“This is a dual role,” Lynda Carter says of her famous stint on the iconic
1970s television series Wonder Woman. She means that the role of Wonder Woman meant also playing her alter-ego secret
identity Diana Prince.
But the fact is, Lynda Carter, the person, has been playing another dual
role for a long time now.
On the surface, there’s a stunning beauty that was on vivid display in that
outrageously revealing Wonder Woman costume and who seems to have faced down
the years since then with little consequence.
But underneath those good looks is another Lynda Carter, an outspoken woman
of varied tastes and interests – a self-described “iPod shuffle.”
Last fall, she made headlines by saying of Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah
Palin, who had been compared to Wonder Woman, “She’s the anti-Wonder Woman.
She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their
lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness. That’s just not what Wonder
Woman is about.”
This “secret” Lynda Carter is also a surprisingly accomplished vocalist, who
had a promising singing career prior to being cast as Wonder Woman, and who did
a series of highly acclaimed (and Emmy-nominated) television specials in the
1970s and 80s.
Recently, I got a chance to chat with Lynda about her days as Wonder Woman
(of course!), but also her thoughts on Adam versus Kris, the Carrie Prejean
controversy, and her decision to finally return to her first love, music, with
an engaging new CD of standards and classic songs, At Last.
AfterEllen.com: When did you become aware that you were a feminist
icon? Were you aware at the time when you were filming Wonder Woman?
Lynda Carter: Oh, absolutely. Yes. I was very aware of it. As a matter of
fact, I also felt that my personal character had to be non-predatory in any
way. I would be the first person if some woman’s guy was looking at me wrong,
I’d pop him upside the head and say, "Get a grip!" Wonder Woman would
expect that. She was never against men, she was just for women. I was very
deliberate in my approach.
AE: I thought one of the most subversive things about the show,
and I don’t mean that in a bad way, was that Steve Trevor was always the one
getting into trouble. He’d fight, but ultimately he’d be captured, and it was
Wonder Woman who had to rescue him. It’s a complete turning of the tables. She
was never a victim.
LC: I think that’s part of the empowerment, and it’s also the secret self,
the archetype that appeals to gay and lesbian men and women, that there’s a
secret self that is waiting to be unveiled, that is powerful and won’t ever be
a victim. I think she was a great character, and I was privileged to play that