Actress Amber Heard could not have been more thrilled when she landed the role of Nadine Cross in the CBS All Access miniseries The Stand, a post-apocalyptic tale of good versus evil based on Stephen King's famous novel.
"I've been a fan of this book since I was a kid," says the 34-year-old actress, adding that it's always had a "special place" in her heart. "It meant something to me in those really lonely, awkward years. Books were kind of like the only friend I had for a while," she adds with a laugh.
Here, the Aquaman star opens up about doing her villainous character justice and how she prepared for the role.
OK!: How did you get the part of Nadine?
AH: I met Josh Boone, who created the adaptation, about 10 years ago. I talked about the book and we just nerded out. In general, in my career I've learned a very important lesson — always trust a nerd. [Laughs.] Especially when it comes to the genres of sci-fi and fantasy.
Tell us about your character.
She's complex, thanks to Stephen King and his genius in creating characters who have real backstories and are interesting and nuanced.
She's a villain, right?
She's a survivor, and she's using the tools she has to survive. The world has not been kind to her. I tried to do her justice by bringing out her humanity — I think a seducer can also be vulnerable. I don't feel as a woman I have to apologize for one in order to justify the other.
Did you prep for the role?
I seem to be really good at getting an audience to believe the villainous woman character — I don't know why! Nadine [has] a lot of psychological baggage, so I talked to and read a lot of interviews with people who had been either kidnapped or indoctrinated into a cult because her decisions are made in the same way a person who is brainwashed would make them.
Alexander Skarsgård plays a charming but dangerous demon in the show. What's it like working with him?
I'm convinced no one else could play this role. It's a character we all can relate to, or at least identify within ourselves. Alex has a way about carrying himself and speaking that makes it so easy to want to follow him and like him, and that's why he makes the best devil ever!
How do you feel a story like this fits in with the current pandemic?
It certainly is interesting timing. Of course, we shot a story that is very different to what is going on now. But it is based on a pandemic that wipes out most of the earth's population and leaves the best and the worst of humanity, and exemplifies them in a battle for the best survival of our species. [It's not just about how we] survive, but how we thrive and come together to do so.
The series has supernatural elements. Do you believe in that kind of thing?
Personally, I don't believe in anything for which I do not have proof or the ability to understand. But for Nadine, magic is part of her reality.