The star of Wonder Woman shines a light on powerful women around the globe

ImpactAxelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/National GeographicThe model, actress and 2004 Miss Israel Gal Gadot first roared onto the Hollywood scene as a crook in the Fast & Furious movies. That, of course, served as a springboard to her signature role as Wonder Woman in the DC Comics cinematic universe. Now, she follows the powerful stories of six women making social and political impacts on their communities. She spoke with TV Week about the exciting new endeavour.

TV Week: How did you decide which six women to profile in your series?
There are endless stories to tell, but among the endless stories that we can tell, they are the stories that are, you know, more extraordinary. And I think that, with all these women, what we can see is that all of them come from difficult circumstances . . . whether it’s violence, poverty, trauma, discrimination, natural disasters. And yet, it fuels them. It gives them more power to dare, to dream, to change, to speak up and to really make a change in their communities.

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your own life?
I’m very lucky to have had a healthy upbringing and to be born to a normal family and all of that. I guess that my biggest obstacle is overcoming my own fears, and that’s something that I always am challenged with. But I really feel grateful for the life that I have and for not having to deal with such big problems and issues. I guess that’s part of the reason to why I want to . . . you know, after I’d done Wonder Woman I felt like I had such a big reach to people, and I just wanted to do something good. I want to use my reach and my platforms to get to shed light on these amazing, incredible women’s stories.

ImpactPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior/National GeographicHow crucial was it to include a diverse array of women?
It was very important for us, but it was also something that was super-easy. It was, like, the natural decision for us to make the choices by the stories and not necessarily by the colour of their skin. All of these women are just incredible, and they are the real heroes. I keep on calling them my “Women of Wonder,” because they are the true heroes. I go to set and I get dressed and I get my costume and sword and everything, and I fight, but to make-believe. They are actually there on the ground, you know, sweating and doing all they can to really make the world a better place.

What exactly do you hope to achieve with Impact?
My dream and my vision is really to create this amazing movement of people that can say, “Hey, I can do it, too. If she can do it, I can do it, too. Maybe I can...” I want to make this thing something that will bring such a positive energy and change to the world. It sounds like cliché, but I’m talking from the bottom of my heart. We have the power. We’re the people. We’re all one. We’re all dealing with different problems and we’re the ones that can immediately help each other. I’m super-passionate about this project, as you can see. There are many, many more stories to come, and I do think that it’s important to share their stories.

When did you realize you had a responsibility to try and be a role model and lift up young women?
It keeps on hitting, but I really started to understand the influence that I have on people, on younger people, as soon as Wonder Woman was out, from the feedback that I got and the reaction that I got from so many different people. You start to think about, OK, so I need to really be responsible and be truthful with anything that I spread out there to the world with my social media, with the interviews that I give, because people really listen, you know?

Impact with Gal Gadot airs Sundays at 5 p.m. & 8 p.m. on National Geographic