Young ‘Wonder Woman’ Star: “Diana Is Very Like Me”

Lilly Aspell, who had to keep her role top secret, recalls her best advice from Gal Gadot: “the day you don’t enjoy it, you should stop.”

It’s tough convincing people you’ve got what it takes to grow up to be a superhero, but Lilly Aspell pulled it off with her spirited performance in Wonder Woman.

The nine-year-old, Scotland-born actress showed off her horseback riding skills, believable Amazon accent and fighting spirit in the film, in which she plays Diana at age eight. The actress was kind enough to answer some of Heat Vision‘s questions via email, and her enthusiasm for all things Wonder Woman and filmmaking is rather infectious. As for her big-screen hopes? A movie involving horses or reteaming with director Patty Jenkins.

Do you remember much about your audition? Did you know it was for Wonder Woman at the time?

I remember the first time I auditioned, I didn’t know it was for Wonder Woman, but I do remember that I had to use a bow and arrow. It was really relaxed and the character from the script was very like me so I was able to be very natural. I loved it!

How did you prepare to play a future superhero?

I am already very athletic and do a lot of running and horse riding, so physically I didn’t have to prepare much, but I did receive dialect coaching and sword training. This was super fun and Nat and Alan who taught me were fantastic!

What kind of conversations did you have with Patty Jenkins about your character?

Diana is very like me, so Patty just told me to be natural and let my own character come through. This made my job much easier. I have so much admiration for Patty and I would love to work with her again someday. She really is inspirational.

You and Connie Nielsen, who played Hippolyta, are wonderful together. What did you learn from working with her as your onscreen mother?

Connie was so professional and has an amazing aura surrounding her. She helped me relax as my first days filming was with her and it was pretty nerve-racking!

What has been the reaction from friends and family now that they can know about your big secret role?

I have the most amazing friends and family, they are really supportive and proud of me. I miss them so much when I go off filming. Thank heavens for FaceTime.

You had some great scenes. Is there one in particular that was the biggest challenge to get right, or that you enjoyed shooting the most? 

My favorite scene to shoot was riding Vendeval, the gray stallion, through the yellow field. I think it is an amazing scene and made me smile when I watched the movie. The most challenging was when I run up the stairs away from my tutor. We shot it a few times and although I’m pretty fit, I did get tired out!

Do you have future hopes to continue your big-screen career?

I am currently in Serbia filming another movie. I really hope to continue acting and would love to star in an horse movie, maybe there’s a director out there that wants to remake National Velvet?

Outside of acting, what are some of your favorite activities?

Apart from acting, I regularly compete my pony Turbo in show-jumping and eventing. We go off for days on end competing, it’s such great fun. Like camping but you bring your pony. What more would you want? I also enjoy running competitively and sing and dance.

Did Gal Gadot give you any feedback on your work?

Gal is such a wonderful person and was very helpful. I would often watch her filming and try and listen to her accent, she told me to only act if you enjoy it as it can really show in your performance, the day you don’t enjoy it, you should stop. She is also very kind and down-to- earth. I’d love to be just like her when I’m older.

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