The great Lynda Carter appears tonight at the Kennedy Center with her intimate concert “Long-Legged Woman,” a smorgasbord of both originals and standards encompassing blues, rock, country and pop. In an interview last year, Carter remarked that she especially enjoys contributing vocal work to video games these days, and in fact in the popular title Fallout 4, she portrays a lounge singer. “You do get to help create the character,” she said. “But the writing itself is just really good. And because it’s a role-playing game, they don’t write it like a movie. The player can make it go the way they want to go.”
Carter has been interviewed by this magazine thrice before, in 2013 prior to her stint as Grand Marshal of the Capital Pride Parade, in 2005 in conjunction with her clever turn in the superhero comedy Sky High, and for a 2009 cover story, photographed by the magazine’s art director Todd Franson in her sumptuous home in Potomac, Maryland. In that particular interview, Carter talked in-depth with Sean Bugg about her feelings toward the character that made her an iconic household name.
MW: Do you ever get tired having people looking at you and thinking of you as Wonder Woman?
CARTER: It is really synonymous almost, I think.
MW: Have you ever gone through periods where you’re like, ”God, I just want to be Lynda Carter”?
CARTER: I’ve tried to use it as a vehicle to connect other people. How else would you know something about a person’s childhood just meeting them briefly? So I have always made an effort to embrace Wonder Woman. It’s not always been easy, particularly if I’m looking very ragged or I’m fat or I’m disappointing [to people].
MW: In the past couple of decades all the big superheroes, in particular ones from TV, have been reinvented for the big screen multiple times. We’ve had multiple Batmans and Supermans, but you’re still Wonder Woman. There’s not been someone else who stepped into that role.
CARTER: Not for lack of trying.
MW: Why do you think Wonder Woman hasn’t made that same leap that the other iconic characters have?
CARTER: You know, it’s an odd thing. I think they try too hard with the scripts. They think it’s about this superpower. And it’s really not against men, it’s for women. It’s a dual role in which she needs to connect with the audience. One of my main goals for the character was Diana Prince, who had to connect and share the secret with the audience. I said, ”I don’t want to play dumb. I don’t want to be dumb and goofy.” It’s that secret self that morphs, so yes, she does have to keep a lid on it.
You can’t play a superhero. You can’t. You look ridiculous if you do. You look like a cartoon, like Mighty Mouse or something. So I think they’re right if they haven’t come up with the right script that it shouldn’t be done. [But] the baton needs to be passed, so to speak.
MW: You would like to see someone else take on the role?
CARTER: Absolutely. It needs to be done again. It needs to be done again and again and again, even if it’s with different people. It’s a great story and I think it has all the potential in the world. But it can’t be about the bad guys and the good guys. It has to be about relationships within the story.
Lynda Carter performs “Long-Legged Woman” tonight, April 2, at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
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