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Gal Gadot: ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel ‘intense, exhausting and physical’

Updated December 11, 2020 - 2:01 pm

Gal Gadot has a way of keeping people wondering.

During her first media interviews for 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” she not only escaped the movie star holding room, but she joined the reporters outside for a pancake breakfast.

What followed was shocking. Gadot swiped two cupcakes for later. “For my kids,” she said with a knowing wink because there wasn’t a child in sight.

Perhaps only the Golden Lasso would be able to force the carb truth out of Gadot, 35, who is in lean, mean, fighting form in the much-awaited “Wonder Woman 1984,” the sequel that revolves around a lonely Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.

Should she save the world or save herself and bring her man Steve (Chris Pine) back?

“I think the first film was the birth of a hero, but we go much deeper now,” Gadot says. “It’s also about the danger of greed, which is very relevant to the era.”

The film opens Christmas Day in theaters and on HBO Max.

Review-Journal: What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Gal Gadot: It’s spending time at a farm we like to visit with my family. We’re just breathing fresh air and I’m feeling the sun on my face. When I’m facing stress or life gets to be too much, I just like to get out in nature and breathe. It solves so many problems.

How are you feeling about the sequel to your 2017 film, which earned over $821 million?

It’s very overwhelming and exciting. We raised the bar and gave it everything we could because people were so invested with the character. People have been waiting for this one.

Describe teaming up again with director Patty Jenkins.

There is something about working with a director behind you, beside you and to guide you that will give an actress freedom to really let it all go and take the risks one can be frightened to take if she doesn’t have that kind of partner. I’m very grateful to have such an amazing director.

How has Diana/Wonder Woman changed since the first film?

We last saw her in 1919. She has lost her team members and she has been lonely. She doesn’t want to engage with people and make new friends in 1984. It’s just too painful because she knows these friends will discover that she doesn’t age. And these friends will eventually die. At the same time, she wants to be there to save the world. That is her true mission, but it’s a solitary one until something happens and someone from her past returns.

How did you get into shape for the costume?

You really have to commit to spending hours a day at the gym. The actual workout combines strength work, flexibility and cardio. I don’t like to do the same thing every single day or I’ll get bored. It’s more fun to mix it up. I also like to throw in Pilates and yoga. I like to challenge my body. There’s nothing like that feeling that you pushed yourself and got to the next level. As for the food, I try to eat healthy and focus on proteins and veggies. Some eggs and veggies for breakfast, and I do healthy things like avocado toast for a snack.

Is there an item from the 80s you wish you could get back?

Maybe my Swatch watch.

Describe doing the stunts in the film.

It was almost a year of shooting and so intense, exhausting and physical. We wanted a minimum amount of CGI (computer-generated imagery). Most of it is real people doing the real stunt whether it’s me or the stunt person. You have to prep and rehearse longer for scenes like when I’m flying through a 1980s mall on the Golden Lasso. When you see it in the movie, you can tell it’s the real deal — with lots of ballet moves on wires. It’s the hardest movie I ever did, but it was worth it.

The fight scenes are not typical.

We’re not women fighting like men. … When I fight, I’m saying, “This is how a woman approaches this situation.” It’s so great because women fight in a unique way.

What power would you like to have in real life?

Language. I’m Israeli. I’m not always great at English. I’m trying, so it’s all good.

Did you have an empowering role model such as Wonder Woman growing up?

I didn’t have Wonder Woman when I was growing up. I didn’t have the ability to see many strong female characters. And then you have a film like “Wonder Woman 1984,” which I know will provide a great role model. The new film opens with a young Diana doing Olympian games on her island. I had such an emotional reaction to that scene. For the first time, I didn’t feel like Gal the actress or the woman. I felt like Gal back at 8 years old watching another 8-year-old do something otherworldly. She was a girl doing something her way and she made those physical challenges her own. She didn’t try to act like a man. … That was the amazing part.

Do you realize the power of these films?

I get emotional just thinking about it. These movies tell women and men, boys and girls, and my own daughters (Maya, 3, and Alma, 9) that you can become someone. I like to say: If you think it, you can be it, and then you will become it. It’s Wonder Woman’s way and my way. The Golden Lasso is optional.

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