‘Mortal Engines’ star Hera Hilmar wears her heroine’s controversial scar proudly

Who is that mysterious masked woman in “Mortal Engines”? For Hera Hilmar, the Icelandic actress playing Hester Shaw, she’s a disfigured protagonist who’s picture-perfect for the current state of Hollywood.

Hester has a tragic backstory that left her emotionally and physically scarred, was raised by a half-human/half-machine “stepdad” after her mother’s murder, and is a vengeful assassin when audiences meet her. “What I found really cool is that’s basically our hero,” Hilmar says.

Review: Peter Jackson’s ‘Mortal Engines’ dazzles with spectacle, falls flat with character

First photos: It’s city-eat-city in Peter Jackson’s ‘Mortal Engines’

Produced by Peter Jackson, the new action-adventure “Mortal Engines” (in theaters Friday) features a civilization wiped out by a cataclysmic event and reborn on wheels, with predator cities like London gobbling up other moving towns for resources.

Hester tries to kill the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death, powerful London archaeologist Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), and a botched assassination leads to a reluctant friendship with nerdy historian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan).

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