Gal Gadot has reflected on the positive reviews for Wonder Woman and why the film’s reception was so important to her. 2017 has been a great year for the Israeli actress, as she became a household name – as well as the embodiment of female empowerment in the superhero genre – thanks to her role as Diana of Themyscira.
Wonder Woman is easily the most critically successful entry in DC’s cinematic universe to date, in addition to being one of its most lucrative. Having grossed a total of more than $820 million at the worldwide box office, director Patty Jenkins’ superhero film was highly praised by critics and fans alike for its solid story, as well as the cast’s great performances. However, while Gadot and her collaborators had a feeling that they were making something special early on, it wasn’t until the movie’s positive reviews started to pour in that it really began to sink in for Gadot.
In her year in retrospect with EW, Gadot admitted that she was incredibly nervous about what the reaction would be to her solo film as Diana Prince. Gadot had already been part of one big-budget franchise (having played Giselle in the Fast and Furious films) and had appeared on-screen as the Amazonian warrior in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, prior to her experience making Wonder Woman. Still, it was a great experience for her, when the film’s review embargo first lifted:
“I said, “It’s unbelievably amazing! I can’t believe this is happening to us right now!” And my daughter, who’s 6 now, and was part of the production — when you work so many hours [your children] come to set and become part of the circus. My daughter got so excited. My daughter asked me, “What’s happening, mama?” I told her: “People are liking the movie. See, if you work hard enough and you have good intentions sometimes in life people appreciate it.” And she jumped at me with teary eyes and said, “I’m proud of you mommy!” That was a moment I’ll never forget as a parent and a mother. It was a very special thing.”
Coming off two controversial DC movies in 2016, the pressure for Wonder Woman to succeed was immense. Still, Jenkins and the rest of the cast/crew involved powered through, delivering one of the best superhero origins movies to date. For Gadot, in particular, not everyone was thrilled when she was first announced to be the first big screen embodiment of Wonder Woman, but she proved her naysayers wrong by delivering a captivating performance that perfectly encapsulated Diana’s tough but compassionate character. The project was such a hit that Warner Bros. already has Wonder Woman 2 scheduled to arrive in 2019 (with Gadot and Jenkins both returning).
Beyond what it meant for DC’s own cinematic endeavor, Wonder Woman‘s success was celebrated all around the world as it proved that female superhero films can be a hit; it all just boils down to a proper narrative and execution. It also paved the way in terms of proper representation in a genre that is dominated by male heroes, while women are often portrayed as damsels in distress that need saving. In the film, Diana led the charge as she stayed motivated to fulfill her goal of stopping Ares without losing her sense of compassion and empathy. She inspires people of all ages, but most importantly young children (like Gadot’s own daughter) sending the message that kindness is never a weakness.