Gal Gadot felt 'privileged' to play Wonder Woman: 'I adore this character'
For more on the heroine, pick up Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman, featuring the cast and creators of the new film and the character’s long history, on sale now.
It doesn’t take superpowers to detect the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. When the two stars sat down on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank to discuss their new movie — directed by Patty Jenkins and also starring Connie Nielsen — the pair often finished each other’s sentences, breaking into uncontrollable laughter and clearly sharing an easy rapport and a mutual admiration. “We had a lot of fun together,” says Gadot.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY I’d love to hear your history with the character: when you were first introduced to her, how old you were.
GAL GADOT To be honest, I don’t remember the very first time I was introduced to this character. Wonder Woman is a household name. Growing up, I always knew of Wonder Woman. When the TV show with Lynda Carter was on, I was too young to watch it, but I always knew of Wonder Woman.
EW And Chris, what about you?
CHRIS PINE Yeah, my first experience with Wonder Woman was Lynda Carter. She, along with She-Ra, were probably my first two crushes — powerful women in skirts.
GG Men. That’s so typical.
CP Sorry, but that’s . . .
GG But Lynda Carter. So now I have a girl crush on her.
EW Did you feel any kind of weight or responsibility? This is the biggest female superhero that stands up with Superman?
GG You could say that I felt some pressure. I feel very privileged that I got the opportunity to portray such an iconic, strong female character. I adore this character and everything that she stands for and everything that she symbolizes. But of course this character is so big and iconic, and the expectations that all of the fans have for it are huge. Hopefully after they watch the movie they’ll be pleased.
EW Chris, can you describe your character and what it’s like to play a mortal opposite a superhero?
CP I am an American pilot who’s a spy. It’s like a boy’s dream: You’re either a spy or a fighter pilot. The first thing I wanted to be was a fighter pilot a long time ago. I wanted to be Goose [from Top Gun]. And I’m mortal, indeed that is very true. When I first read the script, it had elements of Romancing the Stone, kind of a very classic fish out of water. Two people that don’t really bond well at first and they’re butting heads and just fun, witty banter. I love being kind of the buffoon to Diana’s badassery.
GG He loved all the Amazons.
CP That’s true, I had a good time over there.
GG And Italy.
CP Italy. [Says with accent] I had a good time. Basically my job was falling in love with the beautiful Gal and try to make her giggle.
GG I couldn’t ask for a better partner to play with and to work with on this project. Chris is such a funny guy, and he made me feel comfortable the entire shoot. I was cold most of the time because I hardly wore anything, and he was really cold as well even though he had a jacket and stuff. And he made me giggle, which kept me very warm. No, but to be serious, he’s a very, very talented actor. It was a pleasure to spend all of this time with him, with you. It was a great adventure for both of us, I think. [To Chris] You better say yes.
CP Gal is this beautiful, positive spirit. She’s professional, she’s fun, she loves to laugh. It just made it very, very easy to fall in love.
GG Horrible. We hate each other.
CP We hate each other. And let me say, Gal, to her credit, was freezing. Freezing. Freezing. There was one day in the ending part of the film with this huge airfield, and it essentially sleeted. And there’s Gal and all of her long-legged-ness wearing nothing — not complaining at all.
GG Because I couldn’t talk. Honestly I lost my voice. I think I was going through hypothermia.
CP I was complaining the whole time. Not this one.
EW What is it like for you as a mother being a role model for young women?
GG I try not to think about being a role model; I try to be the best version of myself, period. For myself and for my daughter and for my family, friends. But I do love everything that Wonder Woman represents. She stands for love and compassion and acceptance and truth, and I think that those values are so important, especially nowadays with everything that’s going on in the world. I do believe that if each and every one of us had a little bit of Wonder Woman’s values, the world would be a better place.
EW Tell me about meeting Lynda Carter for the first time.
GG Wow, she’s stunning. First time I met with Lynda Carter was back in New York. After meeting her, it was completely clear to me why they chose her to be the first Wonder Woman. She is funny, and she has this bubbly personality. She immediately makes you feel comfortable. She’s super smart, very strong and opinionated but in a nice, soft way. Very confident, and she’s amazing. She’s Lynda Carter.
EW There are a lot of other strong female characters in this film. Chris, what was it like to be on-set with these powerful women?
CP We were shooting in Italy for like a month, and we’re on a beach with Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen — just beautiful women. All of the husbands would show up with the kids to support all of their wives, which I thought was this awesome flip of the script. It’s such a rarity to have that experience where all the husbands kind of had the kids in tow. It seemed really natural. Gal’s husband, Yaron, couldn’t be happier for his wife, super supportive. And Sam, [director Patty Jenkins’s] husband, is a killer guy too.
GG It was like this new-age kind of vibe. The women were working, and the men were walking around with strollers, and it felt like a huge kibbutz. And the women were shooting battles on the beach. Like from one extreme to the other — it was refreshing to be in such a reality.
EW What do you hope audiences take away from this film?
CP For me, one of the takeaways from meeting with Patty is this idea that in the end, it’s not this woman’s great superpowers that win the day — it’s really love and compassion. There’s a moment toward the end of the film that exemplifies that. I think this idea of empathy and compassion and love being a weapon is really important. There’s a deeper musical note happening here that I think if it touches some people out there, and they take it to heart, is very, very important.
GG To add more to what Chris is saying, I would also say that never give up and never lose hope. I think that even when we’ve been exposed to situations that are really far from who we are and different to our perspective, we need to have tolerance to one another and we need to accept different views. And we need to never, ever lose hope.