As I posted a few days ago, haters criticized Gal Gadot had been cast as Cleopatra, because she is supposedly not Middle Eastern and – to some – not attractive (!) Of course, underlying these criticisms is antisemitism, so it is no surprise that among those to join the chorus of hate is infamous online Jew-hater “Syrian Girl”
In a case of good timing, Vanity Fair has published a piece on Gal, written before this latest brouhaha, which I am sure these haters will…hate. Read the whole thing – it paints Gal as a wonderful woman indeed – but I’ll just leave these excerpts here.
In a conversation touching on feminist themes, it’s hard to know how, or if, to say just how beautiful she is.
“Gal is someone whose primary focus is doing good with her character, and that is such a special thing, to have a Wonder Woman like that in the role,” says Jenkins, who calls Gadot her best friend. “She’s not looking for glory or fame—she’s always asking, What can we do with this that will be good for the world?”
When I emailed Chris Pine, who plays Wonder Woman’s love interest, the intelligence officer Steve Trevor, in both films, asking him why he thought audiences so embraced Gadot in the role, he replies: “My understanding of Wonder Woman is that she is love incarnate: fierce, strong, compassionate, and uncompromising. That is Gal.”
“Gal was a tremendous talent from the start, but I have to say, her acting skills have exploded,” says Jenkins. “She’s just one of the best actresses working now. I remember when she rounded the corner [in that scene] and walked in, there was such a complexity of warmth and generosity on her face. I was looking at her and thinking, Wow, she’s so stunning—it’s like she came out of a comic book, right off the page, like you couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful—and yet she exudes this complex wisdom.”
Annette Bening, who costars with Gadot in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Death on the Nile, agrees that Gadot has acting talent that is both untapped and underdiscussed. “She’s become a star because of Wonder Woman but she is a very fine actress,” Bening says. “Of course Wonder Woman is so delightful, and she has all the strength, but Gal also has a lot of other things in her, and she’s capable of doing a lot of different roles, which I’m sure she will do. When someone is that good-looking, people often underestimate them, especially when it’s a woman; people can’t conceive that they could be as intelligent as all that and people get jealous and are competitive.”
The company’s first project, a series for Apple about Hedy Lamarr, will star Gadot as the gorgeous Hollywood actress and a scientific genius who pioneered the technology that laid the foundation for WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth. “Ooh, Hedy Lamarr,” says Bening when I mention it to her. “Gal is perfect for that.”
Oh, and they’ve also released this video of Gal teaching HEBREW slang.
Sounds pretty Middle Eastern to me.