Amber Heard: ‘Ballet gave me claw hands’

Actress Amber Heard was delighted with how graceful she was after learning ballet – until friends relentlessly mocked her “claw hands”.

The 29-year-old star learnt how to dance for her role in The Danish Girl, in which she plays professional ballet star Ulla. The routines were tough, as she didn’t have long to master them, but Amber was pretty sure she’d done a good job – until she gave her pals some footage to watch.

“I send videos to my friends so I get encouragement and look for their support and everyone shoots back, ‘What’s with the claw hands?”” she laughed to talk show host James Corden.

“I look and I realise that all the stress and fear of performing had funnelled out through one thing I hadn’t yet mastered.”

James wondered whether Amber was actually making a subconscious character choice, prompting Amber to respond: “Yes. She has zombie hands.”

It’s no surprise it took the actress a little while to get used to pirouetting around the stage as she had no previous dance experience. In fact almost the complete opposite was true, with Amber revealing her Texas childhood was much more rough and ready and saw her galloping around on horses in her spare time.

She saw the role as a challenge though, especially as learning the routines was so physically demanding. “I wanted to train for it and there were some ballet sequences that we wanted to have the option to incorporate into the movie,” she said.

“I trained forever and I have two left feet. I’m the most klutzy person in the world. I have no – what do you call it? Grace. I crammed about three months of solid training in, working my way up from the floor and learning the technical aspect of ballet. I’ve got these dances down, technically perfect. I’m learning all the moves, but the last thing we get to are the hands.”

The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne as Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe, a transgender pioneer. It has already been lauded by critics, with Eddie picking up best actor nominations at the Golden Globe and SAG Awards so far.

– Cover Media


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