Gal Gadot

A lot of fun to be bad: Gal Gadot on trading in Wonder Woman boots to be villain on Netflix’s Red Notice

You’ve probably heard the news by now. Everyone’s favourite Wonder Woman has gone to the ‘dark side’.

It was reported last week that Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been cast as the Evil Queen in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Snow White.

But, that will not be her first brush with being a baddie as the 36-year-old Mediterranean goddess star is flexing her aptitude for villainous roles in Netflix’s new film Red Notice.

Speaking to regional media during a virtual press conference last Friday (Nov 5), Gal didn’t shy away from talking about being on the other side of the fence after kicking butt in Wonder Woman’s boots for the past five years.

In response to a question by AsiaOne, Gal said: “It’s actually a lot of fun [to be a villain]… As an actor, you want to be able to explore colours and different qualities in the characters that you play and this one certainly gave me this opportunity. I super enjoyed portraying the Bishop.”

Her co-star Dwayne Johnson chimed in and pointed out the rather meta casting news. He said: “Can we just take a moment now and talk about the Evil Queen on Snow White? Because that’s what she is going to play next.”

“Red Notice really opened up the appetite to play a villain. That’s the truth,” Gal added.

On Red Notice, Dwayne plays the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley who reluctantly partners up with art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) to apprehend the world’s most wanted art thief, the elusive Bishop (Gal).

Bishop’s schemes are a little too cliched in the film in our opinion, but it’s hard to miss that Gal really enjoys twirling that proverbial moustache and turning it up to 11 in this role.

Starstruck by Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot
And while the onscreen attraction between Hartley and Bishop is questionable at best, the trio have a longstanding friendship offscreen.

During a separate virtual press conference on the same day, Ryan said the three of them have a kind of “offscreen friendship and camaraderie” they tried to bring to the film.

“They (Netflix) wanted that on the big screen and they wanted that to transfer over to Red Notice and be a part of the DNA and fabric of the storytelling… If you come to dinner with Dwayne and I, you will see we quite literally talk to each other the way we talk to each other in Red Notice,” the 45-year-old Canadian actor shared.

Their interactions might be as close to real-life as possible, but Ryan revealed that his onscreen persona — that witty, fast-talking funny guy with quips ready to go — is “vastly different” from his actual personality.

In fact, it is a “defence mechanism” he created when he was younger to deal with his anxiety.

“My offscreen persona is actually vastly different [from my onscreen persona]. I think as a kid and as an adult, I’ve always struggled with anxiety. And the sort of fast-talking hyper-verbal, ironic kind of personality that I’ve manufactured for film really started as a defence mechanism when I was younger to kind of get through situations where I felt like I was ill-equipped to deal with something…

“It’s also something at a young age I wish I didn’t need but yeah, [the] real me is much, much different than that. I’m a lot more sensitive. I probably listen a lot better than the characters I play as well.”

Ryan was also very open about the fact that despite being in the industry for almost 30 years and one of the most popular stars in Hollywood, he still gets “a little bit starstruck” by his friends.

He said: “I’m also a fan of movie stars. And, you know, people don’t realise that just because I work in this industry, where I’ve been for almost 30 years now, I still get excited and geek out when Dwayne or Gal walks in the room.”

A good thing if you can surprise the audience
If there’s one thing Red Notice serves up in spades, it’s that there are many twists and Dwayne is confident the savvy audiences of today won’t see it coming.

The 49-year-old said: “I love the surprise. And that’s the thing too — if you could surprise an audience. Today, audiences are very savvy and they could call the movie generally, the movies that they watch. And the movies that we watch too, like, we can call them as they’re happening.

“But we were able to surprise the audience here and take them on a twisting journey that ended with a great surprise that they weren’t able to call.”

Gal added: “It’s so much fun to be able to get the viewer to be engaged with the story. I feel like by the second time people watch this movie, there are so many things and easter eggs they’re going to pick up.”

Red Notice is now streaming on Netflix.

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