A full-length New York Times feature about “Wonder Woman,” the Warner Bros. flick starring Gal Gadot, spotlights an Israeli actress who can carry a superhero flick about a woman, emphasizing along the way messages of female empowerment and strength.
The film, set to be released June 2, is about Amazon warrior Diana Prince, born on the all-female island of Themyscira, and her mission to help save the world during World War One, during which she becomes known as Wonder Woman.
When asked if she felt the pressure of being the first actress in some time to star in a live-action superhero movie, Gadot laughed, reported The Times.
“When you put it like that, yes!” she said. “But at the end of the day, that can’t be something that drives me. I tried to focus on what is important for me; the heart of the character, and to deliver the best result in the most interesting way.”
It’s often mentioned that Gadot was a combat instructor in the Israeli army, and the article leads with a written description of Gadot on the film set:
Wonder Woman squared her shoulders, stared grimly across a war-torn desolation, then began to sprint, holding her shield high against a rain of bullets coming from German guns.
Gadot said that as the mother of two girls — she gave birth to her second daughter after making the film — she felt proud to play a superhero and offer viewers a new role model.
“We have seen so many male-driven stories, so the more strong, female narratives we have, the better,” she told The Times.
Gadot — described as “tall and rangy” — has also pushed back at fans who carp that her breasts are too small in comparison with the comic book drawings of the voluptuous, bustier-wearing Wonder Woman. She told The Times that she is frequently asked to reconcile her skimpy costume and the film’s message of female strength and confidence.
“I think as a feminist, you should be able to wear whatever you like!” said Gadot in the Times article. “In any case, there is such a misunderstanding of the concept. Feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal.”
Gadot, a relatively unknown actress, first won the part of Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and then the role in the standalone feature, directed by Patty Jenkins.
She told the Times that she was just about to go back to law school — a career path she began after finishing the army — after coming close too many times to winning roles, but not actually succeeding.
It was that first Wonder Woman role that clinched her decision to stay in the business.