Did Amber Heard Really Stab James Franco? (The Pineapple Express Incident)

Did Amber Heard Really Stab James Franco? (The Pineapple Express Incident)

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Amber Heard has been dominating the headlines via her loss in the defamation action with ex-husband Johnny Depp. The trial saw some wild moments, with one notably persistent talking point spreading online as well. So did Amber Heard really stab James Franco? 

Amber Heard didn’t stab James Franco as she was acting at the time. She was directed to go through the motions of stabbing James Franco’s character with a fork in the Pineapple Express film scene.

Let’s look at what actually happened, explore some origins of this idea and consider what happened to kick start this idea in the wider memes of society. There is some truth to the statement, so read on to find out what the current state of the knowledge is.

Was Amber Heard Supposed To Stab James Franco in the Pineapple Express Movie?

The script has been made available online, and Amber Heard’s character Angie, who is Seth Rogan’s girlfriend in the film, has a specific stage direction that reads, ‘Angie grabs a fork off the table and stabs it into Saul’s shoulder’. 

So there doesn’t seem to be much debate here: the script calls for James Franco to be stabbed, as he is playing the role of drug dealer Saul, who helps out Rogan’s character Dale Denton after he witnesses a murder.

The extremely high profile defamation trial between the two of them that occurred in 2022 also sent the rumor mill into overdrive, with people maliciously (or not) claiming that Heard was not supposed to stab Franco in the film, but just scream in fear.


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What happened in reality though, is that for a variety of reasons, this incident was confused with Heard actually stabbing Franco in real life.

While it’s impossible to say how someone will react when stabbed, there have been instances of actor’s genuine reactions to unexpected things happening, like the chestburster scene in Alien being hidden from the actors so they would ‘experience the horror’.

The scene in Pineapple Express where the stabbing occurs is, like the rest of the movie, not a great bit of acting. Although I’m no acting expert, the surrounding characters do seem to be acting horrified rather than being generally stunned that Heard actually stabbed Franco.

Did Amber Heard Stab James Franco in Real Life?

There’s no evidence that Heard has actually stabbed Franco, and neither has come forward stating that it has happened, nor have we heard from hospitals or similar.

While this is in no way a total proof that no stabbing occurred, given the high profile of the people involved and the massive attention gained since the defamation trial that Depp eventually succeeded at a jury trial, it’s likely somebody would have come forward with this.

Heard has denied any romantic relationship, especially after some photos appeared to show the two of them in an intimate setting. Franco ended up not testifying in the trial, despite him initially appearing on the witness list, so we have no statements under oath.

Heard has claimed that Franco was just a confidant and witnessed the aftermath of her injuries, and others have claimed that they were only sharing an elevator as they lived in the same building.

Part of the origins of this rumor are thought to be because Heard and Franco were said to be a couple at some time during Depp’s marriage to Heard, and so it is easy to conflate the two events. 

There is also likely the strategy by some who were on Depp’s side to state that if a relationship with Heard leads to some form of significant violence, she must just be a toxic and abusive person who also abused Depp like she did Franco.

Just by stating unambiguously that Heard stabbed Franco, many people will misremember the fictional Pineapple Express film and conflate it with a real life stabbing, without anyone having to explicitly make that connection.

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