Gal Gadot was ‘shocked by the way’ Joss Whedon spoke to her on ‘Justice League’

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Gal Gadot is one of many cover subjects for Elle Magazine’s Women In Hollywood issue. Gal got a cover mostly because she’s promoting Red Notice, her film with The Rock and Ryan Reynolds. The most interesting part of the interview is where she goes on the record – for only the second time – about what went down with Joss Whedon on the set of Justice League. Whedon had been brought in to “fix” Justice League’s many problems, and Whedon used that moment to marginalize Ray Fisher and threaten to make Gal Gadot look “incredibly stupid” in JL. A month after the Hollywood Reporter detailed Whedon’s abusive behavior, Gadot gave an interview confirming that yes, Whedon threatened her career. She and Patty Jenkins went over his head to resolve the issue, but it’s still a pretty awful story. You can read the full Elle piece here. Some highlights:

Only getting paid $300,000 for the first Wonder Woman. At the time, “I was extremely grateful. That was my big break.” Then the movie made over $800 million. When the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, came along, “if you look at it like a card game, my hand got better. I was willing to drop the ball and not do it if I wasn’t paid fairly.” She made a reported 30-plus times that salary for the follow-up. Given her aversion to conflict, was she scared about playing hardball? “No, because when I’m righteous, I’m also right.”

How she felt when Whedon threatened her on set: “Oh, I was shaking trees as soon as it happened. And I must say that the heads of Warner Brothers, they took care of it…. Going back to the sense of righteousness that I have…you’re dizzy because you can’t believe this was just said to you. And if he says it to me, then obviously he says it to many other people. I just did what I felt like I had to do. And it was to tell people that it’s not okay. I would’ve done the same thing, I think, if I was a man. Would he tell me what he told me had I been a man? I don’t know. We’ll never know. But my sense of justice is very strong. I was shocked by the way that he spoke to me. But whatever, it’s done. Water under the bridge.”

Working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “He’s a gigantic rock with the softest, sweet heart. It’s like butter from within.”

Why she’s producing another version of Cleopatra: “Her story needs to be told in a different way, in the real way, where it celebrates who she was.”

[From Elle]

Keep in mind, the Justice League issue came around after Wonder Woman had already made $800 million dollars. Joss Whedon wasn’t threatening a woman with no power, a woman who would be broken on Whedon’s say-so. Gadot did the right thing for herself and for her career, which is contact her agent, her lawyer and the studio bosses. But she’s right, “You can’t believe this was just said to you. And if he says it to me, then obviously he says it to many other people.” He was saying that sh-t to other people. He was creating toxic and misogynistic environments everywhere he went.

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Cover courtesy of Elle, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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20 Responses to “Gal Gadot was ‘shocked by the way’ Joss Whedon spoke to her on ‘Justice League’”

  1. Mcmmom says:

    It still stuns me how arrogant and awful he is/was. I was a huge Buffy fan and it’s amazing that someone who created such positive creative karma (creating a show that addressed so many aspects of the adolescent experience in a thoughtful way) chose to squander it by being such a terrible human being. I was looking forward to introducing my daughters (especially my 13 year old) to Buffy when they were old enough, but oh well. He has forever ruined the show for me.

    • goofpuff says:

      I agree. He has totally ruined Buffy for me. All I can wonder about is what those actresses had to go through with him.

      • Emma says:

        Charisma Carpenter and Michelle Trachtenberg have spoken about how awful he was and SMG said she didn’t want to be associated with him.

      • lucy2 says:

        Michelle Trachtenberg made some comment about him not being allowed to be alone with her. My heart broke for her reading that.
        Charisma’s career took a hit after Buffy and Angel,due to Whedon’s retaliation, and I think Michelle’s struggled a bit afterwards too (might be wrong).

  2. Alexandria says:

    Certainly the Me Too movement, the unequal pay treatment, gaslighting and bullying of Hollywood actresses have shown that being A list doesn’t protect you.

    • Courtney B says:

      This is what I was thinking too. And WW only came out a month before reshoots began with Whedon.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      It does and it doesn’t. I mean, years ago if she had gone to her agent with this she’d have been told to suck it up or be blackballed. MeToo changed things for those with power in the sense that if someone speaks up now they aren’t silenced by everyone (all of the people on set who witness this stuff all have a vested interest in the woman being silent, because the success of the film is their own career and often $ success re residuals). Not sure how well it’s trickled down though.

  3. Becks1 says:

    Yeah, if he was speaking to Gal Gadot like that, who was coming off a monster success in Wonder Woman…..how does he speak to other actors and actresses on the set? I’m glad she stood up for herself and went to Patty Jenkins and Warner Bros over it, but a lot of people don’t feel they have that kind of power.

