From the inauguration of Donald Trump to the horrifying revelations about Harvey Weinstein and other alleged sexual predators, Hollywood, like the rest of the world, could not escape the barrage of often shocking daily news. In the midst of all that noise, some strong, positive voices emerged, and, happily, many of those voices were female. Last June, Wonder Woman, starring the glorious Gal Gadot, broke worldwide box office records. The film, which was directed by Patty Jenkins, brought women, young and old, to tears when Wonder Woman takes over the battlefield. As 7-year-old Brooklynn Prince, the irresistible star of The Florida Project, a gritty look at the dark side of the American dream, told me, “I started crying because Wonder Woman shows that you don’t need help from a man to be who you want to be or do what you want to do.” It was a message that echoed throughout the year's best performances.
Here, Gadot talks about how playing Wonder Woman has changed her perspective, and what it was like to see people dressed like her character on Halloween.
I always ask people what movie made them cry y, and recently everyone has been saying the scene in Wonder Woman where you say, "I can do it." What was the most emotional scene for you to film?
That's the thing with this movie, and the mere fact that we didn't have it growing up. I remember so many movies when men are like super leading, and confident, and they know what to do, and they can, and I remember when I was watching the movie, I got so emotional on the battlefield scene, when you see all the women ride the horses, and twirling the-their swords, and looking so strong, and beautiful, and royal, and capable. And I got so emotional, and I didn't understand why. It was the beginning of the movie, I know where it's going, and then I was talking about it with my husband when we got back home, and I was like, "You know, what's the thing is that you can never understand, 'cause you're a man. But when I was growing up as a woman, as girls we didn't have this image of ourselves, a version of ourselves that is so strong, and mighty, and capable." And all of the sudden, I saw it, and it threw me off.
What was the moment that you knew you made it?
I think that my moment was actually when we went to New York, and we saw Times Square and it was covered with posters of Wonder Woman. I could not believe [it]. I've been to New York so many times before, and I've been to Times Square so many times before, and all of a sudden, to be on Times Square, that was a moment.
Did you go trick-or-treating on Halloween? How many Wonder Woman costumes did you see this year?
Wow, a lot. We went for the trick-or-treating, and I had this huge mask, so I could see everyone, and just walk normally. I was fanning over them. You know what I mean? Whenever we saw a Wonder Woman costume, girl, woman, boys, it was so cool. I was like, "Oh my god, did you see?" And my daughter ran to me, and she kept on pointing out Wonder girls and Wonder Women, it was really, really exciting.
What did your daughter go as?
She was a unicorn zombie. Talk about really good costumes. [Laughs]
Did you make her costume?
No, we bought the unicorn one, and then I wrapped her up with gauze. I did the makeup, and everything. It was fun.
What was your favorite Halloween costume that you've ever worn?
The queen of night, the night queen. It was a black princess-y dress with tons of stickers that I glued all over m-myself of stars and moons, and stuff like that. I was seven.
What was your very first red carpet outfit?
Ugh, it was awful. Um, a purple, literally napkin, a purple, squared, um, uh, strapless dress, awful. It was for Fast & Furious 4. Awful. Awful. Really, ugh.
What’s the best advice your mother gave you?
When I was pregnant with my older daughter, from doing so many auditions, and not getting anything, I got pregnant and all of the sudden, got offers. And I got this audition, and that audition, and work started to come my way. But I couldn't do any of it, 'cause I was very pregnant. And I remember talking to my mom, and she said, "This is just the way of the universe to show you that this is more important than anything else," which is very true.
Watch: Gal Gadot Explores ASMR with Whispers, Knives, and Snacks