Casting Wonder Woman

It was for the role of Wonder Woman that the filmmakers felt perhaps the greatest responsibility when it came to casting. “Wonder Woman had just turned 75 years old, and we really felt it was time for her to grace the big screen,” declares Deborah Snyder. “She is one of the most powerful female heroes that we have, she symbolizes so much strength and passion, and she is a role model for women of all ages.”

So, no pressure, right?

“We searched all over the world, we looked at hundreds of actors for the role,” she continues. “When we met Gal Gadot, it was unanimous among us that she was special, that she personified Wonder Woman. And as we got to know her and saw how she interacted with everyone, we knew that she was the right fit. Wonder Woman represents love and truth and sexual equality. Gal really embodies those characteristics.”

BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Gadot’s first day on set as the heroine had an impact on everyone, especially one very young visitor—the niece of a crew member who had drawn a picture for Wonder Woman. “This sweet little girl gave me a beautiful picture she had drawn for me,” Gadot recalls, “and people just started to cry. It was very moving and it proved how important the character is. For little girls who can be inspired to be strong, independent and sophisticated women when they grow up and for little boys who learn they must respect women, Wonder Woman represents a lot of good values, and moral strength, too.”

Though her time in this film is somewhat brief, Gadot enjoyed bringing the Amazon warrior to life beside the iconic male Super Heroes. “She’s been around for a long time and she’s very wise,” Gadot observes. “She knows how to choose her battles and she can read a few steps forward. And there is a lot of difference between men and women in the way that we deal with conflict.”

Training for the film didn’t only apply to the men. Because the filmmakers were introducing both Wonder Woman and the mysterious Diana Prince in the film, they needed Gal Gadot’s physique to reflect the dual facets of the character. Having served in the Israeli army, the actress was no stranger to combat training. After discussing the role with the filmmakers, Twight says he trained Gadot with an eye to “develop the particular physicality of the character, who has to integrate into high society as well as being a total hitter when it comes to swinging the sword and battling the bad guys.”

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Mark Twight worked with Gadot for over nine months. “I noticed as she became more physically capable, her attitude changed from wondering about her ability to do the role to just knowing that she could sell this. That level of confidence was fascinating to watch develop, that she can be both beautiful and soft and caring when she needs to be and as hard as she needs to be to combat evil.”

Caro also put Gadot through her paces. “We did a lot of martial arts drills, working with her stances, footwork, punching drills, kicking drills, and so forth,” he says. “We mainly focused on her weapons training— specifically sword and shield.”

“Gal had to undergo such a rigorous training process,” Deborah Snyder adds, “yet she was always positive, always wanted to know what more she could do. Her commitment alone proved we really had our Wonder Woman.”

Catch Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Opens in cinemas 24 Mar 2016

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Singapore

© POPCulture Online 2016

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