The scene stealer in the Aquaman trailer certainly appears to be Mera played by actress Amber Heard. It looks like she’s going to have an interesting dynamic with Aquaman and her power over water makes her a little more powerful than him. ComicBook.com spoke to Heard about Mera’s motivations when we meet her in the movie.
“Mera is strongly tied to — she has a strong sense of duty and responsibility that’s tied to Atlantis and her role in Atlantis,” Heard said. “She deeply cares about her position that she believes she was not just born to do, that she has worked her whole life to be able to do well. It’s not enough just to have inherited this position. Her sense of honor and duty is inartistically tied to her place in leading Atlantis and doing the right thing for her people.”
Mera has always been a strong character in DC comics but it was the fact that she’s her own person and a hero in her own right that drew Heard to the character. It was what she liked from the first phone calls she had with Zack Snyder.
“Mera’s her own woman,” Heard continued. “She’s her own superhero. She’s not Aquawoman. She’s Mera. Part of what got me, you know when I first talked to Zack [Snyder] on the phone about the prospect of doing this film, he said, ‘She’s a warrior queen. Basically, you get a sword and a crown’. And I was like, ‘OK, you know how to pitch to your audience.’ Alright, I’m listening now. I don’t want to be a damsel. I’ve played a range of characters as diverse as I’ve been able to. Being a woman, especially a bit of a young woman in this industry, raising myself in this industry, it’s been limited, but I’ve done the most with what I can. Especially considering that the one thing, the one element they all have in common is that they’re driven or powerful in their own right.”
Heard goes on to say that she isn’t interested in playing weak female characters and that there was a specific scene in a comic that she read, while doing research on the character, that really sold it for her.
“I’ve not been interested in playing reactionary women or weak female characters. Mera is the definition of a strong, driven, independent woman. Aside from the whole sword and crown comment, what really sold me on this project, I was doing my research and was reading the graphic novels, and in one of the first ones I read, there’s a scene, some natural disaster in open water, a tsunami hits on the land, and of course Aquaman comes in and saves the day and civilians are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Aquaman!’ And they turn to Mera, who has done equal work in saving this village, and they’re like, ‘Who are you? Are you Aquawoman?’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m not Aquawoman. I’m Mera, I have my own name.’ And I was like, I like this. I like this woman. I respect it as a character, I respect it as a person. I also respect it as the average modern woman, who is sick and tired of seeing the same old, two-dimensional, reactionary, passive roles that are limited to being rescued or enchanting the male protagonist. I feel I have a lot more to offer in life and I’m bored with those characters when I watch them.”
Heard believes that women are just as sick of seeing the passive damsel in distress as actresses are sick of playing. It sounds like she wouldn’t have even considered this role if Mera was just another love interest. We need more independent and awesome women on screen and we can hope that Mera is going to be another entry in a line that is hopefully going to get much longer soon.
Summary: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.
Aquaman, directed by James Wan, stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Willem Dafoe. It will be released December 21st.
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