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Ac­tress Am­ber Heard had a movie com­ing that will be new to the­atres and mass au­di­ences, but for her it’s ac­tu­ally quite old. “Lon­don Fields,” an adap­ta­tion of a 1989 Martin Amis mys­tery, has been in some stage of de­vel­op­ment for al­most 20 years. Heard didn’t get in­volved un­til 2013, with mu­sic video di­rec­tor Matthew Cullen at the helm, but the road­blocks and be­hind the scenes drama had only just be­gun.

The ilm was abruptly pulled from the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in 2015 (af­ter some crit­ics had al­ready seen it) when Cullen sued the pro­duc­ers over a dis­pute about pay­ment and the inal cut, which set off a string of coun­ter­suits. Pro­duc­ers even sued Heard for $10 mil­lion, which she coun­tered with a suit that claimed the pro­duc­tion had vi­o­lated her nu­dity agree­ment by us­ing a body dou­ble.

It would take un­til Septem­ber, ive years af­ter cam­eras started rolling, for the pro­duc­ers to set­tle, and now the ilm is in­ally pre­par­ing to de­but this week­end in 600 the­atres.

“Can you imag­ine what it would be like for you to talk about an ar­ti­cle that you wrote or a piece you did ive years ago?” Heard, 32, said, laugh­ing via phone from Lon­don this week.

She can barely re­late to the per­son who did this a half decade ago, when she was in her 20s and newly mar­ried to her now ex­hus­band Johnny Depp, who has a small role in the ilm.

“All of those fac­tors have changed,” she said. “It’s been so long.”

She can’t quite re­call which ver­sion she’s last seen of the movie which co-stars Billy Bob Thorn­ton, Theo James and Jim Sturgess, although she does still ind her char­ac­ter Ni­cola Six in­ter­est­ing.

“You can make dif­fer­ent cases for her be­ing em­pow­ered or dis­em­pow­ered,” Heard said of the clair­voy­ant femme fa­tale who’s also trapped by an idea that, “death is prefer­able to the de­cline of youth­ful fe­male sex­u­al­ity.”

Over­all, Heard is happy that “Lon­don Fields” is in­ally com­ing out and says that the is­sues that have kept it out of the­atres “are be­hind us now,” but that she would have been, “Much hap­pier had the ilm come out three years ago.”

She said it was “un­for­tu­nate” and “very wrong” that she was sued and is glad that they were able to set­tle and that she ul­ti­mately didn’t have to pay any money.

“But it’s very im­por­tant for a fe­male ac­tress or any woman to be able to ex­er­cise her own con­trol over her own body and her image,” Heard added. “I’m glad that the ver­sion of the movie be­ing re­leased is sup­pos­edly re­spect­ful ... with re­gards speci­ically to nu­dity and my nu­dity agree­ment. But again, those is­sues are in the past.”

“In the past” is a phrase that Heard re­peats of­ten and the re­lease of “Lon­don Fields” helps to close a chap­ter in her life, and al­lows her to fo­cus on the fu­ture, her hu­man­i­tar­ian work and the De­cem­ber re­lease of her most high-proile ilm to date, the DC comic book movie “Aqua­man” in which she stars op­po­site Ja­son Mo­moa as Mera, a sea queen with Lit­tle Mer­maid-red hair (she was in­tro­duced in a small ap­pear­ance in “Jus­tice League”).

It took some con­vinc­ing for her to make that un­char­ac­ter­is­tic leap. “I’m not that kind of girl,” Heard re­mem­bered telling the pro­duc­ers.

“There’s a rea­son I’ve done prob­a­bly a lot of bad things in my life with re­gard to ilms,” she said. “I’ve strug­gled and tried to make my way through this busi­ness and I haven’t had the lux­ury to be picky, like most peo­ple who start off in the ig­u­ra­tive mail room, but there’s one thing I’ve avoided, and it’s be­ing rel­e­gated to the ar­che­typal, re­ac­tionary woman ... I’ve never been a rom-com princess.”

She even re­mem­bered rolling her eyes when the pro­duc­ers de­scribed Mera as a “badass,” but she de­cided to read a comic book (her irst ever) to see what the fuss was about, and found in Mera an un­apolo­getic war­rior queen who she was ac­tu­ally in­ter­ested in.

Lately, Heard has been throw­ing her­self into her hu­man­i­tar­ian work and ac­tivism. She went to Wash­ing­ton D.C. to show her sup­port for sur­vivors on the day Supreme Court Jus­tice Brett Kav­agnaugh was con­firmed in Oc­to­ber and re­cently in­ished up a stretch speak­ing at the One Young World Sum­mit in The Hague.

“It’s in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing to be able to use what ex­pe­ri­ence I’ve lived and en­dured, suf­fered, sur­vived through,” she said. “It’s amaz­ing to be able to use one’s ex­pe­ri­ences in life to help oth­ers, to help push the con­ver­sa­tion for­ward, to change the con­ver­sa­tion.”

Heard won’t get very speciic with her own past as it re­lates to Depp, even de­clin­ing to talk about this year’s Comic-Con, where the fact that she and Depp were both in San Diego pro­mot­ing projects at the same stu­dio pre­sen­ta­tion pro­voked a fair amount of in­ter­net out­rage and even a Peo­ple Mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle ex­plain­ing that “the two were not seen cross­ing paths... there was at least an hour sep­a­rat­ing their ap­pear­ances.”

Heard ac­cused Depp of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and in 2016 iled for a re­strain­ing or­der days af­ter il­ing for di­vorce af­ter 15 months of mar­riage. Depp has re­peat­edly de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, and po­lice ofi­cers called to their apart­ment af­ter a ight be­tween the cou­ple said they found no ev­i­dence of a crime. Ul­ti­mately, Heard got a $7 mil­lion set­tle­ment when the di­vorce was in­alised in Jan­uary 2017, which she pledged to do­nate to a pair of char­i­ties.

When asked if she has felt sup­ported and lis­tened to in the past few years, and in light of the #MeToo move­ment, Heard again looked to the fu­ture.

“I am very happy that I have moved on with my life and keep mov­ing on with my life,” she said. “I just keep want­ing to do with my life that which makes it bet­ter for other peo­ple and my­self. And do­ing the right thing and mov­ing for­ward and ded­i­cat­ing your­self to jus­tice, truth, to do­ing what’s right and help­ing oth­ers when you can — that’s ev­ery­thing to me. That’s all I’m in­ter­ested in.”

2011 File: Johnny Depp with Am­ber Heard

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