CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

We all know the ru­mours be­tween her and her The Rum Diary co-star Johnny Depp. But there’s more to this Texas-born beauty, like her love for vin­tage cars and how she fell in love with mak­ing movies. Find out what the stun­ning Am­ber Heard is all about in this in­ter­view.

She waxes lyri­cal about her love of cars, books, and the dif­fi­culty of up­set­ting con­ven­tional stereo­types about at­trac­tive women as well of her deep ad­mi­ra­tion for her The Rum Diary co-star Johnny Depp.

She may love horses but there is no doubt that the one un­con­di­tional love in the life of Am­ber Heard is her 68 Ford Mus­tang. Even be­fore her role in last year’s The Rum Diary op­po­site Johnny Depp raised her Hol­ly­wood pro­file, the stun­ning ac­tress is fa­mous for rac­ing around Bev­erly Hills in the vin­tage blue mus­cle car. “I’m a speed de­mon – I can’t ex­plain the re­la­tion­ship I have with my Mus­tang,” says Heard, the fast-ris­ing 26-year-old Texas-born ethe­real beauty. “I’ve al­ways loved it. It’s not just the un­be­liev­able speed of the car but it’s the clas­sic de­sign. Cars of that era had such a dis­tinc­tive look and sound, and the feel you get from driv­ing one is al­most erotic, even though they some­times break down on the road. But if I ever have to pull over, the sec­ond that goes up, some­body comes to my res­cue!”

No won­der. The sight of Heard bend­ing over the mo­tor of her blue Mus­tang would cre­ate havoc along any high­way. In the mean­time, Heard is busy on the set of Ma­chete Kills, the se­quel to the 2010 slasher film di­rected by Robert Ro­driguez. The film sees Danny Trejo re­turn­ing as the ti­tle char­ac­ter “Ma­chete” while Heard plays “Miss San An­to­nio” in a cast that in­cludes Char­lie Sheen, Jessica Alba, Michelle Ro­driguez, and Mel Gib­son.

You’ve acted in a num­ber of sexy roles of late, most notably The Rum Diary and The Play­boy Club. Is it tough to break out of that mold?

I don’t feel I’m be­ing forced to choose be­tween com­bat boots and an apron. I can do it in heels! I’m a rebel. I’m con­tin­u­ally fight­ing against that. I don’t take parts be­cause they’re for the sexy girl. I take the sexy girl parts and try to give them some­thing else and make them a char­ac­ter. I just know that, at some point, you have to choose be­tween the two. I would love to see women be pow­er­ful, com­plex, smart, opin­ion­ated and taken se­ri­ously, even if they are beau­ti­ful. Even more, I would love to see women held to dif­fer­ent stan­dards, other than the su­per­fi­cial ones that we’re held to.

Do you think that a glamorous role is go­ing to give you the kind of pro­file that will en­able you to play more se­ri­ous women?

I’m not wor­ried about that. I have this film com­ing out, Syrup, in which I play Six, who is a very smart, in­de­pen­dent, fierce young woman, who is taken very se­ri­ously in her world. I’m very ex­cited about that. I know that even­tu­ally the good roles will come my way. I think Chenault (in The Rum Diary) was the kind of char­ac­ter where I was able to ex­plore dif­fer­ent lay­ers of a woman try­ing to make her way in the world.

You’ve done nu­dity in sev­eral films. Do you find that sex­u­ally stereo­typ­ing in any way?

No. Some of my films have re­quired more nu­dity than oth­ers but I’m not in a con­ser­va­tive in­dus­try and I don’t want to cater to the con­ser­va­tive thought that if I do a nude scene, then I’ll be for­ever damned into a cer­tain cat­e­gory. Most of the roles where I did a lot of nu­dity came in my early films where ba­si­cally you’re play­ing the party girl who strips


off her clothes for the lead ac­tor. Now, I would only do nu­dity where it’s re­ally ap­pro­pri­ate. I think it’s im­por­tant to take all sorts of roles, and I, as a per­former, don’t shy away from those that re­quire me to wear cer­tain kinds of cloth­ing or not enough cloth­ing. For as long as I can be type­cast “as the sexy girl”, I’ll be thank­ful for it be­cause the day will come when I can no longer play those roles, and then I won’t. Whether there’s nu­dity in­volved or not, a fe­male char­ac­ter in a film can still be smart, in­de­pen­dent, strong, funny, and de­ter­mined. I just look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to play women who em­brace those qual­i­ties.

