“The Women Who Kick Ass” panel at San Diego Comic-Con was stocked aplenty with great women who are also great at butt kickin’. They came to discuss women in media, they came to talk about the future roles for females in the genre medium, and they came to tell stories about Gwendoline Christie punching the Hound in the crotch.
Actresses Christie (“Game of Thrones”), Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”), Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who”) and Kathy Bates (“American Horror Story”) gathered together in Hall H on Saturday for a panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Sara Vilkomerson. And the topics ranged from the women who were inspirations for each of the panelists, some unexpected truths behind their stunt scenes and how the golden age of television is providing more avenues for women to be portrayed as complex characters.
For fans who are eager to know more about Gadot’s turn as Wonder Woman in the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the Israeli actress shared her feelings on the surrealness of strapping on the new, warrior-like Wonder Woman costume for the first time.
“It was like an out-of-body experience,” said Gadot, who initially did not even know what role she was auditioning for.
While Gadot did not share many details of her character, she did tell the audience that her Wonder Woman “really represents the Wonder Woman of today.” Apparently director Zack Snyder structured the new Diana Prince around a more modern interpretation of the character. When asked which variation of Wonder Woman this new iteration would be inspired by, Gadot said that she felt very privileged to go through this “beautiful, interesting, research” with Snyder. But did not elaborate on what that research was specifically.
“I’m inspired by Wonder Woman,” said Gadot. “It’s going to be great.”
Meanwhile in the Marvel Universe, Atwell, who plays Peggy Carter in “Agent Carter” said she thinks it’s great that fans have taken to the relationship between Carter and Angie Martinelli in the series.
“I don’t understand the word ‘shipping,’” Atwell confessed in regard to the advocates of Peggy and Angie’s relationship. “But I think it’s fantastic."
“It’s quite rare to see women together not talking about men,” Atwell said. Her goal with Lyndsy Fonseca (who plays her friend and diner waitress Angie in the show) was to portray women who have a genuine affection for each other and bring out a genuine relationship.
“Luckily the fans took that relationship to heart” said Atwell.
While Christie has roles in the upcoming “Hunger Games” and “Star Wars” films, she spoke most freely about her character Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones."
Christie takes inspiration from Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” because of her strength and power while not forsaking her femininity. Meanwhile, she praised her “GOT” character, Brienne, and cherished that Brienne is loved by fans because of her dedication “to an overriding sense of moral good."
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She also shared with the audience that Brienne’s fight with the Hound was the most grueling stunt scene she has done so far, not just because of Rory McCann’s physicality, but because of the freakish weather conditions when shooting the scene.
While Christie and McCann practiced the choreography down to the perfectly placed punch to the Hound’s sensitive lower regions, she revealed that right before filming the take McCann said to her “do it for real."
“What you see in that fight is a genuine connection of fist and undercarriage,” said Christie, much to the audience’s delight.
Coleman and Bates also shared stories about stunts they have had to perform in their roles on “Doctor Who” and “American Horror Story,” respectively.
“I’ve been hanging upside down a lot,” said Coleman. “Which sounds quite easy but it’s not."
For Bates the most difficult stunt for her was her fight with James Caan from the famous horror movie “Misery."
“The hardest part was getting my head slammed into the floor,” said Bates. “I didn’t think I would cry at the end but I did.”
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