For many movie-goers this year, Wonder Woman was a powerful viewing experience - especially those in the audience who identified as female. Indeed, when people were asked to reflect on their favorite movie moments from 2017, the "No Man's Land" sequence was one of the most frequently-listed - not simply as one of the most powerful scenes from a superhero movie but any film, ever.
As it turns out, even the actress behind the Amazon hero had a similarly emotional experience when she had the opportunity to watch the film for the first time. In sitting down with fellow actor Kumail Nanjiani for Variety Studios' "Actors on Actors" series, Gal Gadot reflected on her backstory with the character of Wonder Woman - first on being cast in the role that debuted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and went on to lead her own movie, and then relating to Diana as a powerful female role model.
For Gadot, it was watching the first battle between the Amazons and the Germans who had stumbled upon the peaceful shores of Themyscira that spurred a surprisingly affecting response from her.
"It was the first time for me — as a woman, a girl, a female — that I saw an image of strong women that are beautiful and confident and can take care of themselves," Gadot said. "I was shocked by it, and then I was more shocked by the fact that I never saw anything like that."
The conversation also turned to the current goings-on in the film industry, in which several top executives have been named in allegations of sexual assault and harassment - and in Gadot's mind, it means that narratives like Wonder Woman are even more important for young audiences to see on the big screen:
"With everything that’s going on in Hollywood and sexual harassment, there’s always the women empowerment conversation. But there cannot be women empowerment if women don’t have this visual in their subconsciousness, and if men don’t have it either. It’s important for boys and men to see that a woman can be super great."
Considering the enduring success of Diana of Themyscira's solo film - which has shot to the top of several box office records and made a name for itself in the superhero genre as a whole - it seems as if the world was more than ready for the female representation found in Wonder Woman. The only question now is: when are we getting that sequel, again?