We happened to stop by the Wonder Woman set during an especially trying period of production for star Gal Gadot. Nerdist and a group of reports visited the London-based production last February, just in time to see Gadot racing through battlefields and dodging bullets. Granted, what she was really doing was running on a treadmill in front of a green screen for hours, taking direction from Patty Jenkins to use Wonder Woman’s iconic bracelets to deflect imaginary rounds. Either way, it was a test of endurance.
“We’re going through some very, very, very intensive weeks,” Gal Gadot said on set. “Patty [Jenkins] was just saying, ‘They’re really testing to see if you’re the true, real Wonder Woman.'” Making the physicality of the role even more demanding was the temperature. “They decided to shoot the movie in London, which is fantastic. In winter, which is less fantastic, because we shoot outside–including nights,” Gadot explained.
Among the hardest tasks to pull off while wearing, as Gadot put it, “a short piece of rubber” included, “Running. Jumping. Needing to fight with all that.” So, pretty much everything. “The physicality of it is really challenging. But I like it, I enjoy it. It makes me happy after I do it right.”
Diana has her own fighting style in the film. Given her background on Themyscira, it makes sense for her to use methods that mix disciplines, so it’s not like hand-to-hand combat we’ve seen before. The stunt coordinators on the film have backgrounds in a variety of skills, so Gadot took something from each of them and made a new style. “Whoa, the training,” she said. “I did a lot of training. I did sword training, I did boxing, I did martial arts. I don’t even know what to call all the styles I’ve been taught. It’s a real mix.”
Wonder Woman’s obviously not limited to throwing punches. If anything, the character is more in favor of peaceful resolutions whenever possible–even if she was trained as a warrior. Growing up in Themyscira, she learned how to handle herself and as the only child in the land of the Amazons, she had a unique experience. “Diana is a very opinionated girl,” Gadot said. “She’s the special kid and she was nurtured by her mother and by her aunts and all of the women in Themyscira. Her mother is very opinionated. Her mother is very protective as well. They have the very natural clash that mothers have with their daughters the first time they want to leave home. It’s a very emotional moment. A very intensive moment. What I love about Diana is, in so many different points of this story, she has conflicts that every human being has. It’s easy to relate to her. She’s very accessible.”
Another of Diana’s key relationships in the film: that with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). With his experience in the world of humans, he brings a perspective Diana couldn’t tap into while she was home. Gadot explained, “I think that his character in comparison to Diana’s character, they’re very much yin and yang. He’s this realistic guy who’s been through a lot, and he knows what mankind is capable of doing. Diana is this young idealist who thinks that the world is very white, very pure. Mankind is only good. Once they get to know each other, he teaches her so much about reality and mankind and she brings back hope to his life.”
Wonder Woman is a coming of age story of Diana–a more naive and less mature version of the character we met in Batman v Superman. Gadot is excited to bring that story to the screen. She said, “I really, really love Diana. I love everything about her. I love the story. She has a heart of a human being, powers of a goddess and a very wise brain. She’s everything.”
Wonder Woman hits theaters on June 2, 2017.
Images: Warner Bros.