Whether it’s children’s books or movie scripts, Amber Heard is sick of seeing female characters reduced to their physical appearance.
The Justice League actress, who is featured on the cover of Allure’s December issue, tells the outlet she has given up on reading for characters described only as “beautiful” or “enigmatic.”
“[As a kid,] seeing princesses in my books called beautiful was frustrating,” Heard said. “I found the same frustration in Hollywood. I read 5 to 10 scripts a week, and 4 out of 5 have nothing else to say about the female lead.”
She added, “Always the same adjectives: beautiful or sexy or some version of it. I started saying to my agents, ‘Don’t send me scripts where the first adjective in the female description is ‘beautiful.’ ‘ And if the second is ‘enigmatic,’ throw it in the trash.’ The word ‘enigmatic’ means ‘Her backstory doesn’t matter.’ I fell for that so many times.”
Heard said she traces her strong sense of social justice back to her childhood. “When I was growing up, my friends had ’N Sync posters, and I collected feminist propaganda from World War II,” she explained.
“Our mothers and grandmothers worked to make an environment that was deceptively comfortable,” she added. “I took it for granted. By comparison to other places or previous generations, we’re doing great. Yeah, sure, there have been some sexist things here … I was so wrong. I was so f—— wrong.”
Now that she has a platform of her own, Heard said she feels obligated to fight for what she believes in. “I don’t have to; I have to. If I didn’t have a platform, I would stand on my toes,” she said.
“I have a semifunctioning brain and a semifunctioning limbic system, and as a human being, it is incumbent on me to make the world a better place in any small, insignificant way I can,” she added. “I’ve always tried to do the right thing. I used everything I was given. I had to make it better for the next person.”
Heard said that she spends every moment trying to get the most out of life. “Is there anything worse than a life not lived?” she asked. “If I could write one honest sentence, it would be this: I have not wasted a single second.”