The 34-year-old actress was headline news this summer during a sensational libel trial against her former husband, which led to a judge branding him a ‘monster’ who had battered her 12 times during their marriage.
In November, Judge Justice Nicol ruled that The Sun’s report alleging Depp, 57, had been violent towards her were ‘substantially true’, and that the Pirates of the Caribbean star had put her in fear for her life as he binged on drink and drugs.
Speaking to Sky News about her new role in a series based on a Stephen King novel, Heard said it had made her to ask questions about being faced with ‘unbelievable circumstances and incredible adversity, and everything being on the line’.
Depp has appealed the High Court’s verdict and is also suing Heard in the US over a separate Washington Post article written two years ago, meaning the actress is unable to speak freely about her legal battle with Depp.
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Depp outside the High Court in London during the case in July, which led to a judge calling him a ‘monster’
Heard’s new show, The Stand, sees her playing Nadine Cross, one of the survivors of a flu outbreak that kills 99% of the population, prompting a ‘power struggle of good and evil’.
Filming finished in March just before the Covid pandemic spread across the world.
The actress, said: ‘Nothing could have prepared me for 2020, let’s face it. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that. I don’t think anything could have prepared me.
‘We stopped filming at the end of March, luckily it was at the end of filming, but still I had to go do reshoots later when things started to open back up again, so it is ironic that we had to stop filming on our show about a global pandemic and a power struggle of good and evil, and a government and society that will shut down after a pandemic… right before one. It’s really interesting timing.’
The new show, which also stars James Marsden, Whoopi Goldberg and Alexander Skarsgard, considers how the survivors of the killer flu are able to cope without their loved ones in a world that has descended in chaos and violence.
Heard said it forced viewers to consider how they would act during a similar scenario.
During the trial Heard showed bruises she claimed were inflicted by Depp as he allegedly smashed her iPhone in her face at her LA home in May 2016 – a month after Depp claimed Heard ‘defecated’ in their marital bed after her 30th birthday
She said: ‘That’s part of what I like about the series in general is that it forces the audience to think: ‘What would I do when faced with unbelievable circumstances and incredible adversity and everything being on the line?’
”What would you do? What would you fight for? And then, you know, ‘who would you be?’ I like that this forces you to think about things in that way.
‘And I know anyone who’s been through this year can relate – that’s exactly what we have found ourselves asking ourselves a lot.’
Heard’s character Nadine Cross is a 37-year-old teacher who is forced to take huge risks to survive the pandemic aftermath, which has reduced the world to a violent state of nature.
The actress said she was drawn to the character by the complexity of her character, which she said made her ‘compelling’.
‘I don’t want to play a character that’s easy to understand or whose motivations are transparent, it’s more interesting to play a character who is functioning like many of us are behind several layers of masks that change, depending on what our situation is and who we are dealing with,’ she said.
‘And Nadine is like that on steroids, the stakes are really high for her and everything’s on the line, so that was a challenge but exactly why I was drawn to her.’
Speaking to Sky News about her new role in a series based on a Stephen King novel, Heard said it had made her to ask questions about being faced with ‘unbelievable circumstances and incredible adversity, and everything being on the line’
Mr Justice Nicol said he accepted 12 of Heard’s 14 allegations that Depp had beaten her for three years beginning in 2013
Following the libel trial in July, Heard gave a statement outside court in which she admitted it had been ‘incredibly painful’ to relive the break-up of her marriage to Depp.
The Aquaman actress was heckled and booed by her ex-husband’s fans as she spoke of her agony at having her tumultuous relationship picked apart under the spotlight, stood by her evidence.
She said: ‘I travelled to the UK to testify in these proceedings as a witness to assist the Court. After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalising our divorce, I wanted to move on with my life. I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be in court.
Amber Heard’s statement outside court after trial victory
I travelled here to the UK to testify as a witness to assist the court.
After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalising my divorce, I just wanted to move on with my life. I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be here in court.
It has been incredibly painful to relive the break up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic and intimate details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast around the world.
I stand by my testimony and I now place my faith in British justice.
Although I did not bring this lawsuit, I am aware of the precious resources being consumed by his litigation and will be glad to see those resources redirected to more important legal matters delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
I appreciate the dedication, the hard work and support of the defence legal team, as well as my UK and US lawyers.
I also wish to extend my thanks to the very diligent and kind court staff and the police, who have been so sensitive in ensuring my safety and protection so that I could testify in safety.
And finally, my heartfelt thanks for the tremendous outpouring of support and the many messages I have received from around the world. You have given me so much strength and I send it back to you.
‘It has been incredibly painful to relive the break-up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast around the world.
‘I stand by my testimony in court and I now place my faith in British justice.
‘Although I did not bring this lawsuit, I am aware of the precious resources being consumed by his litigation and will be glad to see those resources re-directed back to more important legal matters already delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘I appreciate the dedication, hard work and support of the defence legal team, as well as my UK and US lawyers.’
Depp fans screamed ‘Justice for Johnny, Johnny is innocent,’ and ‘It takes two to Tango,’ as Heard spoke of the pain of the end of her marriage and that she had been truthful in her testimony during the hearing.
The actor took legal action against News Group Newspapers (NGN) over a 2018 column by The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton, which referred to ‘overwhelming evidence’ he attacked Heard during their relationship.
In November, Mr Justice Nicol dismissed the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor’s claim, finding NGN had proved what was in the article was ‘substantially true’.
Jubilant Heard’s lawyers said they were ‘not surprised’ by her stunning victory in which the judge found she had been beaten by the actor while he was out of control on cocaine, pills and booze.
But Depp’s lawyers blasted the judge, saying, calling the ruling ‘as perverse as it is bewildering’.
Mr Justice Nicol found Ms Heard was also in fear for her life during incidents on the Eastern and Oriental Express in South East Asia in August 2015 and again in LA in December of the same year.
The judge said ‘a recurring theme in Mr Depp’s evidence was that Ms Heard had constructed a hoax and that she had done this as an ‘insurance policy’, and that Ms Heard was a ‘gold-digger’.
But he added: ‘I do not accept this characterisation of Ms Heard.’
The same judge refused Mr Depp permission to appeal later the same month, ruling: ‘I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success.’
Mr Justice Nicol also ordered the actor to make an initial payment to NGN of almost £630,000 for the publisher’s legal fees. Overall, the case is believed to have cost him £5million in lawyers’ fees on both sides.
He gave Mr Depp until December 7 to apply directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn his judgment.
Mr Depp has now filed an application, according to a publicly available list of pending appeals.
It is not known what Mr Depp’s grounds of appeal are, or when a decision on his application for permission to appeal is likely to be made.
Heard and her girlfriend Bianca Butti hold hands as they arrive at court during the trial in July