Saturday, June 17, 2017

OMG, Those Muscles!

Robin Wright as General Antiope. [📷: Los Angeles Times.]

There's all the talk about Patty Jenkins and the success of recent release 'Wonder Woman'. It's mostly about Patty Jenkins, and how she made the first blockbuster film for the DC extended universe (DCEU) in a long while. The Marvel cinematic universe has beaten DCEU hands down so far. I'm gushing about the Amazon warriors in this movie.

I adore the scenes in Themyscira. The mock combat and training grounds on the island. That battle scene at the beach. I was completely mind-blown. I kinda shut out everything after that. Now, Themyscira. Amazonians. Female warriors. The months of training the cast would have gone through to get those muscles, and many exuded that grace and power that seem to only come from a lifetime of practice. Many are professional athletes. Even nine-year-old Lilly Aspell, who plays young Diana, is quite the acomplished rider IRL and loves eventing. The Amazonians included former Team GB pentathlete and long-jumper Jenny Pacey, Nigerian heptathlete Moe Sasegbon, Swedish kickboxer Madeleine Vall Beijner, pro boxer Ann Wolfe, martial artists Mayling Ng and Samantha Jo and CrossFit champ Brooke Ence.

To fill out the female army’s ranks, the filmmakers scoured the world of professional sports. The casting directors visited gyms and attended CrossFit competitions. They scouted basketball and volleyball players and pro dancers. 
~ The New York Post, 1 June 2017

Six months of toughening up for the roles- horse-riding, weights, circuit-training, fight and weapons training. Woah. Not for the faint-hearted. The muscles and fighting stance tell the whole story of what had gone into creating them. Needless to say, I'm completely inspired to hit the gym harder. For me, the star of the show is 51-year-old Robin Wright. She is amazing as General Antiope. Look at her fire those arrows! My idea of her as compelling and politically-ambitious doyenne Claire Underwood ('House of Cards') is completely gone, replaced by the feroicous and skilled General Antiope in full battle regalia.

When I read the stories of the actresses, how they had trained for these scenes, and their heartfelt stories of bonding on set, I'm now hoping for a spin-off movie just about Queen Hippolyta and her warriors, and Themyscira. Yes, fangirl here. Hehehe. Hopefully it doesn't follow the Greek tragedy arc (of Heracles, Thesus and Hippolyta). The suggested origin of the Amazonians in this film is in bits and pieces, but it's still pretty cool.

“I give a lot of credit to Patty Jenkins for creating this vibe, it truly went top-down,” Beijner said. “This movie is about a lot of things, but female power, wisdom and badassery is what’s at the core. And Patty managed to get that out of each and every one of us, as well as a team, or troops. Us Amazons challenged each other while training, only to push each other further and to become stronger. Beyond that, we used our fighting spirit to support each other. There were days we were so tired we could sleep standing up, but we went at it, again and again and again.” 
~ HuffPost, 13 June 2017

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