The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial transfixed the country in May, and Tubi has turned that real-life drama into a cinematic one, called Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial.
Mark Hapka and Megan Davis take on the lead roles of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but as Davis tells PEOPLE, she went into the filming experience without any preconceptions, having not watched the trial or any of Heard's films prior to being cast.
"I had not seen anything she had done," Davis told Janine Rubenstein on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast. "I hadn't seen All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. I hadn't seen Aquaman, and I actually had not watched the trial either."
She also added that, once she had caught up on the background, she had to prepare differently for the trial scenes than she did for the reenactments of some of the former couple's more fraught personal moments.
"There's difficulties with both, right?" she said. "Because [with] the trial, you have the real footage, so you have to nail it, and you hope to nail it. Whereas with the reenactments, you don't have the footage so you hope to get their energy right and who they are as people, right?"
As for Hapka, he told Rubenstein that he that the public scrutiny of Depp and Heard's court case impacted him as an actor.
"I felt sad watching the social media response to the trial because I felt like these are two very real human beings, which is why I was interested in the film when I was first approached about it," he explains. "Because I think as artists, any form of artists, all you can hope to do is bring understanding and compassion to places where there maybe wasn't before."
Hapka added that the preparation for his portrayal was "very intense," adding, "I think I spent all day and every night watching trial footage and interviews and reading things that he had said or written. And I think I still have their arguments that are famous from the trial full length on my phone. And I would just drive around at night, when L.A. is kind of sleeping, and just listen to them over and over and over and over and over again."
Davis said that she and Hapka also requested of the director that the film not "choose a side," but rather do "everything it can to portray the truth."
"That's true of any film or any piece of art in general. But I said for me, it's very important to me to accurately and honestly portray everything that she said as truth," Davis continued. "These are two real people and they deserve everything that we can possibly give to them in terms of protecting them."
In May, Depp and Heard went to court in Fairfax County, Virginia in a defamation case against the Aquaman actress. A jury found that Heard defamed him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence, though she didn't mention him by name. Depp was awarded more than $10 million in damages, while Heard won one of her three defamation countersuit claims and was awarded $2 million. (They are both appealing the verdicts.)
Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial will be available to stream on Tubi on Friday, September 30.