Johnny Depp Says He Called Warner Bros. About Amber Heard's Aquaman Role: 'I Curbed Their Worries'

·4 min read

Johnny Depp claims he played a part in landing Amber Heard her Aquaman role.

On Wednesday, the actor, 58, returned to the stand when his team called him to testify again in his ongoing defamation trial against his ex-wife. In this final week of testimonies, Depp got the chance to respond to some matters brought up during Heard's defense, including her saying he did not get her blockbuster Aquaman role for her.

In response to Heard's claim, Depp said that is "not exactly true."

In his testimony, Depp said that after Heard auditioned for the comic-book film, "She asked me if I'd speak to [Warner Bros.]"

"I made a phone call and I spoke to three upper-echelon Warner Bros. executives ... and I told them—," continued Depp before an objection was sustained. "I can only say that she ultimately did get the job in the film. I suppose I curbed their worries to some degree."

During her cross-examination, Heard was asked by Depp's attorney Camille Vasquez whether it was true Depp got her hired on Aquaman. Heard fired back and said, "Excuse me? No, Ms. Vasquez — I got myself that role by auditioning. That's how that works."

Depp also claimed he was not aware of the statements made by his attorney that are the basis of Heard's defamation countersuit until she sued him. In 2020, three public statements were made by Depp's attorney Adam Waldman that called Heard's abuse allegations "fake" and a "hoax."

The actor's team has argued that he can't be directly linked to having "participated" or "authorized" the comments, and he maintained that he wasn't involved in drafting those comments.

Heard's legal team previously planned to call Depp back to the stand but changed course at the last minute on Monday. A source close to Heard said at the time, "Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish. Everything Depp has testified up to this point has been irrelevant to the heart of this case, and there's no reason to believe it would be any different now."

RELATED: Kate Moss Testifies for Ex Johnny Depp: 'He Never Pushed Me, Kicked Me or Threw Me Down Any Stairs'

Depp v Heard defamation lawsuit at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, USA - 25 May 2022
Depp v Heard defamation lawsuit at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, USA - 25 May 2022

EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Johnny Depp

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Depp filed his $50 million lawsuit against Heard back in 2019, claiming defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote about coming forward with domestic violence allegations, though she didn't mention him by name in the article. In turn, she is countersuing him for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages. She said Waldman's "hoax" comments harmed her reputation and career.

Aquaman went on to be a box office hit after it was released in December 2018, the same month Heard's Washington Post op-ed was published. Heard has testified that she "fought hard" to return for the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is already filmed and set to hit theaters March 2023.

She and her agent claimed her role was significantly "pared down" this time around due to negative headlines surrounding the Depp controversy. However, Depp's legal team had DC Films President Walter Hamada testify that her role as Mera in the sequel was never planned to be significant, and that it's instead a "buddy-comedy" centered on Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson.

He also said there were concerns that she had no "natural chemistry" with Momoa in the first film, and it was discussed whether to recast her in the role.

Actor Amber Heard listens to her attorney's questions during the testimony of clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Shannon Curry (not pictured) during Depp's defamation trial against her, at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 25, 2022
Actor Amber Heard listens to her attorney's questions during the testimony of clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Shannon Curry (not pictured) during Depp's defamation trial against her, at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 25, 2022

EVELYN HOCKSTEIN / AFP/ Getty

"They didn't really have a lot of chemistry together," Hamada said with a laugh during cross-examination. "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 fabricate that sort of chemistry."

He continued, "At the end of the day, 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 Kingdom, Hamada said, "My understanding is actually the production went very smoothly."

Back in November 2020, Depp lost his highly publicized U.K. libel lawsuit case 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, Depp's attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.

After losing that libel case, 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 last month with the lowest box office performance of the Harry Potter franchise.

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