Amber Heard’s mother likes to say that ever since Amber was a little girl, she’s been trying to see how far she can get, how fast. “A horse became a bike, a bike became a car, a car became a plane,” Heard explains. And now, when I ask her if she likes flying, she looks puzzled. “It’s like walking, I guess,” she says. “It’s just how I get around.”
She’s certainly picked up speed since she left Texas for Hollywood 13 years ago, landing, among other things, the perfectly descriptive title role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006), a part as Demi Moore’s daughter in The Joneses (2009), and a life-altering costar in Johnny Depp, with whom she lit up The Rum Diary (2011). Much was made of this union in the tabloids, as they remarked on the age gap (Depp is 52; Heard is 29) and the timing (the end of Depp’s 14-year relationship with the French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis was announced in June 2012).
Heard and Depp were married last February, sparking more or less instant rumors of divorce. When, in September, they engaged in ostentatious public displays of affection on a series of red carpets during a film festival tour, that was deemed suspect, too. In other words, Heard has been thrust early into what her friend Olivia Wilde describes as “someone else’s spotlight.” But as soon as you meet her, you think it’s only a matter of time before the spotlight becomes her own.
To read the rest of Heard’s candid cover interview, pick up the December issue of Marie Claire on newsstands November 17. Here, a few highlights: