Wonder Woman is proving to be an unstoppable juggernaut both here and abroad. The Patty Jenkins-helmed film has, in two weeks of release, grossed an astounding $205 million domestically, and $435 million globally. There are plenty of reasons for that titanic success, although a large part of the credit goes to Gal Gadot, the 31-year-old Israeli actress whose performance as the DC Comics heroine has earned universal raves from fans and critics alike. It’s worth reminding new Wonder Woman fans that part of what makes Gadot’s turn even more remarkable is the fact that, for a segment of the production, she played the Amazonian warrior while pregnant.
Gadot’s daughter Maya — her second child with husband Yaron Varsano — was born in March, and Gadot, 32, was five-months pregnant with her when she had to return to London for reshoots on Wonder Woman in November of last year. That bombshell was first dropped by EW in April, during a conversation in which Gadot spoke about the difficulties of wielding a sword with a burgeoning baby bump, which was hidden in a clever way: A triangle was cut out of the front of her Wonder Woman costume and replaced with a green cloth, which was then digitally altered in post-production. “On close-up I looked very much like Wonder Woman. On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog,” Gadot told EW.
Jenkins, for one, was intensely impressed by Gadot’s commitment. “She’s pregnant during part of the movie, in a suit out in a field in the freezing cold in others. There are so many things we asked her to do: Now do it on one foot. Now shout while you’re doing it. Now it’s raining in the freezing cold and you’ve lost your voice, go. Everyday it was a hilarious gauntlet and she would do it.”
As a recent Marie Claire feature notes, Gadot was also pregnant during production of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yet on Zack Snyder’s tentpole, she hid it from everyone, even in the middle of nausea and migraines. “I gutted it out,” she remembered. “I started to come to set with sunglasses. I had this jug of water with huge pieces of ginger. One of the producers kept on asking, ‘Why are you drinking that potato water?’ They thought I’d gone Hollywood.”
Gadot isn’t the only comic-book icon to have been faced with such a production hurdle: Scarlett Johansson had to complete work as Black Widow on Avengers: Age of Ultron with the aid of stunt doubles and some clever CGI, after she learned she was pregnant with her daughter Rose Dorothy Dauriac. Which, in the end, confirms that the extraordinary feats pulled off by Hollywood’s superheroines aren’t just movie magic; they’re the result of some tough leading ladies.
Watch the interview with Gal Gadot: