Home Entertainment Amber Heard, Jason Mamoa didn't have 'chemistry,' Warner Bros. exec says

Amber Heard, Jason Mamoa didn't have 'chemistry,' Warner Bros. exec says

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Amber Heard was almost dropped from “Aquaman 2” due to a lack of chemistry with co-star Jason Momoa, a Warner Bros. executive testified at Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife.

Walter Hamada said in the pre-taped deposition played for jurors Tuesday in Fairfax County Circuit Court, in Virginia, that the pair were not a good match.

“They didn’t really have a lot of chemistry together,” he explained in the deposition recorded March 15, 2022. “I think editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie, but there was concern that it took a lot of effort to get there.”

A photo combination of Amber Heard and Jason Momoa. An executive testified that there was a "lack of chemistry" between them, and the part of Mera was almost recast in "Aquaman 2."

A photo combination of Amber Heard and Jason Momoa. An executive testified that there was a “lack of chemistry” between them, and the part of Mera was almost recast in “Aquaman 2.”
(Getty Images)

There was a delay recasting the part of Mera in “Aquaman 2” and a lot of discussion of replacing Heard with an actress who had more “natural chemistry” with Momoa, he said. In the end, the studio moved forward with Heard.

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“Was her role [in ‘Aquaman 2’] ever reduced for any reason?” Depp’s lawyer Ben Chew asked Hamada.

“No,” he replied.  

Hamada, president of DC-based film production, said the movie was pitched as a “buddy comedy” between Momoa and his friend played by actor Patrick Wilson, and the part of Mera was always intended to be minor. 

Jason Momoa and Amber Heard starred in the film "Aquaman."

Jason Momoa and Amber Heard starred in the film “Aquaman.”
(AP)

Heard, who has been relentlessly mocked online during the trial, previously testified that her role was “pared down” due to her public battle with Depp. 

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Hamada was called by Johnny Depp’s legal team as a rebuttal witness to undermine Heard’s claim that her role in “Aquaman 2” was reduced after Depp allegedly conspired with his lawyer to defame her in a series of statements made to the press.

Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard and James Wan discuss "Aquaman" with the Build Series at Build Studio on December 03, 2018 in New York City. 

Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard and James Wan discuss “Aquaman” with the Build Series at Build Studio on December 03, 2018 in New York City. 
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote alleging she was a victim of domestic abuse. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star says the piece, which didn’t identify him by name, ruined his reputation and career. 

Heard is countersuing for $100 million, alleging that Johnny Depp, through his attorney Adam Waldman, called her allegations a hoax, costing her $45 million in lost job opportunities.

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 The actress’s Hollywood expert, Kathryn Arnold, testified Monday that Heard should have been able to renegotiate a higher salary for “Aquaman 2” after the success of the first “Aquaman”– one of the highest grossing movies of all time.  

But Hamada said it was the studio’s policy not to renegotiate contracts. He also said Heard was never released from her contract or rehired, as Arnold testified. 

Heard’s public dispute with Depp had no impact on the studio’s decisions, Hamada said.

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