What made you want to be­come an ac­tress?

I fell in love with cin­ema in an art-house movie theatre in Austin, Texas, where I’m from. I’d watch movies back to back on my way home from school. I re­mem­ber watch­ing Whale Rider and be­ing so af­fected by how di­rec­tor Niki Caro told the story that I knew I wanted to be part of that pow­er­ful medium. I was in school plays from mid­dle school and by the time I was 17, I was ready to get started pro­fes­sion­ally.

You’ve done both hor­ror and ac­tion films. Any par­tic­u­larly weird or danger­ous mo­ments you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced on those film sets?

I’ve had days when I’ve been cov­ered in fake blood and had to crawl out of a grave, and oth­ers when I’ve jumped off a roof of a cam­per van driven by Satanic cultists on to the roof of a sports car.

What was your ex­pe­ri­ence like with Johnny on The Rum Diary?

He’s a won­der­ful artist and a tal­ented per­son. I got along with him splen­didly. He’s charm­ing and won­der­ful to work with. He’s a dream. It was Johnny who ac­tu­ally

found the man­u­script at Hunter S. Thomp­son’s house and en­cour­aged him to pub­lish it. I was al­ready a huge fan of the book and when I found out they were cast­ing for the role of Chenault, I wrote a let­ter to Gra­ham King (the pro­ducer of The Rum Diary) where I ba­si­cally ar­gued that I was per­fect for the role!

Did you find Johnny easy to get to know?

Johnny cared so much, and he’s just a re­ally down-to-earth, nice per­son. While we were shoot­ing in Puerto Rico, Johnny res­cued a stray dog. Well, the dog ended up be­ing preg­nant – I think it had six pup­pies – and then an­other dog we as­sumed to be the fa­ther showed up. So, in­stead of adopt­ing one dog, he had eight but he took care of them.

It must have been a thrill rid­ing around with Johnny in the 59 Chevy Corvette that was in the film?

It’s such a beau­ti­ful feel­ing to hear the rum­ble of the engine and to be able to sit in­side and ap­pre­ci­ate a car where there is so much at­ten­tion to the style, the de­tail­ing, and ev­ery­thing that makes a car stand out from the rest. I’ve al­ways been in love with clas­sic cars, par­tic­u­larly the vin­tage mus­cle cars like you saw come out be­tween the mid to late 60s and the early 70s. I can’t re­mem­ber a time where I wouldn’t turn around in my seat pass­ing one on the street. I think that from the time I could re­mem­ber, I’ve al­ways en­vi­sioned my­self in a vin­tage mus­cle car.

You co-starred with Ni­co­las Cage in Drive An­gry. Did you do your own car stunts?

Of course! I love speed and I grew up driv­ing with my dad and learn­ing to do all sorts of things with old pick­ups and other cars wreak­ing havoc on dirt roads in Texas. I just wish I could have kept a few of the cars we use in Drive An­gry. I would have gladly given back some of my salary!

Did you have any stunt driv­ers teach you any tricks for Drive An­gry?

Yeah but that was pretty use­less. They had a stunt driver come and spend an af­ter­noon with me and he was sup­posed to teach me ba­sic things like how to spin and re­verse and fish­tail. I just smiled and did those stunts straight away be­cause I grew up prac­tis­ing those things. The guy was to­tally stunned.

Did you see any par­al­lels to your own life as a young, beau­ti­ful woman try­ing to make it in Hol­ly­wood?

I re­lated to the rebel spirit in Chenault, a young so­cialite trapped in this glass world, and her fall from grace al­lows her to fall in love with Paul Kemp and leave her priv­i­leged gilded cage ex­is­tence. I know from my own ex­pe­ri­ence that you have to be able to work with an im­age but not let your­self be trapped by that.

If you hadn’t found your way into act­ing, what pro­fes­sion would you have cho­sen?

If this were an­other time, per­haps I would have tried to be a writer. I don’t think there’s a more ad­mirable pro­fes­sion. I love lit­er­a­ture that speaks to the spir­ited side of hu­man na­ture. I’ve got a soft spot for true in­di­vid­u­als. Peo­ple who make a dif­fer­ence in their time and aren’t afraid to up­set so­cial or po­lit­i­cal con­ven­tions. The artist and rebel in me loves to iden­tify with in­di­vid­u­als who set out on their own road, didn’t play by the rules or what so­ci­ety dic­tated they should do or say, and made their mark.

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