The title of one of her early movies aptly describes Amber Heard: Drop Dead Sexy. The beautiful blond star of Zombieland, Never Back Down and Drive Angry 3D now splashes onto the small screen in NBC’s The Playboy Club (Mondays, 10/9c). The Texas native, who’ll tempt Johnny Depp in next month’s The Rum Diary, opens up to Made Man about her Bunny costume, the swinging sixties and dating chicks. Drop dead sexy indeed.
MADE MAN: What’s it like to wear that iconic Playboy Bunny suit?
AMBER HEARD: You put on the suit and you’re instantly transported back to this time, the cigar‑smoke‑filled rooms and the music and the glitter and the songs and the heels and the fishnets and the whole nine yards. The costumes were built on our bodies, built to be exact replicas of the suits that the actual bunnies wore in the sixties. I was excited about the suit and the time this series takes place in because it is a different silhouette for women. This is pre-air brushing, pre-digital enhancement, pre-plastic surgery. It’s women in their natural curves and I was excited that I could keep them.
MM: Are curves coming back?
AH: If I have to drag them back myself, I will!
MM: Like every character on the show, your character has secrets.
AH: Maureen has a lot of skeletons in her closet. She’s running from something at the same time as trying to find something. She has big things in her future and a very dark past. She’s an incredibly complex character, one that’s going to surprise us every time.
MM: What do you make of some stations’ refusal to air the show, claiming it’s too racy or exploits women?
AH: I don’t take it personally. I think we often confuse women being empowered by their sexuality with women that are victimized by it. I have to make the distinction because in 2011 we should not see the two as the same thing. I think it’s just chauvinistic to deny women their sexuality. It comes down ultimately to choices. If they’re making the choice, they’re not being exploited.
MM: The Playboy Club is set in 1961. How much does history play into the show?
AH: The backdrop of the sixties and the backdrop of the club will be important to our story, because everything was about to happen. This is pre‑Stonewall, pre‑women’s lib, pre‑civil rights revolution. It’s right at the cusp before everything started to boil over.
MM: What did you learn from real-life Bunnies in your research?
AH: They look back fondly on their memories and are thankful for the experience or the money that it earned them and the opportunities it later afforded them. I have yet to meet an ex‑Bunny who’s disgruntled about her experience. Many of them went on to have careers, be entrepreneurs.
MM: Did coming out change the way Hollywood perceives you, or affect your relationship?
AH: A lot of the media attention surrounding my relationship has been frustrating simply because I’m a private person. But I think we’re at an important moment in our society right now, and I did the right thing. I don’t label myself one way or the other. I find it hard to identify with a label. I’ve dated men in the past, now I’m dating a woman. No big deal.
Check out 12 fun facts about the Playboy Bunny costume—with visual aids!
View more hot photos of Miss Heard.