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A look back at how Amber Heard and Johnny Depp met on the set of The Rum Diary

By Michael Miller
Updated May 26, 2016 04:55 PM
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Before their whirlwind romance took off in the real world, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard played lovers onscreen in 2011’s The Rum Diary.

Based on the novel of the same name by Depp’s close friend Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary was a passion project for the actor. According to The Daily Beast, he personally selected Heard to play his love interest, passing on a handful of other talented stars like Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley.

The film began shooting in 2009 in Puerto Rico, where cast members later revealed they spent the summer drinking plenty of rum during off hours. Heard, 30, later called the production “the best experience ever,” in an interview with The Daily Beast, and revealed that Depp, 52, had purchased her a bicycle for her birthday that she used to explore San Juan. “I drank lots of rum and tried not to fall off my bicycle,” she joked.

Depp and Heard’s onscreen chemistry was palpable, but despite a small flurry of rumors, neither star has ever confirmed when the romance began to move offscreen. At the time, Depp was still in a relationship with his partner of 14 years and mother of his two children, Vanessa Paradis, and Heard was still dating her former partner Tasya van Ree.

The Rum Diary opened in October 2011, reuniting Depp and Heard on a worldwide publicity blitz. By June 2012, Depp and Paradis had announced their split, and shortly thereafter he and Heard made their relationship public.

After nine months of dating, the couple revealed their engagement in January 2014. Later, Depp explained that his feelings for Heard intensified after they parted ways on The Rum Diary.

“She was in my head, so I tracked her down,” Depp said onstage at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, where he was presented with the Maltin Modern Master Award for his accomplishments in the film industry.

“We tracked each other down,” he added. “We tracked each other down. Actually, incidentally, it was amazing. It was at the first day of press on The Rum Diary. Then we married that very day!”

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In reality, the two dated for nearly two years before typing the knot in a private ceremony on a beach in the Bahamas. Later elaborating on what initially drew him to Heard, Depp told E! News, “We connect on a lot of levels but the first things that really got me was she’s an aficionado of the blues.”

He added, “She’s very, very literate. She’s a voracious reader as I have been, so we connected on that as well, and she’s kind of brilliant and beautiful.”

After 15 months of marriage, Heard filed for divorce on Monday citing irreconcilable differences. The actress is asking for spousal support from Depp according to the documents obtained by PEOPLE. Depp’s lawyer has filed a response requesting judge to reject the spousal support claim.