STACK chats with the stars and director of Wonder Woman ahead of the film’s release in cinemas on June 1.
If superhero movies aren’t exactly known for their subtlety, then actress Gal Gadot felt in good hands when Patty Jenkins, who directed Charlize Theron to an Oscar in Monster, was announced to helm Wonder Woman.
As Gadot debuted her Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in last year’s Batman v Superman under the direction of Zack Snyder, Jenkins was already in talks to take the character to the next level in her own standalone film.
“After Patty directed Monster, she always envisioned herself directing Wonder Woman, and when Charlize won the Oscar, the studios all came to her asking what she wanted to do next. She told Warner Bros. that she wanted to direct the next Wonder Woman,” says former Miss Israel, Gadot, 32, when STACK meets up with the 5’ 10” stunner in Los Angeles.
“Little did she know that several years later, she would. But Patty is so talented, she had a super clear vision on Diana Prince and her story, and how she wants to tell it.
“After spending so many hours and weeks with her, I couldn’t ask for a better director to work with on this. We became super close and had so many funny moments, as well as many deep moments when we were on set, just talking about life and having philosophical conversations.”
Jenkins’ Wonder Woman introduces a carefree Diana, Princess of the Amazons, living on an idyllic island of women. She will only become Wonder Woman after Chris Pine’s US spy, Steve Trevor, crashes near her island and she learns of the horrors of World War I raging in Europe.
Pledging to escort Trevor to England, she meets her destiny and finally becomes Wonder Woman as she stops to rescue women and children from the Germans in a hotly-anticipated scene, that has already been compared to the iconic moment when Superman first rips off his office shirt to reveal his signature ‘S’ costume beneath.
With so much pressure resting on Gadot’s shoulders, she tries not to let it get to her. “It’s all just noise and I don’t even think about that. Movies are stories, and I think that Wonder Woman’s story is very universal and beautiful, and works for both genders, so I think people will all be able to relate. I try not to exhaust myself overthinking about it, and just enjoy
STACK is joined by Gadot’s co-star Connie Nielsen, who plays Queen Hippolyta, who says making Wonder Woman was a groundbreaking experience for her. “For a woman to work with a female director – first of all, it’s rare for us, so there’s already this. And it does make me feel like, when I’m making creative decisions or I have ideas about the character, there is much more likelihood that the director will recognise those feelings or ideas as pertinent to the character, than many times when you’re positing an idea to a director who is not aware of any of those things. So it does make a big difference to me.”
As for the man in this world of women, Chris Pine insists he’s gender neutral. “I mean, she’s a human being, she’s great, she kicks ass, she’s a great director; she just happens to be a woman,” he grins.
It’s Pine’s onerous task to introduce Diana to the world of men and war. “Steve is a grave realist in terms of the depths of violence, and the chaos of war. And then he meets Diana, who’s new to the world of men, and has these high hopes about what humankind can achieve and do, and I guess the trajectory for us is that I learn a lot about hope and the positive potential of mankind, and she learns what it’s like to live in the real world, which is not all rosy and fantastical; it’s complicated. That’s the conflict between us two.”
Studio bosses are counting on Gadot’s Wonder Woman to be a box office knockout, having already completed Justice League – due for release later this year and also featuring Gadot, as well as Jason Momoa’s debut as Aquaman.