You can now leave comments on the articles that matter to you. Find out more here

How is Amber Heard’s Q Score calculated? It's been ‘as low as 1’

Bruno Cooke May 24, 2022
amber heard q score
Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Yesterday, during day 20 of the ongoing defamation case between former spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, questions were raised about both actors’ “Q Scores” – what does it mean to have a “negative Q Score”, and what do we know about Heard’s?

Entertainment industry expert Kathryn Arnold tells Johnny Depp’s lawyer that Amber Heard’s ‘Q Score’ has been as low as 1

Yesterday, both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s legal teams questioned expert witness Kathryn Arnold.

Depp’s lawyer asked Arnold if she thought that Amber Heard’s “negative Q Score” could be a reason for her low earnings – Sky News reports.

Ms Arnold replied: “Q Scores change all the time, Amber’s has been as low as one”. 

  • TV: B&B’s Adrienne Frantz asks for ‘prayers’ after newborn spends night in hospital
Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Depp’s Q Score has also fluctuated. HITC reported yesterday that, in 2015, he had a recognisability Q Score of 88. Note: recognisability is not the same as popularity, according to the company’s methodology.

Earlier during the case, Depp’s lawyers brought forward Douglas Bania, who had studied his Q Scores over time. Bania said Depp’s “positive Q Score” in 2016 was 35, and that his “negative Q Score” was 11.

How is Amber Heard’s Q Score calculated?

The Q Scores Company generates reports periodically about actors, characters, licensed properties and brand names. For a sample report of a performer’s individual demographic profile, click here.

It generates its reports by polling people about the subjects. For example, it asks respondents if they’ve heard of X performer or Y TV show, and whether they would rate it poor, fair, good, very good, or as one of their favourites.

  • CELEBRITY: Inside Priscilla Presley’s marriage to Elvis and how new biopic brought her to tears
Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Each subject (such as Amber Heard or Johnny Depp) has a positive Q Score and a negative Q Score. 

The Q Scores Company calculates positive scores by dividing positive responses (i.e., “one of my favourites”) by the number of respondents answering, and calculating a percentage. It does negative scores the same way but uses the “poor” result.

Can a Q Score really influence an actor’s career?

The Wrap describes Q Scores as an “industry-wide measurement that ranks celebrities by their popularity”.

A performer’s Q Score gives an idea of how familiar the public is with them, and how popular they are with the general public. That doesn’t mean a high score will result in higher pay. At the same time, a low score doesn’t necessarily mean an actor will find it harder to land roles.

  • CULTURE: RIP Sommer Wayne Dyer: Death of self-help guru’s daughter confirmed by family

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore | Official Trailer

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore | Official Trailer

Nor does Q Score always correlate to success.

In 2015, for example, Morgan Freeman had the highest positive Q Score (44) out of all the actors studied. In other words, nearly half of all the people The Q Scores Company asked about Freeman said he was one of their favourite actors. But he didn’t receive a nomination for an Academy Award that year.

Nor, incidentally, did Depp, with his recognisability score of 88.

The Focus has reached out to The Q Scores Company for information regarding Amber Heard’s current (or most recent) scores.

Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation because of an op-ed she published in the Washington Post in 2018. Heard is countersuing Depp. The case is set to continue.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or