With a blockbuster movie, a killer workout routine, and a mission to help those who need it most, Amber Heard is on a roll. And she’s just getting started.
"What’s the point of looking good if you don’t feel good?” Amber Heard says. The actor, 32, is talking about food, including her favorites, Tex-Mex, chocolate, and red wine, and how much she loves to cook. (Her specialty? “Fried-chicken sandwiches, baby!”) “If you’re not going to enjoy life, there’s no point in eating a certain way and working out and doing all the things actors do to manipulate how we look—and how the world looks at us,” she says.
Amber, who stars in Aquaman, which will be released in theaters on December 21, has never looked better or felt stronger. And that’s not just because of the rigorous physical training she did for the role of Mera, an underwater warrior. (Here's more on exactly how she trained for her role in Aquaman.) After an acrimonious divorce from actor Johnny Depp almost two years ago, Amber has found true purpose and passion in standing up for others. “I love being an actor, but I need to do more than that,” she says earnestly. “I want to help. I want to change the nature of the conversations we’re having. I want to use my platform to speak up on behalf of those people who don’t have the ability to do so for themselves.”
Here’s what Amber does to keep herself fierce, fit, and focused.
Photo: James Macari
Put In the Work
“For Aquaman, I did six months of rigorous training. It was a lot of weight and strength training, as well as special martial arts training. By the end, I was working out for five hours a day. But when I’m not preparing for a movie, I have more freedom, and I incorporate my workout into my life so that I enjoy it and it doesn’t feel like an obligation. I like running because it’s a way for me to alleviate stress, clear my mind, and refocus. Plus, I can do it anywhere. I travel so much that it’s invaluable to me to have something that keeps me healthy and feeling good no matter where I am.”
Let Your Natural Beauty Shine
“I’m kind of nuts about my skin. I’m very careful with it. I’m pale, so I use sunblock every single day, and I’m really big on cleansing. I don’t always wear makeup, but when I do, I love it. The one product I can’t live without is red lipstick. Nothing is more transformative.”
Photo: James Macari
Stay True To Who You Are
“I’m originally from Texas, but now I’m more or less a gypsy. I’m not in one place any longer than the next these days, but in my heart, I am always firmly connected to where I come from. What I’ve grown to understand more and more with age and life experience, though, is that where I come from is not so much about a geographical place that you can point to on a map. It’s my roots, my foundation, what makes me who I am. We are all the sum of our experiences and memories and how we choose to apply them or not.”
Find Friends You Can Count On
“I’ve had support from strong women who were there for me when I wanted to give up and at moments when I thought I couldn’t endure more abuse from the world. Sometimes you can feel as if you’re standing up for something all alone—on behalf of your physical safety, against an institution that is inherently flawed, or because you don’t believe that loving a certain person is wrong. I needed people I could rely on to shore me up. Strong women can help me get through anything.” (Find out why science says that friendships are the key to good health.)
Photo: James Macari
Make a Difference
“It’s so important to me to help others. I focus on human rights, such as speaking up on behalf of immigrant families around the U.S. border,or migrants in the Middle East who are among the hundreds of thousands in refugee camps, or the kids at a children’s hospital who are fighting for their lives, or the women who might not have a voice to stand up for themselves, especially when it comes to violence. I’m working with the U.N. Human Rights Office. I am also an advocate for SAMS, the Syrian American Medical Society. I accompany them on medical missions to refugee camps in Jordan. I’ve done a lot of advocacy for them, raising money and awareness of their initiatives, and I’ve also worked on behalf of one refugee in particular who has a life-threatening condition and would die if she didn’t have outside help. Many in the camp face this kind of impossible struggle. There’s a lot to do, and a lot that can be done.” (This is why you should consider booking a fitness-meets-volunteering trip.)
Believe In Love, No Matter What
“I’ve had an amazing life, and I’ve had the good fortune to have some amazing people come into my life. Even the ones who were less easy or less traditional were important in making me the woman I am today. I’m very lucky for the relationships I’ve had. They have given me the muscle and heart to do what I do.”