Mera, Mera…

Total Film - - Cover Story -

how would you de­scribe your char­ac­ter?

Mera is a ded­i­cated, com­mit­ted, driven, pow­er­ful war­rior who’s set to be queen of a na­tion that she deeply cares about, and feels a deep sense of loy­alty to. She’s tough. She’s fierce. She’s a war­rior. She has com­manded ar­mies, and she is will­ing to fight and die for her king­dom. [Arthur and Mera are] forced into a sit­u­a­tion where they have to be un­likely and re­luc­tant al­lies, and work to­gether. We see this re­la­tion­ship un­fold as their jour­ney un­folds. It’s re­ally nice be­cause at the end, you feel that it’s earned.

did you have any hes­i­ta­tion about tak­ing the role?

Be­cause of my un­fa­mil­iar­ity with the comic-book movies and su­per­hero movies, I was trep­i­da­tious be­cause I had a vague im­age in my mind of a very spe­cific type of rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women. I thought it would be lim­it­ing to some­thing that was su­per­fi­cial, or put me in a re­ac­tionary pos­ture by mak­ing me a damsel or some­one who needed to be res­cued. So I was hes­i­tant. I spoke to them, and I im­me­di­ately had my in­ter­est piqued when I was pitched by Zack [Sny­der] as… you know, he pre­sented Mera as a strong, in­de­pen­dent, pow­er­ful, feisty, in­tel­li­gent war­rior queen. I thought, “Oh, I get a crown and a sword. Man knows his au­di­ence!” Mean­ing me.

does it feel like there’s a been a pos­i­tive change re­cently in the way these sorts of char­ac­ters are pre­sented in hol­ly­wood movies?

The rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women has been chron­i­cally poor, in that it’s bi­nary, lim­ited, in­ac­cu­rate and sim­ple. I think in the wake of re­cent move­ments, we’re hear­ing a surge of de­mand, of voices that are sick of see­ing the old ar­che­typal roles that have pre­vi­ously been avail­able to women be­ing played out again. The de­mand for more ac­cu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the fe­male ex­pe­ri­ence in its va­ri­ety is long over­due, and it hasn’t caught up with the times by any means. But it’s nice to see Hol­ly­wood show­ing signs of re­spond­ing to it.

is mera a char­ac­ter you’d like to re­visit again?

Hell yeah. I had so much fun mak­ing it. It was hard work. I think peo­ple are go­ing to re­ally en­joy see­ing a badass chick in this kind of role, and it’s about time we had some more su­per­heroes and comic-book he­roes that are women, and that are sav­ing the day them­selves. I like that. I’d re­visit that any day, although I do need time be­fore I go back in that suit.

What’s up next for you?

I’m work­ing on some things that I am pro­duc­ing and try­ing to get made. I’m try­ing to find in­ter­est­ing con­tent with com­plex roles for women. I’d like to find ways that I can work with other women who also want to do that, and have projects I’m try­ing to work on that would in­volve an all-fe­male crew. And to just kind of add some mo­men­tum to make up for the deficit that is there in the in­dus­try as of now. MM

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