Gal Gadot knows when a special occasion calls for self-deprecation. During her speech at the annual ELLE Women in Hollywood event, where she was one of several actresses honored, she began her speech by singing the first few words of “Imagine” by John Lennon—a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the much-criticized video she made with other celebs during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
But she turned the tone around almost instantly when she brought up the stereotype of the so-called “Hollywood diva.” “We’ve all heard stories about the Hollywood diva, all of us, and I must say that I’ve been doing this long enough and I’ve never met her,” Gadot said. “I feel like she’s this mythical creature—because of all the women I’ve worked with, from cast to crew to production office, have been the most hardworking and grounded professionals who are focused on making the best entertainment possible. On top of that, many women—for many of them—the set is just the first shift of the day. A lot of us are also mothers and caretakers.”
The Death on the Nile actress later explained that she still feels as though she—and many actresses like her—must have it all, be it all, and never take a moment to enjoy their success. “We push ourselves hard because things must get done,” she said. “We’re not driven; we are the drivers. I so admire how devoted women are to both their careers and their home lives. We are so amazing we hardly have any time for ourselves…What I’m trying to say is that we don’t feel like we can let go because we’re not there yet. Still, for me, I don’t take anything for granted.”
This includes her treatment by Hollywood writ large. The actress, who first earned major attention for her role as Wonder Woman in the DC Comics films, opened up about her interactions with Justice League director Joss Whedon during her cover interview with ELLE. When asked about comments she made to Israeli TV, including how Whedon “threatened my career and said if I did something, he would make my career miserable,” she elaborated, “You’re dizzy because you can’t believe this was just said to you. And if he says it to me, then obviously he says it to many other people. I just did what I felt like I had to do. And it was to tell people that it’s not okay.”