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Wonder Woman flies back to the â80s
Gal Gadot takes viewers back to a vibrant and sleek era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all
STAR/ File

Wonder Woman flies back to the ’80s

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am

Hot off the heels of the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League which premiered exclusively on HBO GO, viewers in the Philippines will be able to stream or download Wonder Woman 1984 (WW 1984), first and exclusively from April 21 on HBO GO.

The next big adventure of Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot) finds her riding lighting across the sky, donning wings of gold, and chasing a dream while in pursuit of two formidable foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

Directed by Patty Jenkins, WW 1984 takes viewers back in time to the 1980s, where the fate of the world is on the line once again, and only Wonder Woman can save it.

Packed to the brim with bigger action and higher stakes, this new chapter in the Wonder Woman story finds Diana Prince living quietly among mortals in the 1980s — a vibrant and sleek era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. While she has come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile, curating ancient artifacts and only performing her superheroic acts incognito. However, Diana will have to step into the spotlight and muster all her wisdom, strength and courage to save mankind from a world of its own making.

Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman’s first love

The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Wonder Woman, the prequel to Wonder Woman 1984, is also available on HBO GO, along with other DC Extended Universe blockbusters including Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Man Of Steel, Suicide Squad, Shazam, Joker and Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Queen.

Stream or download Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom & Jerry (streaming starting June 4) on HBO GO. Download the app at the App Store or Play Store on your device. You can also access HBO GO via Cignal or at https://www.hbogoasia.com/. HBO GO can be accessed via Android TV, Apple TV, LG TV and Samsung Smart TV — and comes with AirPlay and Google Cast functionality.

Excerpts from an e-mail interview with the Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot:

What went through your mind when director Jenkins first talked with you about taking Diana into the 1980s?

“I loved it. I think that this decade is so rich and has so many beautiful things for us to leverage and enhance the movie. Visually and in terms of score and the use of music, I think that the ‘80s were a really memorable decade, and I loved that idea.”

The approach for you was a little different this time because you are a producer. How did that change for you as you dove into working on the film?

“You know, it was an amazing opportunity for me to really learn from the best. I do what I do out of passion and love for the arts and the craft. And even though I’m the one who, along with Patty, knows the character so well because I play her, there’s something so eye-opening in being involved in such a huge project from such an early stage, and being involved in the creation of the story, the visuals and the locations…all of those things. I’ve learned so much from Patty and from (producer).Chuck Roven, and now having my own production company, I find it very useful, so it was great.”

What is Diana’s life like when we meet her now?

“Well, the first movie was the coming of age of Diana becoming Wonder Woman and learning her powers and strength, and really the first time she was introduced to mankind’s world. She was the fish out of water, everything was so new to her.

“Now we meet her over six decades later, and she’s been around and obviously she’s much more mature and wiser, and she understands the complexities of humankind. But she’s also very lonely because she’s lost all of her team members throughout the years. And she’s been guarded and very private.”

It looks as though we get to see the almost human side of her, even though she’s not human, because she’s lived all this time away from the Amazons.

“Yes. The way that I approached this character from the get-go, from when I was first cast to play her, was to ask myself, ‘How do you play a superhero? How do you play someone who’s a demigod and has all those strengths and unbelievable powers?’ And what worked for me was making sure that I portray her as someone who, yes, has all of those crazy powers, but she has a heart that is human. She’s full of love and empathy and compassion, and she’s also vulnerable, and there’s something about this vulnerability that really helped me portray this character and make her accessible and relatable.”

Speaking of her vulnerability, in this film, she’s physically vulnerable in a way we haven’t seen before. Was that exciting for you to play?

“It was, definitely, because immediately the stakes were very high.”

And Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor. From the trailer, it looks as though your banter and chemistry are exactly what fans enjoyed so much in the first film. You guys just look like you’re having so much fun, and the characters of Diana and Steve have a great role reversal in this one. This time, he’s the fish out of water.

“Yes (laughs)! I loved the fact that Patty and (writer) Geoff Johns found a way to bring him back — which we can’t talk about — but it made me really happy. Chris was an integral part of the success of the first movie, and I really enjoy working with him. He’s a great partner. He always makes fun of me, and we always laugh together, and he brings the best out of me in many ways.”

And you have two great new villains in The Cheetah and Max Lord. Can you talk about your experience working with Kristen Wiig (Cheetah) and Pedro Pascal (Max Lord)?

“Oh, I loved both of them so much. I think that we got really lucky with the chemistry between all of us, including Patty. On set, there were many moments where each and every one of us is trying to deliver the best line to make everyone else laugh. And on our days off, we would get together almost all the time.

“It was like we went through this crazy summer camp together, but for eight months of shooting and four months of prep. And we were there for each other, we did this as a team, and I think it really shows in the movie. Even though Pedro and Kristen play the villains, I think that chemistry always shows, and it really helped all of us.”

It was nice that you had much time for bonding because you had to do so much training. The action scenes look really intense.

“Yes, when we shoot we give it 1,000 percent, we’re totally invested in the scene and in the moment as the characters, and so being in good physical condition is critical. And the scope of the movie is so big and there are so many very complicated shots that you get some down time between set-ups. So, between set-ups, we would usually go to my trailer and hang around and talk or train together.”

Was the physical training really tough, exhausting?

“Yeah, when I’m shooting these movies I’m in my best shape, because the production makes sure that we’re training with the best, and we have such an amazing support system there to make sure that everything we do is healthy, and we have time to recover.

“We’re being fed the right food. We have the best physiotherapists. We have the best trainers. So our bodies were very happy, even though it is hard; what you actually have to do is go and do the work in the gym and on set, but it’s totally worth it.”

How protected are you in the scenes that required wirework and stunt work; is your body as ready as it can be for that?

“Yeah, and the wirework was insane! For years, Patty and I have been talking about finding the right fighting style for Wonder Woman because usually when you go to superhero movies the protagonist is a man. And men fight like men. We all know how it looks, because you have WAW and WWF and all those things.

“For women, you have some examples as well, but you don’t get to see so much, so it’s not like it was completely clear, and Patty and I wanted to make sure that Wonder Woman looks and fights like Wonder Woman should.

“So, before we even started prepping for the movie, Patty and I went to see Cirque du Soleil, and we saw this piece where I was in tears, it was so beautiful and powerful. And Patty felt it was a great inspiration to how one woman should fight.

“So when we started prepping, we had this idea of how I needed to move and how everything should look. We had to build things that were essentially never built before because it was never done that way before. We had huge wire rigs that took months to build, but I think that what we managed to gain from it was a way for those fights to look so original and so powerful and at the same time, so graceful and elegant.”

And true to the character, because you always put her belief system into the way she fights. There are no low blows, she’s not fighting to kill; she’s fighting to move forward.

“Exactly.”

Speaking of fighting, in this film you wear the golden armor; what did you think when you first saw the designs for that?

“Well, when Patty and Lindy (Hemming, costume designer) showed me the sketches for the golden armor and how it looks in the comics, it blew my mind. It’s a truly iconic piece from a very important comic book artist, Alex Ross, and I felt so lucky that I was going to be the one to introduce this look in the movie. It’s very important to the story and to my character’s journey and her evolution. It was a long process to find the way to make it still very much practical and still be beautiful, because there’s a lot to it. But I’m very happy with the result and I hope the fans will be, too.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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