Q&A With Playboy Club’s Amber Heard
Maureen is a strong individual and I could not value a quality more in a person. Her best quality is her strength and bravery. But with that strength comes the alienation that often accompanies strength and bravery. It’s often people with those qualities find themselves alone in one respect or another. And I think that Maureen is slightly alienated because of that. _Amber Heard: The Playboy Club
Amber Heard: The Playboy Club
New face of the Fall 2011 GUESS campaign | The Rum Diary
By: Daedrian McNaughton/Premier Guide Media
The Playboy Club – Mondays (10-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.
Amber Heard stars as Maureen, the stunning and innocent new Playboy bunny who finds herself in trouble her first night on the job, in NBC’s provocative drama “The Playboy Club.” Originally from Texas, Heard is making waves with her captivating performances on the big screen. She will next be seen in “The Rum Diary,” starring opposite Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart. The dramatic adventure film is an adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel and will be released on October 28.
What attracted you to sign on to the Playboy Club?
Amber Heard: Part of why I wanted to do this project was the incredibly textured and rich backdrop that the Club visionary, the era that it took place in all of these elements serve as a wonderful backdrop for our show. And that’s part of why I wanted to do this project it’s just such a rich stage to tell any story on.
You seem to be having a lot of fun with your character, Maureen in The Playboy Club?
Amber Heard: Well the good thing about my job is that I get to have fun as both myself and the character I’m playing. And the wonderful thing about Maureen is I relate to her on a lot of different levels and importantly we share a lot of important qualities. We’re both having fun. The show is all about fun. And it is a blast to work on. We’ve got music, we’ve got dancing, we’ve got performances, we’ve got spotlights and fishnets and lipstick and jazz and martinis and what more could you want? It’s a lot of fun.
What do you like the most about your character, Maureen?
Amber Heard: The strength of Maureen. Maureen is a strong individual and I could not value a quality more in a person. So I certainly have to say that’s her best quality is her strength and bravery. But with that strength comes the alienation that often accompanies strength and bravery. It’s often people with those qualities find themselves alone in one respect or another. And I think that Maureen is slightly alienated because of that. And because of that strength and bravery she winds up in a lot of trouble perhaps undeserved. But trouble certainly finds her so I have to say that would probably be it.
What was the challenging part of wearing the Bunny suits?
Amber Heard: The Bunny suit requires a whole number of things. It requires a small team to get you in and out of them. It requires a modification of how you do certain things just simply carrying yourself . You have to relearn how to do certain things and just carrying yourself is something that can be a challenge more or less carrying a tray completely full drinks. Bunny Dips and Bunny Perch. Doing a lot of things is a challenge. But it’s no different from when you want to go out on with your friends, you want to go out on a date or when you want to go to a premiere you have to as a woman decide at some point what line you’ll draw your comfort level to look a certain way. I think we all do that probably.
For the dancing scenes, were you professional trained?
Amber Heard: Actually we did. We have this wonderful choreographer, a very accomplished choreographer work with us and our show. Her name is Fatima Robinson. And she is an unbelievable choreographer and she’s taught us the specific kind of 60s style dancing which is important because as bunnies they were in many ways trendsetters. And so what was new and trendsetting at the time in the 60s is obviously not the same as it is today. And so we have very specific dance numbers and we also have elaborate choreographed pieces and then we have more 60s freestyle dancing. So it keeps us busy.
You mentioned earlier that the Bunnies were trendsetter. How important were they to women’s liberation at that time?
Amber Heard: They were certainly an important part of the era. This is early 60s was on the eve of women’s lib and on the cusp of the sexual social revolution that we know in retrospect about. But the thing I like about the Playboy Club is they hearken back to this time, this elusive Club, this very exclusive lifestyle created almost as a fantasy getaway. And it existed in a certain time, in a certain place that was more or less where it’s perfect for that time and perfect for the social changes that were happening around it. And I feel like the Club could have only existed in that way at that time. And that’s what’s so special about our show and the fact that it takes place in the early 60s. And being that it took place on the cusp of all of these changes and revolutions and women’s lib and the Civil Rights revolution and it takes place at that time we have an unbelievable platform on which we can tell our story. I think women stepping out and deciding for themselves what they wanted – how they wanted to earn their money, if they wanted to earn money I think that’s an important part of what we know now to be women’s lib. And I think that women deciding for themselves how they wanted to conduct their lives and how they wanted to express their sexuality is nothing but those women’s choices. And I think it’s important that they were brave enough to step out and say this is what I want to do with my life for right now and I’m going to challenge the status quo and challenge the social norms and do it my way. And I think we saw that that’s exactly what these women did. And many of them went on to become CEOs and entrepreneurs.
During your research what have you discovered about the club that you were not aware of before?
Amber Heard: When I was doing research on this project I kept being surprised by the things that I learned about the Club, the Club ethics, and also the man who started the Club. Frankly I kept finding myself surprised whether it was about his workplace integration or the integrity in which he solved disputes between the Clubs and how they dealt with that issue in the early 60s in terms of racial discrimination. I continue to be impressed with him as he fought numerous political measures that tried to stop him from printing what he wanted to print and saying what he wanted to say. I was impressed by the articles and the journalists that he decided to work with in his early career of the magazine. I was impressed by the integrity of the journalism in the magazine and the fight that he often had to get into to protect that from being taken away from him. I continue to be impressed by him.
Can you talk a bit about the Rum Diary?
Amber Heard: Yes. The Run Diary takes place in the late 50s and this is early 60s. And in that I also have dancing and performances. That very much reminds me of this in certain ways. And I’m so excited for that movie to come out; it’s been a long time coming. I think it’s a beautiful movie. And I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Did you meet with any of the Bunnies?
Amber Heard: We’ve met and talked to so many Bunnies – ex-Bunnies that talk so fondly about their experiences as Bunnies and are happy to have been a part of this process and happy to be trendsetters and happy to have pushed the envelope and done something that they felt benefited them in the long run and in the short run as well.