Amber Heard drives a powder-blue 1968 Ford Mustang. She’s driven it for nine years—it was one of the first things she bought when she moved to Los Angeles in 2004. She keeps pictures of it on her iPhone. When she talks about it, she sounds like a proud mom. The car is also recognizable, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if Heard hadn’t recently earned a spot on the paparazzi’s mostwanted list. Of course, she could retire her long-serving companion—become one of the pretty young things who make their way around L.A. in chauffeur-driven, black SUVs—but navigating the city on her own terms is not something she’s willing to give up. “At a certain point, you just have to say, OK, I’m not going to let other people dictate how I run my life,” she says.
Heard, 27, has been acting professionally for almost a decade—her first notable role was a bit part in the film Friday Night Lights; then came small but memorable appearances in cult favourites like Pineapple Express and Zombieland. In 2011, she won the female lead in The Rum Diary, opposite Johnny Depp. It was the role that every 20-something starlet in Hollywood yearned for (Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley also auditioned), and the buzz established her as an industry it-girl with her pick of projects. Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) chose Heard for the only female lead in Paranoia (out Aug. 16), a post-millennial corporate thriller costarring Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. Robert Rodriguez cast his fellow Texan as a gun-slinging southern beauty queen in Machete Kills, his latest grindhouse homage (out Oct. 4). Her roles have both the star power and the variety that all young stars covet. Read More