will change as the year rumbles on and the various legal cases proceed, though I’m betting that Amber Heard is going to be riding high for some time yet.