Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Heart Of Stone: Gal Gadot & Alia Bhatt's Characters Have A Conflicting Sense Of Purpose - Exclusive Interview

This interview was conducted prior to the beginning of the SAG-AFTRA strike.

In the international espionage film "Heart of Stone," Gal Gadot and Alia Bhatt play for different teams. Gadot is Rachel Stone, an elite spy in the secret group The Charter, whose goal is to maintain peace no matter how dirty their members have to get their hands. This sets her on a collision course with Bhatt's Keya Dhawan. Her desire to control the Heart, the powerful artificial intelligence that feeds The Charter all kinds of information, is a threat to global stability. Rachel and Keya are on a collision course with one another, and who wins is anybody's guess.

In real life, though, these two are both at the top of their careers. Gadot has starred as Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, in Patty Jenkins' two "Wonder Woman" films, played Gisele in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, and was one of the leads in "Red Notice," co-starring Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds. Alia Bhatt, meanwhile, has become a mainstay of Hindi cinema and is famous there for titles like "Brahmastra Part One: Shiva," "RRR," and "Gangubai Kathiawadi." "Heart of Stone" marks Bhatt's first American film.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Gadot and Bhatt talked about their tricky "Heart of Stone" characters and their complicated relationship.

Enjoying the tricky part

Gal, I was wondering, your most well-known character is "Wonder Woman," but Rachel Stone is a pretty big badass too. So, between the two of them, who would you say...

Gal Gadot: Oh, don't do that. It's like choosing mom or dad. It's like choosing one child or the other. I have great passion for both characters. I love Wonder Woman, and I love everything she represents. I loved playing Rachel Stone. They're both very strong independent leaders, but at the same time, there's a big difference with the tone of this movie to the "Wonder Woman" one. This one is much [more] grounded, grittier, more realistic, and it's not a superhero movie. It's a full on action film that takes place in our world, and it was a pleasure. It was such a joy process filming it.

Alia, your character is a little bit tricky to understand. How did you understand her circumstances?

Alia Bhatt: Actually, it's exactly that tricky part that I enjoyed the most, which is that you think that one moment she's got it all together, and then the other moment she's displaying some sort of vulnerability. I enjoyed a lot of that.

Again, without giving too much away, she is the antagonist. She is the bad guy, but I don't think I went into the film playing her like that. I was playing my character. I was playing Keya like it is the only purpose and it's the right thing because it is what's right for her, and that's her understanding, and that's her vision, and that's what she's lived with for many years. She's causing a lot of chaos, but that's how this film moves forward. We're happy that the chaos is caused.

Navigating their characters' complex relationship

How did you both navigate your complicated relationship in the movie?

Gadot: Well, you have to watch the movie. I feel like if we're going to say something now, we risk a spoiler. You'll have to watch the movie. I can say that the dynamic between the two characters was a lot of fun to play. They both have a great sense of purpose. One of them became an anarchist and the other one didn't, but they have very strong points of views, and without giving much away, their journey that they go through and what they reflect on each other is interesting.

What about you, Alia?

Bhatt: I agree, and it's actually very simply communicated through the film. I don't think it's as complicated once you actually go through the film and the end credits roll. Everyone's very clear what they feel. I'm pretty sure about that. I'm not worried about that at all, and any sort of cat and mouse back and forth chase that happens in between is what we want people to feel. We want the edge of the seat experience. We want the adrenaline. That's all intentional.

"Heart of Stone" will stream on Netflix on August 11.

This interview has been edited for clarity.