Dolph Lundgren had a good experience working with Amber Heard.
The 64-year-old actor plays King Nereus in 2018’s Aquaman and the upcoming sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomin theaters March 2023. Speaking with Redline Steel founder Colin Wayne via Instagram Live on Memorial Day, Lundgren was asked about working with Heard, 36, who plays Mera in the superhero franchise.
“She was great. I worked with her on the first Aquaman, now the second one we shot last fall in London. She’s terrific,” he said. “I had a great experience with her. She was very kind, nice to the crew, nice to everybody. Just down-to-earth.”
Lundgren recalled that Heard brought her baby daughter Oonagh Paige, whom she welcomed in April 2021, to set with her.
“She has a baby now, a newborn baby, so she had the baby with her on the set with a nanny, which is kinda cute,” he said, adding of the Aquaman movie team, “Everybody on that picture is great. Nicole Kidman is fantastic, Jason Momoa — they’re a bunch of really good people. And James Wan, the director, of course, is super talented and nicest guy ever.”
Heard is currently awaiting the verdict in the Fairfax County, Virginia, court case brought by her ex-husband Johnny Depp. Depp, 58, is suing for defamation, seeking $50 million in damages, claiming that her 2018 op-ed about coming forward with domestic abuse allegations damaged his career and reputation. She’s countersuing for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages, arguing her career has halted because of 2020 comments from Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman calling her allegations an “abuse hoax.”
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During the trial, Heard’s role in the Aquaman movies came up several times. Depp claimed he played a part in getting her cast after she auditioned, making a phone call to Warner Bros. executives to seal the deal. She denied that, also saying that she “fought really hard” to return for the sequel when “they didn’t want to include me in the film.”
“I was given a script and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it, that depicted my character and another character — without giving any spoilers away — two characters fighting with one another, and they basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch out,” she testified of the sequel script, adding that her role was “very pared down.”
While she and her talent agent surmised that the Depp controversies played a part in the reduced role, DC Films President Walter Hamada testified on behalf of Depp, saying the studio had “concerns” about Heard’s on-screen chemistry with Momoa. They even considered at one point recasting her role, he said.
“The character’s involvement in the story was what it was from the beginning,” Hamada said of Mera’s importance in the upcoming “buddy-comedy” sequel, which mainly follows “co-leads” Momoa and Patrick Wilson.
He added during cross-examination, “They didn’t really have a lot of chemistry together. The reality is it’s not uncommon on movies for two leads to not have chemistry. It’s sort of movie magic and editorial, the ability to sort of put performances together with the magic of, you know, a great score and how you put the pieces together. You can manufacture that sort of chemistry.”
“At the end of the day,” continued Hamada, “I think if you watch the movie, they look like they had great chemistry. I just know that over the course of post-production, it took a lot of effort to get there … You know it when you see it. The chemistry wasn’t there.”
When asked what issues were had with Heard in the making of Aquaman and the Lost KingdomHamada said, “My understanding is actually the production went very smoothly.”
In her expert witness testimony, Kathryn Arnold, an industry analyst, claimed that Momoa and Wan were both “committed to” Heard and “adamant” that she would return for the sequel.
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Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage; Toni Anne Barson/WireImage
It’s been 18 months since Depp lost his UK libel case. Back in November 2020, the actor lost the libel lawsuit case in London against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” The court upheld the outlet’s claims as being “substantially true” and Heard testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
When that verdict came in, Depp announced that he had agreed to step down from his role in Warner Bros.’s fantastic beasts franchise. He was later replaced by Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which hit theaters in April with the lowest box office performance of the Harry Potter franchise.
Last week, when Depp returned to the stand, he vehemently denied Heard’s “insane” allegations under oath, saying, “No human being is perfect, certainly not. None of us. But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse , all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things and living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth out.”