During our recent interviews with the cast of the upcoming Warner Bros. film “Aquaman” during their New York City press day, we caught up with actress Amber Heard who plays heroine Mera and actor Patrick Wilson who plays Aquaman’s half-brother Orm.
When speaking to us about what she is most proud of with the way the character of Mera was written and the way in which she is portrayed, Amber Heard tells us,
“I feel very lucky to have worked with filmmakers and people who want to maintain the integrity and the strength of the original character. Mera is and never wasn’t anything other than a badass and a superhero in her own right … she’s no damsel in distress. I’m lucky that I worked with people that wanted to maintain that integrity rather than compromising all of those aspects of strength and integrity and individuality and agency by way of comprising that by way of pall ability and sexuality and other things that can sometimes take the place of other aspects. Those are far more interesting to me.
Mera is a kickass, badass woman and doesn’t need any help from anyone and I’m really lucky I get to play her.
We feel young girls can look up to the character of Mera, who is such a smart and strong character. Heard comments,
“I’m very thankful that Mera is not another damsel in distress and that they took that approach to a female protagonist. In her own right, Mera is very much an individual and is a proactive, driving force. I think audiences desire to see women occupy strong roles and she is, in every way, Aquaman’s equal and time and again saves him as much as he saves her.”
When talking about the Aquaman character and the comic book roots, Heard praises the filmmakers saying,
“The filmmakers allowed Jason [Mamoa] to inform our version of Aquaman, and Jason really recreated the character. I think it is a very refreshing, modern, cool, totally different version of Aquaman that goes beyond what we would expect from the comics, but feel’s true to them at the same time.”
When talking to us about this role in the film, Patrick Wilson reveals,
“This is my fifth film with James and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. When he was first thinking about doing this movie, James said in passing to me ‘I want you to do Ocean Master.’ And I took that with great reverence and responsibility … but I’m not going to lie and say I went out the next day and got a bunch of comics to brush up on because you never know. But that’s James — he sticks to his word and his dedication to his vision, and our friendship and working relationship.”
When talking about the character of Orm, Wilson also reveals,
“His fight is perfectly understandable. There is a long history of Aquaman protecting the oceans, fighting whaling, saving fisherman all throughout comic history. I like that they left the pollution up to Orm because it enables you to have a real violent response and I think there is something cathartic in an audience watching that … I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think we are destroying the oceans, of course we are and it’s something we all need to take head and watch, so not that, that is the main theme of the story, but certainly that’s Orm’s track. Orm sets out for that and combines his armies on the surface and everybody goes, ‘ yeah, I get it’ so it’s a fun way in. Then you’ve got conflict and he’s the little brother of the older brother he never had and he knows deep down he is the first born and there is all that very Shakespearean conflict and emotions he’s dealing with, but he’s staring from a very organic place. You can go as big as you want and we do!’
Wilson also explains to us why he found the script appealing saying,
What I loved when I read the script is that it took our inherent fascination with the ocean and explored what might happen if it turned on us. And while it’s easy to label Orm as Super-Villain because throughout comics history he’s been considered one, he has changed over the course of history in the comics. What James wanted to do, and what I think this movie does, is substantiate Orm’s fight. He says it very clearly, ‘For centuries, the surface world has been polluting the oceans and ruining my world.’ So, there’s a method to his madness. It’s a very ecological fight he wants, and he believes the only way to defeat the surface world is to have all the other ocean kingdoms aligned with him. And that is what happens, he becomes Ocean Master.”
We could only imagine that there is a vigorous training regimen to get in shape for the film. Heard tells us,
After four and a half months of stunt training six days a week, you feel pretty superhuman. “
“In the comics Orm is a big dude and I’ve always been in shape, but I wanted to get bigger. It’s Arthur’s story and movie, his journey, but I tried to give him a formidable opponent in Orm. I changed my body type, probably gained about 15 pounds, sort of shifted the muscle around. I didn’t just look like a skinny guy in a muscle suit. ”
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.
The film also stars Amber Heard (“Justice League,” “Magic Mike XXL”) as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon,” “Spider-Man 2”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring” films, “Watchmen”) as Orm/Ocean Master, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables” films) as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) as the vengeful Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Lion”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna; as well as Ludi Lin (“Power Rangers”) as Captain Murk, Atlantean Commando; and Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Green Lantern”) as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Peter Safran Production, a James Wan Film, “Aquaman.” The film is set to hit theaters on December 21, 2018, in 3D and 2D and IMAX, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
“Aquaman” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.
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