This Friday, Amber Heard stars in cult director John Carpenter's mental asylum-haunted house thriller "The Ward" - but her experiences there are nothing compared to the terror of squeezing into a bunny suit for her upcoming series "The Playboy Club" (debuting this fall on NBC).
“It’s very uncomfortable – I do not recommend it,” Heard tells PopcornBiz of her stint in the iconic 60s-era cotton-tailed outfit worn by waitress during the glory years of Hugh Hefner’s membership-only nightclubs. “I'm doing 'Playboy Club' because I love the pain of the corsets. No, I'm kidding: Because I'm having a good time, it's the right project for me and a very interesting character. That’s why I work on any project.”
Despite the rabbit costume’s rib-crushing qualities, the 25-year-old actress says while playing Bunny Maureen for the pilot she’s become fascinated with the heyday of Hef’s hot spots, which spread Playboy magazine’s brand from the original Chicago outpost opened in 1960 to a chain of clubs across the globe that endured into the early 1990s and were revived five years ago.
“What I love so much about the series that there's so much texture in it. I feel like it's a very rich platform,” says Heard. “It's full of all these different elements, from music and dance and performance in a classical sense to the crime and sex and love and social revolutions – I mean, everything that was going on at the time! Just the music alone in that era is exciting and fun and different than we have today, so I'm excited on so many different levels about the project. I have very high expectations of it and I hope that it's as wonderful as I think it can be.”
Heard’s also been doing her homework on the era, and is hoping to get some wisdom from Hef himself. “I haven't spoken to Mr. Hefner about it, but I hear that he's enthusiastic and participating on some level,” she explains. “I did meet with Playboy Bunnies from this particular era. and many of them are still working kind of alongside Playboy in more of the white collar side more of the business part of things. But it's fascinating, and when I hear the women talk about it, there's just a lot of warmth and a lot of appreciation."
"I have yet to meet a woman who's bitter about the experience – I'm sure there are, but I have yet to meet them,” she says.
The consistent thing the Playboy name’s suggested during its nearly six-decade existence is, of course, nudity. So how far can a network series go when it comes to “The Playboy Club’s” depiction of the Bunnies’ sex lives?
“I don't know,” admits Heard, who along with other castmates signed contracts that included nudity clauses. “That's I guess up to the network to decide. I'm sure that they can't push it too far, but having filmed the pilot I can say that it's not very racy. I don't know if they want me to say that, but I don't feel like it's that racy. I'm sure, because they are a network, that they'll go as far as possible.”