Photo: Jasin Boland

It feels like Aquaman has been filming forever, but its Dec. 21 release date is ifnally drawing near, and Amber Heard is spilling more details on her strong-willed character, Mera.

Audiences were already introduced to Mera in 2017’s Justice League, but now it’s her time to shine alongside Aquaman, played by the beast of a man (in a good way) Jason Momoa. Mera is a warrior princess who can control water, which comes in handy since she is a leader of Atlantis.

On a set visit with ComicBook.com, Amber Heard revealed that she read the graphic novels while researching the role and was drawn to this tough-as-nails woman. Heard says that in the graphic novel, “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 also details why she admires the partnership between her character and Aquaman. “What I really love is that it does not rely on this whole damsel in distress formulaic thing we see all the time, we’ve seen a million times,” says Heard. “He doesn’t rescue the girl and then save the world. He doesn’t—in fact, I save him. Like I said, they go on this adventure as equal partners and they end it that way.”

It’s official, damsels in distress are so five years ago. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Heard slays in her iridescent wet suit and fiery red hair, proving you can be strong and serve looks. Bring on the fierce, independent women!