By JOHN CARUCCI, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Gal Gadot is using her Hollywood starpower to spotlight remarkable women from around the world.
The “Wonder Woman” actor is host and executive producer of a new documentary series that follows six women who made a positive impact on their communities despite dealing with poverty, violence, discrimination and natural disasters.
The 35-year-old says “National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot” grew from her quest to “do something good with my fame and my social media” after the success of 2017′s “Wonder Woman.”
She and her husband Yaron Varsano, who is also an executive producer on the series, watched a short documentary from music video director Ryan Pallotta about a dancer from the favelas in Brazil.
“We completely fell in love with the story, and we decided that we’re going to build a concept around the story,” Gadot said.
The first episode follows a young Black figure skating coach in Detroit who has dedicated her life to coaching young girls of color to empower them.
“She’s not only she’s empowering them, but she’s giving them a skill … that is familiar or familiar with white people doing it, which is ice skating,” Gadot said.
Another episode tells the story of Kayla, who helps create a safe community for homeless transgender women of color in Memphis, Tennessee, by building homes.
The series debuts April 26, a day after the Academy Awards. Gadot said she’s encouraged by the inclusion at this year’s ceremony: “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao and “Promising Young Woman” director Emerald Fennell became only the sixth and seventh women ever to be nominated for best director.
“Women that are used to be only in front of the camera are now going to the other side of the camera and developing stories that they’re passionate about and that they care about and that now it’s becoming a norm, almost. You know, you see it with the Oscars,” she said.
“There’s a great change. But at the same time, I got to say that the change can only happen when we include the men. It’s never like you can just empower the women and not educate the men.”
She said that’s what her DC cinematic universe superhero was able to accomplish for a new generation.
“The girls can go and be inspired by the girl and imagine themselves doing these amazing things as girls. But also, it gives them a role model for boys to admire as well and to understand that women can be strong and great and just like men,” she said. “So, for me, it’s educating both women and men in order to reach this place that we always talk about gender and equality and all of that. We have to do this together.”
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