Amber Heard reportedly beat out Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley for the role of Johnny Depp's love interest in "The Rum Diary" and the actress said after working with the actor, she understood why he is a Hollywood icon.
"It's an honor when you get to work with someone that's truly talented and has deserved the respect and the reputation that they've acquired," Heard told the Associated Press at the film's premiere. "Johnny's an icon, yes, but more than that, he's a good person, he's smart, he's fiercely intelligent and very creative. He offers so much more and working with him, I really do see why he is the icon that he is."
The film, which is based on Hunter S. Thompson's 1998 book, "The Rum Diary," has been in pre-production since 2000 and Depp has been working on the film on-and-off since 2007.
In the film, Depp stars as Paul Kemp, a journalist who moves to San Juan, Puerto Rico to write for a newspaper seemingly staffed entirely by fellow alcoholics.
Filming began in 2009, starring Depp, Aaron Eckhart and Amber Heard, who portrays Kemp's female obsession, Chenault. The cast also includes Giovanni Ribisi and Richard Jenkins.
Thompson, who also suffered from alcohol and drug addiction, wrote the novel when he was 22-years-old. The author, who also wrote "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (the film adaptation also starred Depp), commit suicide in 2005 at the age of 67.
Heard most recently appeared opposite Nicolas Cage in "Drive Angry 3D" and has also starred in movies such as the 2008 comedy "Pineapple Express" with Seth Rogen and James Franco as well as the 2009 film "Zombieland" with "The Social Network" star Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone.
Heard also appeared opposite LeAnn Rimes' husband Eddie Cibrian in NBC's short-lived and controversial series "The Playboy Club." The Parents Television Council criticized the series for being "too racy" and for glamorizing pornography.
The show was set in the early 1960s, at the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago. Cibrian starred as Nick Dalton, a playboy attorney who came to the aid of new Playboy Bunny Maureen (Heard) after she accidentally killed the patriarch of the Bianchi crime family.
The 25-year-old actress recently told Playboy magazine that she might have a girlfriend, but she doesn't want to be categorized as a lesbian.
"I don't want to be labeled as one thing or another," Heard told Playboy magazine. "In the past I've had successful relationships with men, and now I'm in this successful relationship with a woman. When it comes to love I am totally open. And I don't want to be put into a category, as in 'I'm this' or 'I'm that.' ... [Gay marriage] is an important issue, and I'm fighting for the right to get married. For other people."
Heard has been dating artist and photographer Tasya van Ree for three years, but told the magazine that she didn't have to "come out from anywhere."
"The Rum Diary" hit theaters on October 28, 2011. Watch the trailer below.