‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Doctor Who’ actresses celebrate women who kick ass

Comic-Con”s massive Hall H took some time on Saturday to celebrate women in entertainment who kick ass.

Moderated by Entertainment Weekly”s Sara Vilkomerson, the panel featured new Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, “Agent Cater” star Hayley Atwell, current companion to Doctor Who Jenna Coleman, “Game of Thrones” badass (and new member of the “Star Wars” family) Gwendoline Christie and the legendary Kathy Bates.

The discussion in Hall H today was a bit tamer than previous times EW has hosted the Women Who Kick Ass panel. In past years, getting women like Katee Sackhoff, Michelle Rodriguez and Danai Gurira together for the panel has led to some frank and outrage-infused discussion about sexism in Hollywood.

Christie said things are much better for women pursuing acting careers now than it was when she graduated from drama school, and Gadot contends that she”s been privileged to work with filmmakers who have a lot of respect for women, though the “Fast and Furious” actress also said, “I always feel like women don't get the same volume, the same space as men do, and that's why it's always so important for me to show the cooler side of women, to show the strong women, the amazing side of women.” 

But the panel didn”t need to be a rant about sexism or discrimination to be interesting. All five women were engaging and often funny too. HitFix already shared a story that Christie told on this panel about the “Game of Thrones” fight between Brienne and the Hound. Here are more highlights from each woman on the panel:

Gwendoline Christie on how Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” inspired her: “When I was young and watching films, [Weaver] seemed to be outside of the norm and seemed to be something that maybe I could aspire to, maybe I could follow. She was about strength and power but not forsaking her femininity and good old-fashioned ass-kicking.”

Gal Gadot, who wasn”t told what role she was up for when she first auditioned for Wonder Woman, on the moment she found out she was in contention to take on the iconic DC superhero: “Zack Snyder, the fabulous director, called me and he was like, 'We're gonna need to see you for a camera test. Do you know what you're testing for?' And I said, 'Uh, no.' And he said, 'Do you have Wonder Woman in Israel?' My jaw dropped. I was dead for a second, and then I came back to life. And then I tried to put on my best cool voice, and I was like, ‘Yeah, of course.””

Jenna Coleman on whether a woman could play the Doctor: “I think it's absolutely possible, and there's absolutely no reason why not. The Doctor is obviously a Time Lord, as is the Master, but I think a) Peter Capaldi is doing a wonderful job, so there isn't currently a vacancy. And b) I think it depends on the person actually, and it depends on what direction the show is going to take, and I think Steven Moffat's right in that he casts the person at the right time. Of course it's absolutely possible, and I'm sure it will happen at some point.”

Kathy Bates on wrestling James Caan in “Misery”: “Probably that was the hardest thing I ever had to do [for a film]. Our stunt director and coordinator worked on the stunt even before we started filming. It was tough. A lot of stuff we did ourselves. The hardest part was getting my head slammed into the floor. That was hard. I didn't think I would cry at the end of that, but I did.”

Hayley Atwell explains Carterelli shippers (and nods to the Bechdel Test-passing awesomeness of “Agent Carter”): “They love the idea of Angie, the waitress who's Carter's friend, and Carter herself to have a bit of a love-in, I suppose. Which I think is fantastic. It's quite rare on television these days to see women who are in a scene together not talking about men, having women who are genuinely loving each other, supporting each other, caring for each other and not in competition, not being catty. That was a very important part for Lyndsy Fonseca and myself to bring out. I think that kind of natural affection – fans took that relationship into their hearts. And then they just want them to kiss.”