Critics have been harsh on Gal Gadot ever since she was announced to play the most recognizable heroine in history, and that’s to be expected. This is going to be the first time Princess Diana of Themyscira is going to be featured on the Silver Screen, so fans want her done justice. Gal has not taken this criticism lying down, though, and has responded to what she obviously feels are attacks on her appearance. Is she correct, or is this outcry warranted? Read on to find out.
Casting is always difficult when your film is centered around a series with a huge fanbase. Terrible casting, now matter how amazing the writing or directing may be, can wreck your production before it gets off the ground. Gal was definitely a contentious choice, and the push-back from the fans got a bit rough. This obviously has nothing to do with Gal personally, but when comic fans are consistently ignored in blockbuster flicks just to accommodate the mainstream audience, eventually you’re going to back them into a corner and they’ll feel they have to be rougher to make their voice heard. Megan Fox being cast as April O’Neill in the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie made waves in nerd culture, and for good reason. Look at Fox, she obviously doesn’t even slightly resemble the New York reporter fans enjoyed in the comic or animated series. So what’s the gripe this time? Apparently, fans are upset by her body. They say she’s far too thin to play the Amazon warrior, and that her breasts aren’t large enough. Gadot told Robot Underdog:
“…they said my head was too big and my body was like a broomstick – I can take anything. It’s just empty talk. I understand that part of what I’m doing means being exposed. And part of being exposed is being under fire.”
Very cool that she doesn’t let criticism get to her. However, in this case, the fans may be right. While the bust shouldn’t really factor in, Wonder Woman stands at 6’0”, 6’2” in high boots or heels, and is 130 lbs., while Gal Gadot is 5’9′, 110 lbs. While this may not seem like a severe difference, there’s no arguing that Gal Gadot does not exude power. Wonder Woman is big, muscular, nearly as tall as any of the guys, and, being an Amazon, is supposed to be large and intimidating. Gadot might, objectively, be far too small. She also looks quite young, and while Wonder Woman’s age is a bit fuzzy (anywhere from 23 in the current run, to 89 in other novels/series), she definitely exudes wisdom and looks older than Gadot by…well, a lot. But let’s not forget, there have been casting choices that looked awful on paper that turned out to be incredible. Heath Ledger’s Joker didn’t have a trace of Heath Ledger, and, because he totally lost himself in the character, he amazed everyone. Ben Affleck still seems like a shaky choice, but he could easily be one of the best Caped Crusaders to ever grace the screen. It could all come down to how it’s played. It may not seem promising now, but solid characterization and clever camerawork could bump the whole project up a notch. After all, she seems to be a fan of the character, as she later stated in the interview:
“Playing Wonder Woman is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t describe to you how much I wanted to play this character without even knowing I wanted to play her. I met a lot of people from the industry in LA for meetings. They always asked me ‘what’s your dream role?’, and I never could define it… I don’t want to play a damsel in distress that needs to be saved. I don’t like it when women in the movies are shown as the victims. I always thought that if I could send out a message, I want to show the strong side of a woman and how she can handle tough situations. I get to play the strongest most empowering woman ever – Wonder Woman. I’m so grateful and I thank God every day. I want to devour it and enjoy every bite.”
It’s good that she understands the depth of a character like Wonder Woman, and if she’s bringing that passion to the role she may be able to pull it off. Do you think she was the right choice? Or will the character fall flat?