Wonder Woman has been synonymous with Lynda Carter and her classic costume design ever since the DC heroine’s 1970s dazzled audiences – though her appearance wasn’t as beloved before the show made it to air.
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When the series was finally being prepped for production following two failed one-off pilots, producers actually predicted that Carter would not win over women in the audience, according to the actress herself.
They said back then, “‘women are gonna not like you because [of] the outfits and blah blah blah,’” Carter recently recalled to ComicBook.com.
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However, Carter, confident in her abilities and portrayal, said she disagreed. “I thought, ‘women are going to love me. They’re going to want to be me or my best friend because Wonder Woman is non-predatory. Wonder Woman is all of us.”
In her mind, Diana didn’t believe she was anything special among either the Amazons or regular people because they were all basically equal on Themyscira/Paradise Island.
“That’s what I wanted to bring more than anything was that she did not think of herself as all that, that she did not think of herself as that she was the ‘it’ girl because all of her sisters did the exact same thing that she did on Paradise Island,” Carter continued.
She added that, while Diana “excelled” and lived in “this other world,” she wanted her portrayal of the Amazonian Princess to convey how Diana “knew who she was.”
“And that’s the way I played her,” Carter explained of her character’s confidence. “That she knew who she was.”
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The concept of Wonder Woman’s identity and womanhood, as well as Carter’s contribution to those aspects through her time in the media, are being explored in a new short film by video artist Dara Birnbaum called Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978-79).
Commenting on the piece, Carter called Birnbaum “innovative” in her “commentary on various gendered expectations and that sort of thing.”
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“It’s strange when someone else interprets…something that you created and [has] their own artistic vision in a different way than it was intended,” She elaborated. “So that is what is fascinating to me, the intention of the art piece and art rather than just compilation.”
Carter then defined what makes Birnbaum’s short art that is both transformational and extraordinary or tried. “What makes it a piece of art is that it is what the juxtapositions mean and it’s a transformational piece, going from ordinary to extraordinary,” she said.
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If you’re curious to find out if you would agree with Lynda Carter’s impressed critique, Birnbaum’s film is screening at The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Or should you decide to stay home, you can stream the 1975-79 Wonder Woman series on HBO Max.
What do you make of producers’ initial wariness that female audiences may not like Carter’s Wonder Woman? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!