THInG oF won­dER

Evans, Heath­cote re­veal sexy ori­gins of one of comic­dom’s great­est hero­ines

Ottawa Sun - - SHOWBIZ - LIZ BRAUN — WENN

As Won­der Woman closes in on $1 bil­lion at the box of­fice, an­other movie about the iconic fig­ure opens Fri­day.

Pro­fes­sor Marston and the Won­der Women con­cerns the cre­ator of the only fe­male su­per­hero.

Luke Evans stars as Wil­liam Marston, the famed psy­chol­o­gist who in­vented Won­der Woman and floated his be­havioural the­o­ries via her comic book ex­ploits; Re­becca Hall plays Marston’s wife, El­iz­a­beth, and Bella Heath­cote is Marston’s part­ner, Olive Byrne.

The un­con­ven­tional polyamorous re­la­tion­ship that led Marston and these two women to live to­gether for many years (and have chil­dren to­gether) is but one im­por­tant el­e­ment in their en­tirely fas­ci­nat­ing lives — Marston and his wife, for ex­am­ple, in­vented an early ver­sion of the lie de­tec­tor test.

Evans, 38, is a Welsh ac­tor best known for Drac­ula Un­told, the Fast and the Fu­ri­ous fran­chise (he plays Owen Shaw) and his ter­rific turn ear­lier this year as Gas­ton in Beauty and the Beast.

Heath­cote, 30, was the re­cip­i­ent of a Heath Ledger schol­ar­ship in 2010.

The Aus­tralian ac­tress has starred in Dark Shad­ows, The Neon De­mon and Clock­wise from left: Bella Heath­cote, Luke Evans and Re­becca Hall in a scene from Pro­fes­sor Marston and the Won­der Women; Evans and Heath­cote on the red car­pet at this year’s TIFF. Fifty Shades Darker.

We spoke to them dur­ing TIFF.

The cen­sor­ship against Won­der Woman in the 1940s — and against Marston’s liv­ing ar­range­ments — is weirdly con­tem­po­rary. But maybe you weren’t think­ing about pol­i­tics while film­ing this?

BELLA HEATH­COTE: Oh, we were! It was just be­fore the U.S. elec­tion and it was very much on all our minds. We were watch­ing the de­bates to­gether.

LUKE EVANS: When you do look at the early comic books, they were very sug­ges­tive. To the Bi­ble belt and the more con­ser­va­tive, they would prob­a­bly have been seen as mes­sages that shouldn’t have been in chil­dren’s comics.

How much did you know about the real-life char­ac­ters you play?

BH: There was less known about Olive and be­cause of that I was some­what lib­er­ated to just cre­ate the char­ac­ter along­side An­gela (Robin­son, the direc­tor). I just felt she was re­ally bright, open and cu­ri­ous. She starts the film as a girl some­what un­sure of her­self — what in­cred­i­ble irony, that she was raised by nuns, even though her aunt, Mar­garet Sanger, and mother were these fa­mous fem­i­nists … as the story pro­gresses she grows into a woman who’s em­pow­ered and com­fort­able in her­self and is will­ing to sac­ri­fice to get what she wants. The mo­ment when she steps into the light, in that (Won­der Woman) cos­tume, felt like such a piv­otal mo­ment in that jour­ney …

LE: He had a vivid imag­i­na­tion. He must have! He cre­ated Won­der Woman. I knew he was enig­matic, he was charis­matic, and he was a fem­i­nist at a time when that was not looked upon as some­thing a man should be, and I guess he was be­cause of the two women in his life … he was a man who be­lieved that if women ran the world, the world would have been a bet­ter place.

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