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  • Jacket by Giambattista Valli; bra by Dolce & Gabbana; earrings by lleana Makri; ring by Gurhan

    Amber Heard drops her handbag on the table when she arrives, promptly, for our interview in the garden of a relaxed West Hollywood restaurant. The bag’s contents are clearly visible – two well-thumbed second-hand books: The Immortalist by Alan Harrington, now out of print; and The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals Of Jesus Of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson, first published in 1895.

    “You can read this book a thousand times and always learn something new from it,” she says of the latter, with a hint of a Texan drawl. She always keeps the book in her bag, she says, in case she is kept waiting before a casting. It is unlikely, however, that Hollywood executives are keeping her waiting too much these days: Heard is now


    “Knowledge is my RELIGION. That need for STIMULI is a constant in my LIFE”

    leading lady material, having scored a starring role in The Rum Diary opposite Johnny Depp (of whom more later) in 2011, reportedly beating big names such as Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson to the role.

    As she picks over a cheese and allows herself one glass of good red wine, Heard says she could happily talk about books all day. I, of course, would like to talk about Depp. At the time of writing, the latest tabloid pictures of the two show them hand in hand in central London. She wore a simple scarlet silk dress that looked like a dancing flame, and even in paparazzi shots, head bowed, she was exquisite.

    While we speak, Heard is in downtime mode of gray floral jeans and a white linen shirt. The book-filled bag is the Falabella by Stella McCartney. Her nails are painted scarlet and she favors chunky silver rings. She sounds wise beyond her years, yet her face looks younger than 27: dewy skin so clear it looks Photoshopped, with limpid green eyes.

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