After a few superhuman years as Wonder Woman – following her breakout amid the exaggerated action of Fast & Furious – Gal Gadot decided that she wanted to bring her next heroine back down to Earth. Later this summer, she’ll be starring as agent Rachel Stone in Netflix’s action-thriller Heart Of Stone, from The Aeronauts and Wild Rose director Tom Harper in a notable return to human-sized action. “I realised that there was an audience for a female action protagonist,” she tells Empire in the upcoming Ahsoka issue. “I grew up watching Bond, and Mission, and Bourne. I wanted to create a really strong, female-driven action movie that is for everybody, not a male story that’s been done many times already.”
Rachel Stone_,_ then, is not an Amazonian warrior, but a hero with at least one foot in reality. And as wild as our exclusive image – see above – of Gadot skipping across an exploding blimp looks, the actor claims it’s a toned down version of what was initially envisioned on the page. “The scene was even crazier, at a higher altitude,” she explains, “and we got into the science of it and dialled it down so that a human could do it. That was something I wanted to really make sure we nailed. That could be done by people.”
And to a great extent, it was done by Gadot; her training for the complex stunt sequence included time spent in a wind tunnel trying to replicate the vertiginous conditions of the scene. “What I can do as an actor, I’ll always go for it and… fight with intention and really perform that,” she says. She has to hand over to the stunt team at some point, though: “The crazy, crazy stuff, I can’t, they won’t let me!”
Read Empire’s full Heart Of Stone story in the upcoming Ahsoka issue – on sale Thursday 8 June. Become an Empire member to access the digital edition in full on launch day, or pre-order a print copy online now here. Heart Of Stone comes to Netflix on 11 August.