In praise of Antiope, Robin Wright’s badass general of ‘Wonder Woman’
Diana may be the idealistic princess of Themyscira, and Hippolyta its proud queen. When it comes to rough, tough, punch-Nazis-in-the-fucking-face badassery, though, Antiope rules them all.
Played by Robin Wright, the Amazonian general is a force to be reckoned with. Her commanding presence make her a natural leader, while her battle scars suggest she’s been through some stuff and come out the other side stronger than ever.
She’s hands-down the fiercest warrior on the entire island – even Hippolyta acknowledges as much – until she trains Diana herself to be even better. In other words, Diana’s fearless prowess on the battlefield in acts two and three?
We’ve got Antiope to thank for that.
Yet Antiope’s got a tender side, too. Her very mentorship of Diana is an act of love, done in defiance of Queen Hippolyta’s wishes. (Hippolyta loves Diana in her own way, but tends to be overprotective.) Antiope pushes Diana to go harder, to dig deeper, to aim higher, and teaches her harsh but necessary lessons about the unfairness of the world.
If we have one complaint about Antiope, it’s that she’s not in the movie nearly enough. (SPOILERS AHEAD!) Sadly, she’s the one to fulfill the obligatory “dead parental figure” role for Diana. Once the Germans follow Steve Trevor onto Themyscira, she is shot and killed in battle. But not before she takes out a bunch of them first.
For as long as she’s in the movie, though, Wright makes every second count. While “action hero” isn’t really a mode we’ve seen her in before, Wright takes to it like a duck to water. As far as I’m concerned, there are now two kinds of people in this world: people who need a Robin Wright action movie yesterday, and people who haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet.
If I’m a studio exec looking at WONDER WOMAN’s word-of-mouth, I’m trying to sign Robin Wright to “female version of TAKEN” *now.*
— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) June 5, 2017
While it’s common enough for middle-aged men like Tom Cruise (54), Robert Downey Jr. (52), and Liam Neeson (65) to run around leading gazillion-dollar action franchises, the same can’t be said of their female counterparts. In Wonder Woman, 52-year-old Wright strikes a blow against that double standard – 30 years after she first captured our hearts as Buttercup in The Princess Bride.
For women of my generation, the resonance of casting Robin Wright as the most powerful Amazon can not be overstated. pic.twitter.com/zuwPFjMwux
— Bumptious Ms. B (@angelinaburnett) June 5, 2017
Rest assured we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed how fantastic she is. Wright recently let slip that she will return for Justice League, along with Connie Nielsen, who plays Hippolyta. Thank goodness for flashbacks. (And hey, if that inspires Zack Snyder to change course and turn all of Justice League into a Wonder Woman prequel starring Antiope, we won’t complain.)
Until then, you can take a bit of Antiope’s coolness home with you, in the form of this stunning Barbie doll.
Give her to your kids, to serve as an aspirational role model, or perch her on your own desk to dole out some tough love when you need it.
So here’s to General Antiope – for making Diana the (wonder) woman she is today, but also for being a stone-cold badass in her own right. We salute her.