“Wonder Woman” star Lynda Carter returns to her superhero roots this week in the movie ”Sky High,” but she’s got a new job: the stiletto-heeled, tough principal of a high school for kids with extraordinary powers.
The producers of the family-friendly Walt Disney Co. comedy, which opens Friday, were ecstatic to get Carter, 54, best-remembered for her spin on 1970s television as Wonder Woman.
The actress, who has worked in over 50 projects since the series, admits to being tired of playing heroines and has often turned down roles that recalled her Wonder Woman past.
“At this time in my life, I’m not so interested in playing the same TV movie again about toxic waste or anorexic children. I’m much more interested in going outside of the box,” said Carter, who liked “Sky High” because it meshed superhero elements with those of a typical teen comedy.
In the film, Carter dishes out lessons to aspiring crime-fighters as the dressed-to-kill principal who can also turn herself into a comet.
Her roster of charges in the movie also includes female students — a plus for the star of Wonder Woman, who became an icon of sorts for feminists and featured on the first issue of Ms. magazine in 1971.
“I was also happy to see girls represented in this superhero thing all the way through,” Carter said.
An unknown for ‘Wonder Woman’Carter has ideas about who should succeed her as the crime fighting Amazon and feminist icon in an upcoming movie about “Wonder Woman,” which first originated as a 1940s-era DC Comics character.
She says producers should cast an unknown in her 20s for the movie version, set to be shot next year.
“I want her to be wonderful and fabulous,” said Carter, a former beauty queen and Maybelline model, who quickly adds that the role demands more than sex appeal.
“It’s not about guys falling all over themselves, because she would just whack them on the head and say ‘Get a grip!”’
Carter said the next Wonder Woman should remember that superheroes can be played as characters with human emotions too — avoiding the cliched touches that have dogged some big-screen comic-book adaptations.
“Why does ‘Spider-Man’ work and some of the others don’t? It’s connection and being able to identify with the character,” she said.
While the image of Carter twirling into figure-hugging spandex is stamped in millions of minds from the TV series, the star never thought of Wonder Woman as a sex symbol. “I wanted women to love her more than men,” she said.
Even so, Carter admits she had fun engineering a sexier look for “Sky High” headmistress, Principal Powers.
“I first walked into the costume designer and saw she had short shoes, tweed jacket, little bun and glasses,” said Carter, who urged a faster-than-the-eye make-over on director Mike Mitchell.
“I told him ... she can’t be a shrinking violet. You cast me!! Its not just somebody else. It’s me! Let’s just bomb her out,” said Carter.