The Fall Guy writer responds to backlash over Amber Heard joke

The Fall Guy spoilers follow.

The Fall Guy writer Drew Pearce has responded to backlash over the film's Amber Heard joke.

The action comedy stars Ryan Gosling as a down-and-out stuntman, who is forced to track down the missing star of his director ex-girlfriend's (Emily Blunt) sci-fi blockbuster.

Shortly following its release, the film sparked mixed reactions among viewers after Hannah Waddingham's character Gail Meyer makes reference to Heard's relationship with ex-husband Johnny Depp.

The scene in question involves executive producer Gail walking into director Jody Moreno's trailer, which is in disarray after an altercation, and saying: "It's like Amber and Johnny were just in here."

hannah waddingham and ryan gosling in the fall guy

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Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Pearce explained that the joke was used to establish Gail as the film's "villain".

"No decent human being would ever make a joke about that subject, and Gail's character is clearly not a decent human being. She's our villain, and she says horrible things, and this is just one of them," he said.

"But just like what I hope continues to happen in our industry and others, Gail is ultimately held accountable for her worldview and her behaviour."

He continued: "As with all of our characters, Gail included, we wanted them to feel authentic, warts and all. Sometimes shitty people say shitty things, but a character's opinion in a movie is not the same as the perspective of either the film or the people making it.

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard
Fairfax Media - Getty Images

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"All of that being said, when a filmmaker puts a line in a movie, they have to anticipate how it will make the audience feel, so everybody is entitled to their reaction too."

Heard originally filed for divorce in 2016 and obtained a restraining order against Depp. The Aquaman actor came forward at the time with accusations Depp had been "verbally and physically abusive" towards her.

In 2020, Depp lost a legal battle against The Sun after the newspaper labelled him a "wife beater".

The Hollywood stars later took to the witness stand during their defamation trial in 2022, with jurors deciding that domestic abuse accusations made by Heard were "false" and "defamatory".

The Fall Guy is out now in cinemas.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, organisations including Refuge ( and Women's Aid ( can provide further support and information. The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or text LOVEIS to 22522

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