The Super Women Of DC Comics – Characters vs. Their Real Life Actors
If you’re a DC fan, you already know what the company’s superwomen can do: kick butt, kill you with a kiss, and deliver quotable one-liners. To portray these characters in shows and movies, the actresses have to be superheroes in their own right. Along with playing varying roles, these women are androgynous models, UN ambassadors, and human rights activists.
Get a sneak peek at the women of the DC universe, and the lives of the actresses who portray them. Are they similar, or absolute opposites? But more importantly–can these women be super outside of their role?
To kick things off, learn which superhero is played by an army veteran.
Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman (Diana)
Gal Gadot starred as Diana, aka Wonder Woman, in the 2017 film by the same name. Diana is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and an Amazonian warrior. Believing the god Ares to be responsible for the current war, Diana takes Zeus’s dropped weapon, the “Godkiller” sword, to end the suffering.
Gadot described Diana as “relatable,” saying that she “is very compassionate, but her experiences– or lack of them, her naiveté, really–make her interested in everything around her.” Wonder Woman is a strong, adaptable, inquisitive superhero.
Gal Gadot In Real Life
Gal Gadot reached modeling success young when she was crowned Miss Israel at age 18. Before building up her acting career, she spent two years in the Isreal Defence Forces and studied international relations at IDC Herzliya College.
Gadot has modeled for Gucci, the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour. Her most famous role may in the DC movies, but she’s also acted in Keeping Up with the Joneses and The Fast and the Furious franchise. When she’s not performing, she helps her husband run the boutique hotel Tel Aviv.
Ruby Rose As Batwoman (Kate Kane)
Ruby Rose will play Batwoman in the upcoming CW network Batwoman show expected air sometime in 2019. Kate Kane, who would later become Batwoman, grew up with military training after she and her mother were kidnapped, later to be freed by her father.
After a mugger tries to attack Kate in Gotham, she uses her skills to turn him in, which prompts her eventual transformation into a superhero. In the comics, Batwoman is a college partying, tattoo-covered, lesbian superwoman and aids Batman’s quest to end all crime in Gotham city. Just in her own way.
Ruby Rose In Real Life
Australian actress Ruby Rose used to work as a TV presenter for MTV Australia. She has modeled for companies such as Maybelline and co-hosted shows such as Australia’s Next Top Model and The Project. She claims that her single mother, an artist, inspires much of her work.
Rose faced a momentous backlash when she came out as a lesbian at age 12. She is genderfluid and often models androgynous styles. She is also a vegan who promotes environmentalism.
One actress who portrays a witty antihero flew to Nicaragua to vaccinate kids for hepatitis A.
Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn (Harleen Frances Quinzel)
Margot Robbie starred as Harleen Frances Quinzel, or Harley Quinn, in Suicide Squad and is reprising the role in the upcoming Birds of Prey. Harleen, a psychologist, is assigned to treat and subsequently falls in love with the Joker and aims to help his cause, despite his frequent insults toward her. Her villain name is a play on “Harlequin” from a character in commedia dell’arte.
Harley Quinn acts psychotic and murderous during her battles, possibly due to her dysfunctional upbringing. She does, however, become good friends with Poison Ivy, later dating her in a more a recent comic book.
Margot Robbie In Real Life
Australian actress and film producer Margot Robbie has received nominations for an Academy Award and three BAFTA Awards. After studying drama at Somerset College, she landed roles in the soap opera Neighbours and the movies About Time, Mary Queen of Scots and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Robbie was raised on a farm by a single mother in Queensland. She moved to Melbourne at age 17 to begin acting professionally. Alongside acting, she also works on commercials for Calvin Klein and Nissan. Robbie is a fashionable, flexible, and hardworking actress.
Anne Hathaway As Catwoman (Selina Kyle)
In The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, Anne Hathaway played Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman. Selina began her career as a jewel thief but later developed into an antiheroine, doing the wrong things for the right reasons.
She turned to crime after she survived a brutal plane crash which gave her amnesia. Later, though, she reveals that she made up the story to justify her thieving. She’s funny, cunning, and not afraid to give Batman a taste of his own medicine.
Anne Hathaway In Real Life
Although The Dark Knight Rises was Anne Hathaway’s highest grossing film, she’s also starred in The Princess Bride, Les Miserables, and The Devil Wears Prada. She has received several awards including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a British Academy Film Award.
Outside of movies, Hathaway has donated to many charities. She went to Nicaragua to help vaccinate children in 2006 and later traveled to support women’s rights in Kenya and Ethiopia. In 2016, she was appointed UN Women Goodwill ambassador for her donations to gender equality and same-sex marriage foundations.
This actress coming up played a supervillain even after permanently injuring her knees and neck…
Uma Thurman As Poison Ivy (Pam Isley)
In the 1997 thriller Batman & Robin, Uma Thurman played the brilliant and timid Dr. Pam Isley, later known as Poison Ivy. Pam was a botanist with a love of plants, so she rejected her boss’s plant experiments. After a fight, she fell into a vat of toxic plants, where she acquired her powers.
The supervillain is obsessed with environmentalism and suffers from violent mood swings. She releases toxic spores when Gotham citizens do not appeal to her demands. With toxin in her lips, she can kill with a kiss. Appropriately so, since she also has an infatuation with Batman.
Uma Thurman In Real Life
Uma Thurman has acted in a variety of films, from romantic to sci-fi to comedy. You might recognize her from Pulp Fiction, Les Miserables, Kill Bill, The Producers, and the series Smash. She received a Primetime Emmy Award in 2012 and has been nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Thurman is also a Democratic activist who has spoken out against child abuse and human rights issues. During her role in Kill Bill, she survived an automobile accident that permanently injured her neck and knees, but continues to act today.
