12:29pm PT by Kirsten Chuba
Gal Gadot Surprises Student With 'Wonder Woman' Scholarship at THR's Women in Entertainment Event
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has been vocal about her passion for inspiring young women, and on Wednesday morning she furthered that goal in the form of presenting college scholarships. The actress presented a Wonder Woman scholarship from Warner Bros. during The Hollywood Reporter's 2017 Women in Entertainment breakfast, held at Los Angeles' Milk Studios.
"I’ve had the privilege of portraying a superhero onscreen, but the young women here today are the real superheroes," Gadot said at the event. "They’ve overcome so many challenges in their lives, and they’re driven to do more. They’re the true leaders of tomorrow."
This was the first time Warner Bros. has offered the scholarship, which is a four-year full-ride to Loyola Marymount University. The scholarship was awarded to a young woman named Carla, who started at the university a few weeks ago.
"She’s strong-minded, opinionated and gutsy. She wants to be a screenwriter, and she’s already impressed everyone who knows her — her fellow mentees, her professors and everyone in this room who’s met her," Gadot said. "She won’t be able to continue at LMU without this funding. Similar to many other great young women in this program, her education is hanging by a thread."
Carla, whose mentor is Mandeville Films exec Laurie Zaks, was surprised by Gadot's appearance and had the crowd laughing when she took the stage: "I knew something was up! Y'all are sneaky."
After thanking her parents, Carla said, "All I can think about right now are how many papers I have to write for my finals, and now I have to do it because of this!" She wrapped up her speech with a Frida Kahlo quote, "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?," and said she was lucky to "be told from a young age that I have wings." Gadot wiped away tears while Carla spoke, with much of the room also getting emotional.
Justin Timberlake also took part in the presentation, announcing scholarships for THR's highly competitive Women in Entertainment Mentorship program and three full-ride scholarships also to LMU.
Also at the event, Jennifer Lawrence received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, presented by Lansing; Amy Pascal was honored with the Equity in Entertainment Award; Sarah Silverman delivered the opening remarks; and Angelina Jolie gave the keynote speech.
The VIP event was sponsored by American Airlines, Fiji Water, Forevermark, Gersh, eOne, SAG-AFTRA and Loyola Marymount University in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.