    • lucy2 says:

      A lot of people DON’T have that kind of power. She was in a very fortunate position, being the face of one of their biggest successes. Anyone without that probably would have been to shut up and stop being “difficult”, and he probably would have destroyed their careers.

  4. BothSidesNow says:

    I am so glad she spoke up. But more important they listened to her and resolved that matter. A man with such an ego to threaten an actor tells you what little power he has, whereas he has delusions to the opposite. Anyone who speaks to an actor in that manner should be questioned as to whether you want him associated with your film, your studio and your own reputation.

    Unfortunately, Warner Brothers own spin isn’t as supportive in Gadots views though. So it seems that there is much more to the story than just her point of view.
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/ray-fisher-opens-up-about-justice-league-joss-whedon-and-warners-i-dont-believe-some-of-these-people-are-fit-for-leadership-4161658/

    I think that anyone who is looking to hire a director, producer or screenwriter should pass on Whedon. As when you google his name, he has had issues with actors for years, on several different projects. So when do the studios start to take notice and NOT hire an egotistical man with the need to abuse others to make himself look like a man?

    • Robert says:

      Look I’m sure Whedon is a rude ahole. But how many millions of people have bosses who act like that? This is not to forgive Whedon. But on Justice League he was under a lot of pressure. The original cut was 4 hours. WB wanted a 2 to 3 hour movie. Even though they didn’t move the release date back. He had to rewrite the script and cut so much to make that happen. He sounds like a man who can’t handle pressure very well. So he takes it out on the people around him. And Buffy. He wrote and created the TV Buffy. He had a vision of what he wanted to happen. Then SMG got a movie career and they had to work around that. Then Charisma got pregnant and that wasn’t in his vision. And Michelle, no one has ever said why he wasn’t allowed to be alone with her. Did he yell at her, did he try to grope her what. So again he took his frustrations out on the cast. Again I’m not saying this is right. I’m just saying that a lot of people are this way. Most creative people are overly emotional, and a bit of a narcicist. How many productions have been shut down because of actors refusing to come out of their trailers. It’s pretty much the same thing.

  5. Rapunzel says:

    I’d love to comment on Whedon, but I cannot get over the lack of pants on that cover.

  6. Alexander says:

    I have always wondered if Whedon’s toxic behavior is why he suddenly left the MCU. It wouldn’t shock me if his bullying caused the Actors who played The Avengers to issue an ultimatum of them or him. I noticed he didn’t do his usual habit of backbitting Marvel after he left. (Whedon has an bad habit of talking bad of projects that weren’t well received or he left) . Whither this is because he signed like an million NDAs or just wanted to keep an working relationship with Marvel I don’t know.

    • Courtney B says:

      He’s bitched about marvel plenty regarding Age of Ultron. Marvel had some things they wanted in it to further the overarching Infinity Stones narrative and Whedon groused about it. Then they wanted him to take out/cut down his beloved farm stuff/Clint’s family which lots of people HATED. (It at least gave us Chris Evans in a tight shirt ‘ripping’ a log in half so at least there’s that.) He’s backed off in recent years, maybe to get back on, but that’s not happening. But he really thinks he’s more talented or a bigger name than he is. Plenty of directors have worked within the marvel guidelines without sacrificing their vision. But he’s no Ryan coogler. And JW would’ve never tried this shit with RDJ who was protective of his costars and on a per movie contract then and could’ve refused to ever do another marvel movie. (He had four more to come)

  7. Chantal says:

    I like her and liked Red Notice but this doesn’t absolve her or any of the other co stars who remained silent when Ray Fisher spoke up about the horrible Whedon. Many had some type of power, did nothing, and still have their careers while Ray, who had everything to lose, has essentially been blacklisted for doing the right thing. The praise Gal gets for speaking up and refusing to be mistreated and Ray’s continued mistreatment and lack of support for doing the same is very telling and infuriating. Zack Snyder’s cut, despite being 4 hrs long, is so much better. And at least we get to see much more of Ray Fisher in it.

    • FF says:

      Yep. Every time she speaks on this I think of Ray Fisher and how he’s been punished for speaking out. I noticed that if it hadn’t been for Jason and Charisma backing him up – and then everyone backing Charisma – Ray would have been scapegoated even more.

      It ticks me off that no one points out how he got punished and had his movie and appearances cancelled for calling out a confirmed abusive personality that was ticking everyone on set off.

      WB are trash.

      I never get why Gal didn’t back him up either though when she was having the same issue.

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