Amber Laura Heard (/hɜːrd/; born April 22, 1986) is an American actress. She made her film debut in 2004 in the sports drama Friday Night Lights. After small roles in North Country and Alpha Dog, Heard played her first leading role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) and appeared in The CW television show Hidden Palms (2007).
Heard’s breakthrough came in 2008 with roles in Never Back Down and Pineapple Express. She received the Breakthrough Award at Young Hollywood Awards. Her appearance in films such as The Informers, The Stepfather, Zombieland, and The Joneses brought her further attention. She next starred in John Carpenter’s The Ward, alongside Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry, and alongside Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary, for which she won a Spotlight Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. In 2014 she appeared in 3 Days to Kill, and in 2015 in Magic Mike XXL and The Danish Girl. She played Mera in the superhero films Justice League (2017) and Aquaman (2018).
Heard had roles in four films released in 2015, which led James Mottram of the British newspaper The Independent to call it a “watershed year” in her career. She had a prominent role in the comedy-drama Magic Mike XXL as a photographer who flirts with Channing Tatum’s protagonist; like its predecessor, Magic Mike (2012), the film was a large box office success. Digital Spy described Heard as “a convincing girl-next-door type”. Heard also had a small supporting role as a ballet dancer in Tom Hooper’s historical drama The Danish Girl (2015), which premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival to overall positive reviews. She also starred in the independent crime thriller The Adderall Diaries alongside James Franco, Christian Slater, and Ed Harris. Indiewire gave the film a mixed review and stated that Heard was “miscast” but “displays much potential and has succeeded in a bid to be taken more seriously.” Her fourth role in 2015 was opposite Christopher Walken in the musical drama One More Time; for the role, she took singing lessons and learned to play piano and guitar. International Business Times described Heard as “talented enough to share a few heartfelt moments in a character that mostly operates on the defensive.” The Los Angeles Times called her performance “superb” and The Film Stage stated that Heard did an “admirable job”.
In addition, Heard played the female lead in the Martin Amis adaptation London Fields, which was initially scheduled to premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It was pulled from the festival roster after director Mathew Cullen sued its producers, accusing them of fraud and of using his name to promote a cut of the film he did not support. The film’s stars, including Heard, had also written to the producers, objecting to the cut that was seen at press and industry screenings in Toronto. London Fields and Heard’s performance received highly negative reviews, and she 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.”
Heard played Mera, Aquaman’s Atlantean queen, in the DC Comics superhero film Justice League (2017). She reprised the role in a larger capacity in Aquaman (2018).