You first saw her in 2004 as Maria in the film adaptation of Friday Night Lights, but today, Amber Heard is taking on a bigger role — and not just in Hollywood. While she’s starred in hit movies like Aquaman and Justice League, Heard is also a vocal activist for human rights; in 2018, she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which she urged Congress to strengthen the Violence Against Women Act, citing her own experience as a public figure who speaks out about domestic abuse. (In 2016, Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp, a process that included a domestic violence restraining order.) Heard sees her activism as a point of connection and dialogue. “I have great relationships with people involved in politics, cultural conversations, and directors and producers — people I’m working with, and want to work with, and want to change the world alongside,” she tells Thrive Global.
Here, some highlights from Amber Heard’s Thrive Diary, in which she shares everything from how she thrives when life hits her with a “sink or swim” moment to the advice she’d give her younger self.
What are three things you couldn’t Thrive without?
I don’t thrive without inspiration, challenge, and purpose. For example, when I chose not to hide that I was in a relationship with a woman. It was just not something anyone talked about. I remember sitting in the car hyperventilating and asking myself: How do I know it’s right? Because it’s true and it’s the right thing to do. And so, for me in that moment, I couldn’t possibly have seen any positive effect of making that decision. I had every reason to believe what everyone told me, which was that it would ruin my career. By the way, I’m still working. I’m still living my life. I had a beautiful relationship. I don’t regret a minute of it, not a second of it.
People think I’m ______, but really I’m ______.
People think I’m: insert every adjective imaginable — mostly negative. Insert, pick anything. But I am… actually yes, all of those things. I am a jumble of many, many, many things — a collection of good and bad.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
I leave the phone at home. I find that when I’m feeling overwhelmed in that moment of my life, those tend to be the periods in which I will lose my phone, and then not replace it for a while, or longer periods of time, or break it and not fix it for longer periods of time than not, which tells me, I think, there’s some intuition there in just knowing that there is a certain amount of self-care and self-focus that needs to be put on yourself.
What is your advice to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to be called a bitch.
Who do you follow on Instagram that helps you Thrive?
I’m so inspired by Amanda Nguyen, who has Rise. She’s working on all these things for human rights by way of securing civil rights for sexual assault survivors, but it goes beyond that. It starts there and moves to basic human rights that women all over the world don’t have the privilege of enjoying.
What’s the most challenging thing in your life right now?
The biggest challenge for me, actually, is having enough time for my relationships.
What’s a negative thought that holds you back? And how do you overcome it?
The most poisonous thing is “I’m not good enough.” What if I fail? What if I f*ck it up? It prevents you from taking risks and challenges. It prevents you from getting that gift that failure or hardship gives you that you can’t enjoy or see until you have distance on it. You’re robbing yourself of that when you try to protect against it.
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