[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman.]
Wonder Woman has finally hit theaters — and there’s a lot to say about the Patty Jenkins’ superhero movie. Few know Wonder Woman better than voice actress Susan Eisenberg, who has voiced the superhero since 2001. She was in the audience for the film’s emotional Hollywood premiere, and breaks down the pic’s many applause-worthy moments (and that heartbreaking ending) here with Heat Vision editor Aaron Couch.
Aaron Couch: What was your short take-away after walking out of the premiere?
Susan Eisenberg: Family. Action. Love.
Couch: I think a lot of people felt that. I was impressed with how well Gal Gadot played Diana as an innocent on the island — someone who hasn’t seen war or what the world of man is capable of. Themyscira was hard to pull off well, and they totally nailed it — especially Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen in the limited screen time they had.
Eisenberg: The WWI backdrop didn’t affect me one way or another, but the scenes on Themyscira, especially with Antiope and Hippolyta, were very moving! When Diana says goodbye to her mother, and when Antiope gets murdered, I felt the heartbreak in it.
Couch: Speaking of heartbreak, people complain that love interests in these movies aren’t the strongest, but to me it was a huge plus to the story.
Eisenberg: Loved the relationship between Diana and Steve. Their relationship felt like a throwback to earlier films that featured a fun, sexy couple who loved and fought equally hard. In the scene where she walked in on a naked Steve, her expression and eyebrow-raise said it all. It was adorable and charming, and it gave the audience the lighter fare that fans have been clamoring for in their superhero films. And when she’s in the alley and protects Steve from the Germans, that was terrific.
Couch: In these movies, a character’s death often doesn’t mean much. They’ll inevitably return … or maybe you didn’t care that much about them in the first place. But you really felt the loss of Steve in this. It felt permanent and it was for a good purpose. I loved how Chris Pine played it. In his final moments, he’s laughing and happy and can’t quite believe his luck that he’s able to save the day. And the camera really lingers on his face before his death, giving him a good sendoff. The only real complaint I have about the movie is the final battle, which as others have said, does fall into the trap many of these movies face with your hero engaged in CGI-heavy battle. But the excellent Steve Trevor sendoff helped make up for it. Overall, what did you think about Wonder Woman in action?
Eisenberg: Any time the WW music cue would play, and Diana would go into action mode, I got chills. Seeing her doing all of her Diana moves that have now become so iconic was electrifying to me, and to the audience. Applause erupted each and every time.
Couch: I suspect there were a lot of misty eyes in the audience during the no-man’s land battle scene. When you talk about an origin story — that’s the moment she becomes Wonder Woman, and I’m not sure there’s ever been a better introduction scene for any superhero. What stands out to you in terms of what Gadot’s performance, the writing and directing brought to this interpretation of Diana?
Eisenberg: Diana’s vulnerability. This film gets that so right! She isn’t a master … she is learning on the job, if you will, and the audience gets to see her evolve both physically and emotionally, and that was stunning to behold!
Couch: The interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of my all-time favorite things in the movie world. But it was cool that Wonder Woman really felt like a stand-alone — save for a few Bruce Wayne references. There was no post-credits sequence, and it’s exciting to think that Diana is going to get to explore more stories before Superman or Batman are even born in her sequels. Where should those go?
Eisenberg: Agree with you about it being a stand-alone Diana movie as opposed to part of a Trinity, or a larger universe. As for the sequel, I think WWII is the perfect fit because the contest of Good vs. Evil is so blatant.
Couch: At the premiere, you were there, as were Gadot and Lynda Carter, and I was curious how it was watching the movie for all three of you. Literally no one has spent more time in Diana’s head than you, just because of the number of years you’ve been playing her. Did you at all feel like you were watching yourself onscreen?
Eisenberg: Watching myself? Interesting, it all felt so familiar to me, especially Themyscira, the scenes with her mother, and, of course, some of the dialogue, but at the same time, I was very caught up in watching Gal become Wonder Woman, which we got to see. When she decided, no matter what, she was going to save those children, she became Wonder Woman!