Back in 2017, there was a lot riding on Wonder Woman. Not only was the movie the Amazonian princess' first starring role in live-action since the Lynda Carter TV series in the '70s, but it was also the first major female-led superhero film to hit theaters in over a decade — and the first big-budget superhero movie directed by a woman. Wonder Woman ended up changing the whole course of the DC Extended Universe, but before the film hit theaters, people didn't know what to expect.
That included star Gal Gadot, who has brought Diana Prince to life in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Wonder Woman (while pregnant, no less), and the upcoming sequel Wonder Woman 1984. Yes, she's just as surprised about that as you are. “I'm the star of the movie, I've read all the drafts, and I thought that I was ready to see anything,” Gadot said at a Wonder Woman 1984 press conference.
But she wasn't. “When I saw the opening sequence [of Wonder Woman], the reaction I had, I just didn't expect to have,” revealed Gadot. “I got so emotional. For the first time, I didn't feel like I was Gal the actress, [or] Gal the woman. I felt like Gal the eight-year-old, watching another eight-year-old doing something otherworldly and being so good at it.”
She further explained, “I wasn't lucky enough to see many Wonder Women-type characters when I was growing up. […] I didn't have the opportunity to see all of these strong female characters.” And so, for Gadot, watching Diana and the other Amazons up there on the big screen, kicking butt while preaching about love and acceptance, was a watershed moment. “They do it like women would do that. It's not when you see women try to fight like men. No, we're females. Our bodies are different. The way we move is different. And this is how we do it,” said Gadot. “To see it, it was so great.”
In that sense, Gadot wasn't alone — and she knows it, too. “I realized the power of these movies. I'm a big believer that when you see it, you think you can be it, and then you become it,” she shared. “Seeing the way that it affects my daughters — but by the way, also boys and men, and all different types of people — it's so powerful, and it's so strong, and I feel very grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of this.”