In case you haven't already noticed, the world is crazy for Wonder Woman lately. Patty Jenkins' blockbuster made serious waves when it was released, giving the DC Extended Universe its first critical darling. Since then, Gal Gadot's incarnation of the character has been added to more DCEU movies, and there are sure to be endless Wonder Woman Halloween costumes this month. But not many fans are familiar with how the character was created... until now. Because Professor Marston and the Wonder Women brings the real life story of Wonder Woman's inception and her creator's polyamorous relationship to the big screen.
Actress Bella Heathcote (Fifty Shades Darker, The Man In The High Castle) dons the costume as Olive Byrne in Professor Marston, and I recently spoke to her about the process of slipping on that signature suit. When I asked Heathcote if she was more nervous or excited to suit up after Gal Gadot's acclaimed performances, she told me:
I think, both. I remember that night we shot the scene where I put on the costume and I step into the light. It felt like a big night for all the departments (...) It felt like a real pivotal point in the film, and also for my character. Because she's literally and metaphorically stepping into her own as a woman. And someone who isn't just running after Elizabeth, because Elizabeth's upset or worried. She's doing this because it makes her feel empowered and sexy. And she's doing it, even if it might upset people, because it's important to her. And I just felt all those things in the night. It felt like a big night.
While the pressure was on for Bella Heathcote and the crew, it seems the actress made sure she focused on her character's journey for the big Wonder Woman scene. That's certainly a smart way to approach filling those big shoes (or boots, as the case may be).
The scene when Olive puts on what would eventually become Wonder Woman's signature costume is one of the most exciting sequences in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. As Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and William (Luke Evans) argue over the taboo subject of BDSM, Olive finds herself fascinated with the provocative clothing and use of rope play. In a moment of sexual empowerment, Olive dons the lingerie, puts a tiara on her head, and grabs ahold of some yellow rope. And when Olive's partners walk back into the room, she stands on the stage looking like a true Amazonian goddess. It's a scene filled with drama, excitement, trepidation, and eventually empowerment for both Olive and Elizabeth.
All of these costume elements, including Olive's signature cuff bracelets, would eventually inspire William Marston's creation of Wonder Woman. The rope used in the polyamorous unit's experiments with bondage would eventually become the lasso of truth, Olive's bracelets were given the power to deflect bullets for the superhero, and even the invisible jet was explained. Forget what you think about Wonder Woman, because Professor Marston will provide you with the fascinating true roots of the character's creation.
You can see Bella Heathcote speak about her experience with the costume below.