Gal Gadot, Israel’s most successful actress, spoke out about violence against women in Israel and about working with an allegedly abusive Hollywood director, in her first in-person TV interview since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the US franchise, told Channel 12 that violence against women is “a terrible epidemic that needs to be eradicated.”
“I am a mother to daughters, a woman myself, and I too have lost a relative and her two children. Hila Bachar was my dear and beloved relative. One day, her husband Michael just killed her and the two children,” the actress said, referring to a murder that took place in 2008.
Gadot later expanded on her experiences dealing with more toxic elements of Hollywood’s work culture — an industry the #MeToo movement exposed as predatory and abusive in 2017.
Gadot described how director Joss Whedon “threatened her career” when the two worked on the 2017 film “Justice League.”
“I had my issues with Joss and I handled it,” she told Channel 12. “He said if I do something (to change the character), he would make sure my career would be miserable, and I took care of it on the spot.”
Gadot’s comments follow a “Hollywood Reporter” article published last month that said the two openly clashed on set. In the report, sources shared that “the biggest clash… came when Whedon pushed Gadot to record lines she didn’t like, threatened to harm Gadot’s career, and disparaged ‘Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins.”
According to the report, “a witness on the production who later spoke to investigators says that after one clash, ‘Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.’”
Responding to the claims, Gadot told Hollywood Reporter in a statement: “I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner.”
Gadot’s “Justice League” costar Ray Fischer also accused the director of “gross, abusive, unprofessional” behavior on the set of the film, in accord with Gadot’s experience. Several actors from Whedon’s TV show “Buffy and the Vampire Slayer” have similarly accused him of abusive behavior, in February and April, according to several social media posts.
Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.
He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) July 1, 2020
In her Channel 12 interview, Gadot commented on recent rape allegations against Armie Hammer, who stars across from her in the film “Death on the Nile,” set to be released in 2022. Hammer was accused in March of violent rape and physical assault by a former partner of his, according to several reports. Los Angeles Police are investigating the allegation.
“It’s very complex,” said Gadot. “If the truth is that he did inappropriate things, then a person has to pay the price for his actions and take responsibility.”
Motivated by her hopes to empower women more broadly, the actress teamed up with her husband, businessman Yaron Varsano, to launch a docuseries about “real life Wonder Women” as part of the couple’s new production company.
Made in collaboration with National Geographic, the series, titled “Impact,” will focus “on a different hero who is a real woman, a hero from life. One who has an amazing impact on the community she comes from,” Gadot told the network.
“All of these women come from very complicated backgrounds and, despite everything, make amazing change.
“I want to show something good,” she said. “We live in such an age of evil and accusing fingers that I want to bring something pure to the world that will inspire.”