A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
The Powers That Be prefer that we keep The Big Screen's snark levels well below toxic, and trust us, we do our best. But then a publicist throws a piece like this over the transom, and it's just chum in the water, you know? Anyway, it was a fine story, but I thought it needed a little more detail. So I added it [in brackets].
BY CINDY PEARLMAN October 28, 2011 6:17PM
Amber Heard knows how to make an entrance [ - by taking her clothes off].
In “The Rum Diary,” she meets gonzo journalist Paul Kemp (played by Johnny Depp) late at night when he’s in a boat, and she pops up skinny-dipping in the ocean. [The scene marks the fifth time Heard has stripped down for a film, dating back to her topless make-out scene in 2004's "Friday Night Lights." "Frankly, I'm surprised anyone still cares," she says. "I mean, by this point, who hasn't seen me naked?]
“I’m supposed to be some kind of mermaid,” Heard, 25, says with a laugh. ["Except with a woman's legs and ladyparts. So really, more like a wet human than a mermaid.] The amazing thing is we filmed in a part of Puerto Rico where there is so much plankton in the water that it attaches to your skin and makes you glow. [Like a star. Or a starlet - like in the headline. That's a little star, right? Whatever."]
“So I meet Johnny in the film as his own personal, glow-in-the-dark mermaid.”
Only from the mind of the late, great Hunter S. Thompson [a man whose fear of boredom, suffering and dependence was so complete that he killed himself with a .45 while his wife was on the phone and his daughter-in-law and grandson were in the next room.]
“The Rum Diary,” which opened Friday, is based on the Thompson classic about a gonzo journalist in Puerto Rico during the 1960s. [It was begun in 1959, some 11 years before the term "gonzo journalism" was even coined, and stars a young journalist who is not, in fact, gonzo in his methodology, but we are hoping that the terms "gonzo journalist" and "Hunter S. Thompson" will set you off like Pavlov's dogs, so factual accuracy isn't really the point here.] “He was such a genius,” says Heard of Thompson. “[Imagine a young and frustrated journalist writing a novel about a young and frustrated journalist!] Hunter made it worth the effort, the exhaustion and the heartache it takes to do this kind of project and then wait for it to come out. [It was just so important to me to give cinematic life to his novel's creation of a Smith College grad who likes to strip naked to taunt men."]
There was no heartache in working with Depp. “He’s a wonderful person and a true artist,” she says. “He is also someone who is true to his convictions. [One of those convictions is that it is always a good idea to make tons and tons of money doing middling to lousy movies like Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean 6: The Legend of Curly's Gold. That way, if your literary idol offs himself, you can pay a couple million bucks to have his remains shot out of cannon in the midst of a righteous fireworks display."]
Heard plays the pampered girlfriend of a wealthy industrialist (Aaron Eckhart). “My character embodies the American dream. She’s a possession of men. No one cares that she feels as if she’s trapped in a cage. [And everybody knows that being the caged possession of a man is the American dream. Which is why I'm the embodiment of it.]"
“Then she meets Johnny’s character, who represents love, art, truth, justice and courage. [Also, drinking.] She wants out of the cage.”
“It just takes a few shots of rum for her to get on this quest to discover real love,” [said Heard, raising the hopes of dudes everywhere.]
Heard marvels that her career has been “funny, amazing and peculiar” so far. ["I mean, what are the odds that a pretty blonde who doesn't mind getting naked could ever have a career in film?] Whether I’m racing around a foreign country in a vintage Corvette with Johnny Depp or jumping over cars with Nic Cage in Louisiana, I keep finding myself in situations that are truly bizarre. [Riding around in a Corvette! With Johnny Depp! In a foreign country! Truly bizarre!] But I just jump in feet first. [Though not headfirst. That would be foolish.] I appreciate the oddness of a situation.”
The Austin, Texas, native graduated from high school early and decided to go the modeling route. But Heard does not want to be known as One of Them. “I’m not a model turned actress,” says the screen stunner [who is a model turned actress]. “I think that has been sensationalized in the past. I guess everyone wants to label you. Modeling was never something I took seriously or wanted to be or do. It afforded me a bit of money to live and travel [and meet people who could cast me in movies.]"
You know what? Snark gets tiring. That's enough, I think. I mostly just wanted to get to the part where she says she doesn't want to be known as a model-turned-actress. Yes dear, and I don't want to be known as a wretched film blogger. Hoo!