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'Wonder Woman': Lynda Carter Is Back

If there was one female superhero that many kids and adults can remember, it's Wonder Woman. She was the first to be marketed on a major level and Lynda Carter was the only one to play her on TV at a time when there wasn't so many channels, or programs. Carter was so famous that you can't think of the character without thinking of her.

But as soon as the show went off the air, so did Carter. A few movies on the small screen and brief appearances on events are all you got of her in the last 20 years or so. Now she's making a comeback, but on the big screen.

In the first of two major films coming out, Carter plays a principal of a high school for teens with superpowers in Walt Disney Pictures' superhero film "Sky High," and later this August, she will be featured opposite Jessica Simpson and Seann William Scott in Warner Bros.' action-comedy "The Dukes of Hazzard."

In the following interview, Carter talks about her fame as Wonder Woman and being in two of the year's most anticipated summer movies.

Question: Why do you think the Wonder Woman role was so iconic all over the world?

Lynda Carter: I think that it's cool. It's kind of humbling. I'm thrilled that 'Wonder Woman' and that character endures because every actor wants a role that has some positive affect and causes people to smile or have good memories. It doesn't just go away. It's been 25 years that it's been off the air and so it still surprises me when younger people recognize me or know my work. Those kinds of things just give me a tickle and listening to stories about what 'Wonder Woman' was, or that it was inspirational for women or they had my poster when they were fourteen. I hope that I have a body of work by the time that I'm done with all of this that I'm proud of. Certainly the cornerstone will always be Wonder Woman and I love her. But I don't think that it is me. I really think that it's her.

Q: Do you feel like an authority on superheroes?

Carter: Definitely. I was one of the first and I get it. When I got 'Wonder Woman' I made a decision that I wanted to discover who she was, not what her powers were, or whether it was a Nazi or whatever kind of bad guy there was, but really who she is.

In reading all the research and how they came up with the character way back in the '40's, it was to give girls their own hero so that it wasn't just Batman and Superman that were out there during World War II. She just really saw a need like so many women do and I've discovered that the archetype of Wonder Woman really lives in all of us. She had the goddess within. It's who we really are. That secret self that yearns to be out.

Q: What were you doing between "Wonder Woman" and now?

Carter: I did from one to four projects maybe in a year. Maybe in an 18-month period I didn't work, like after kids or something, but I've always done one little thing. It might not be seen very much like on cable or an independent film, something like that or I've been studying or something. I did two series that just never went anywhere and I have two kids.

Q: You play a principal in "Sky High." What's your take in the character?

Carter: I really like to play against what is expected, so I didn't want to act like a typical principal. In the script she's your basic, conservatively dressed principal but I thought instead, she should be very sharply dressed and wearing stilettos and just larger than life. These super-kids are not easy to deal with, so [director] Mike Mitchell really liked the idea of having her be this real intimidating force of nature that the kids can't help but respond to.

Q: What do you play in "Dukes of Hazzard?"

Carter: It wasn't in the original TV series, but I play a friend of the family. Boss Hogg sort of lusts after me and Burt [Reynolds] can do a great sturdy old man, I'll tell you and then you don't know quite what the relationship is with Willy [Nelson] and my character. You're not quite sure and where he kisses me got cut out of the movie.

Q: There's always talk about doing a "Wonder Woman" film. Who would you like to see cast in that role?

Carter: I've been asked this question a lot today and everyone wants to know this. I really think that it has to be someone who is not famous. Not necessarily someone who is inexperienced, but twenty and fresh and with what I hope for that she connects. That she gets it. That you can't play a superhero; that you have to play the human being. You have to play the person. The costume and the special FX take care of all that stuff. You have to work at what's going on inside.

You know what, look at the 'Indiana Jones' movie, you loved him because that's kind of the way you would react if the boulder was coming towards you or if your dad was treating you like a child again. That's why 'Spider-Man' was so successful or 'Star Wars,' particularly the original ones where as things are happening to you you're reacting and without this kind of posturing.

("Sky High" opens across the Philippines on August 17, to be followed by "The Dukes of Hazzard" on August 31.)











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