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Its director, Jonathan Levine, said he had chosen Heard for the title role because "there was a certain type of beauty and a certain type of innate intelligence that Amber brought to it that is not something you find every day.Certainly, not something you would find in somebody her age.In 2011, she played the female lead opposite Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry, and opposite Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary; neither were critically nor commercially successful.
Carpenter has later stated that he was disappointed in the film but "loved working with Amber and would work with her again without hesitation." Heard appeared in no new films until 2013, when she starred in the thriller Paranoia, the action-comedy Machete Kills, and the satirical drama Syrup. Her only film release in 2014, the action-thriller 3 Days to Kill, was a box office success but panned by critics.Indiewire gave the film a mixed review and stated that Heard was "miscast" but "displays much potential and has succeeded in a bid to be taken more seriously." Her fourth role in 2015 was opposite Christopher Walken in the television film One More Time, which aired on Starz.For her role as a struggling singer-songwriter, she took singing lessons and learned to play piano and guitar. Born and raised in Texas, Heard made her film debut in a minor supporting role in the sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), followed by a series of other small roles in television and film.Her first leading role was in the horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006), but it was not released in the United States until 2013 due to distribution problems.