So there I am posting on various social media platforms that I’m jazzed to get to interview Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter. The feedback is unlike any other celeb name I’ve previously promoted.
Richard tweets: “When I was a little boy I used to wear cuffs on my arms and run around the house like Wonder Woman. I Lynda Carter.” Debra Facebooks that she still has the hots for Carter and Wonder Woman. On my blog Brad tops all: “No one is a bigger fan than I. I have 200-plus pounds of memorabilia to prove it.”
I too love the feminist icon superhero and the woman who perfectly brought the DC Comics character to life in the hit TV series from 1975 to 1979. How many little gay boys privately twirled in the hopes of transforming into Wonder Woman? I know I did. We intuitively knew there was something — we couldn’t put our fingers on it at the time — that would bother the parental units if they witnessed it.
I loved seeing a woman rescue a man, usually Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor. Here was a sexy, supermodel-esque hero, no cumbersome face mask covering the pretty, no messy cobwebs to contend with. When isn’t a golden lasso hot?
The magic of it all lives on still, especially within the hearts of queer boys and girls, I tell a jovial Lynda Carter, not that she needs to hear it from me.
“You know, it’s interesting because in my past I think my icon was Bette Midler in her early days,” Carter muses about her gay following. “I was a struggling singer travelling on the road and she had her first big album out. It was really the gay and lesbian community who propped her. I thought, ‘Man, if I ever get a gay and lesbian audience, I know I will have made it.’”
Carter says it took about 10 years after the TV series ended for her to realize she had her coveted queer following.
“I did an interview with a woman doing an article for a lesbian magazine,” she recalls. “She started talking to me about it and I was looking at her like she had two heads. She was like, ‘You don’t know?’”
Carter says she’s since given much thought to the special place the queer community has in its heart for Wonder Woman and for superheroes in general.
“The truth is it’s about the secret self,” she says. “It’s about that powerful person inside that you know can conquer the world, who has so much love to give and good to do. I think that archetype is a great one.”
But where Wonder Woman is concerned, she adds, a unique chord was struck with queers. Here was a hero that is obviously pro-female. “That doesn’t mean to be anti-men, either. It was just saying, ‘We’re a force here.’”
What Carter really wants to talk about is her new album, At Last, produced by John Carter Cash, the Grammy-nominated son of the late Johnny Cash.
“Singing is really what I do, I’ve been doing it a long time,” she explains. “I started professionally when I was 14, singing in bands.”
The LA Times once humorously noted that Carter “sings better than she ever caught villains.”
But Carter knows it’s always Diana Prince that interests people most. She is surprised when she gets thanked for being so gracious about going back three decades; other celebrities, particularly beloved for one significant role, are often loathe to relive the past.
“Oh get over yourself already,” Carter scoffs. “Right? It’s something I did, it shaped so much of my career, it gave me so many opportunities and it’s not going to go away. I may as well enjoy it.”
One question remains: Who will enjoy the role next? In a world in which a multitude of comic-book heroes make it to the big screen, a much-anticipated Wonder Woman movie still languishes, often, it’s said, for lack of a star as ideal as Carter.
“I hope they find someone,” Carter says. “It would be nice if they cast someone with no fame baggage.”
Soon after our chat a mysterious square box arrives for me via taxi. It’s decoupaged with Wonder Woman images and sprinkled with glitter, as though her golden lasso had brushed against it. Inside, my very own set of the indestructible magical bracelets worn by Wonder Woman and all her Amazon sisters. I will treasure them forever. No note, nothing.
Such is the wonder of this woman.