One super actress has to battle through ADHD and dyslexia to memorize her lines.
Malin Åkerman as Silk Spectre II (Laurie Jupiter)
In the 2009 movie Watchmen, Malin Åkerman played Laurie Jupiter, the descendant to her later mother Silk Spectre I. Laurie always wanted to work with animals, but her mother pressured her into the “family business” of crime-fighting. She spent her early years training in the gym, alone.
Silk Spectre II can break bones effortlessly and send opponents flying through the air. She could jump long distances and dodge knife strikes from her gymnastics training. In Watchman, she was able to head to Mars to prevent her old superhuman friend, Dr. Manhattan, from destroying all life.
Malin Åkerman In Real Life
Malin Åkerman is a Swedish-Canadian actress, model, and singer known for her roles in The Comeback, The Utopian Society, The Heartbreak Kid, and 27 Dresses. For her role in Watchmen, she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Åkerman sang for the alternative band The Petalstones for a while. She is a self-declared feminist who speaks fluent English, Swedish, Spanish, and French. To memorize her lines, she has to battle through her dyslexia and ADHD, but pulls through to create compelling characters.
Coming up, a superhero/backup dancer that you’ve most likely seen in a music video.
Carla Gugino As Silk Spectre I (Sally Jupiter)
In Watchmen (2009), Carla Gugino played Sally Jupiter, who would later become known as Silk Spectre I. Mother of Laurie Jupiter, Sally Jupiter is a Polish immigrant who worked as a waitress and burlesque dancer. She realized that battling criminals could enhance her goals in modeling and acting, so she created fake crime scenes with actors to boost her role as Silk Spectre. And yes, the police were in on the trick.
But when the Liquidator murdered her friend Ursula, Silk Spectre moved into crime-fighting for real. She is a smart, savvy superhero not afraid of what others thought about her.
Carla Gugino In Real Life
You may recognize Carla Gugino as the mother in Spy Kids, or more recently, her role in The Haunting of Hill House. She’s acted in several hits such Sin City, Sucker Punch, Night at the Museum, and The Space Between Us.
Gugino remained an A student throughout her childhood and graduated as valedictorian. Inspired by her aunt Carol Merill, she studied acting. She began supporting herself independently by age 16, and ever since then has worked hard to grow her career and passion for acting.
Caity Lotz As Black Canary (Sara Lance)
Caity Lotz played Sara Lance in the TV series Arrow in 2012. Sara barely survived a shipwreck with her sister’s boyfriend, Oliver Queen (whom she had secretly been having an affair with.) The two were rescued by the boat the Amazo, and when Oliver gets captured by the ship’s crew, Sara springs into action.
Sara became a deadly fighter from training with the League of Assassins under her code name, “Yellow Canary.” After she leaves the League, she adopts her mother’s former superhero name “Black Canary.”
Caity Lotz In Real Life
Caity Lotz is an actress, singer, and dancer, known for her roles in Mad Men, Death Valley, and The Pact. Before her film career, she worked as a backup dancer. You can spot her in music videos such as Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and “LoveGame,” Cascada’s “Evacuate the Dancefloor,” and JoJo’s “Baby It’s You.”
Lotz has also performed in her own girl group, Soccx. She is also a mixed martial artist and practices parkour. She’s even stunt-doubled in films including Step Up 3D, making her one athletic and flexible actress.
As smart as her character–an actress who graduated high school at age 14 is still ahead.
Katie Cassidy As Black Siren (Dinah Laurel Lance)
Katie Cassidy plays Sara Lance’s older sister Laurel, who gains her own powers and eventually becomes Black Siren. Like her sister, she was born into a crime-fighting family. Unlike her sister, though, she’s an antiheroine, choosing to fight alongside Zoom in their team The Rogues.
Laurel can manipulate sound by either muting it or creating a sonic blast. She is an emotional powerhouse of a villain with a journey toward redemption in Arrow.
Katie Cassidy In Real Life
Katie Cassidy wowed audiences as a Scream Queen in the 2006 horror film When a Stranger Calls. Since then, she’s acted in Black Christmas, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, and the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. She seems to claim most of her roles in horror, which could explain her in-depth portrayal of the villain Black Siren.
Cassidy also sings and has covered “I Think I Love You” in 2002. She also appeared in Jesse McCartney’s “She’s No You” music video and Eminem’s “Just Lose It” video. Did we mention she’s also a spokesperson for the charity H.E.L.P. Malawi.
Danielle Panabaker As Killer Frost
In the TV series The Flash, Danielle Panabaker plays Killer Frost, one of the show’s many superheroes, whose real name is Dr. Caitlin Snow. Caitlin is a bio-engineer at S.T.A.R Labs. After a near-death seizure, her biochemistry becomes altered, and she fully forms her ice powers as Killer Frost.
Throughout the series, Caitlin struggles to control her powers. Her battle with herself leads her in and out of Team Flash, despite her Hippocratic Oath to save as many lives as possible.
Danielle Panabaker In Real Life
Danielle Panabaker began her acting career in Disney movies such as Sky High and Read It and Weep. She’s acted in everything from drama series (Shark) to crime dramas (Justified) to psychological thrillers (Mr. Brooks.)
Panabaker graduated from high school at just 14-years-old and moved from Georgia to Los Angeles soon after to develop her career. Beyond acting, she has volunteered for several organizations including the Art of Elysium, UNICEF, and Young Storytellers Foundation. Like Killer Frost, she seems to be very intelligent and charitable.