Note: This interview was conducted in June 2023, prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.There seems to have been a surge in spy thrillers of late. Perhaps we should be thanking Daniel Craig, whose retirement from James Bond in 2021 with No Time to Die is partly responsible for clearing some space in the espionage landscape. Between the two Extraction films, The Gray Man, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Ghosted, Munich: The Edge of War, and Assassin Club, the field has filled up quite a bit in just two years. Owning several of those titles, it's safe to say Netflix is leading the pack.
Now they're releasing another star-studded cyberespionage blockbuster with Heart of Stone. Decked out with fancy technology and wild action sequences, the big-budget film from Tom Harper (2016's War & Peace, The Aeronauts) stars Gal Gadot as a literal secret agent. Rachel Stone is a highly-valued operative for a massive deep state organization of sorts which uses extremely advanced technology to protect the world, but she cleverly fronts as a tech specialist with MI6. Who'd think a spy would masquerade as a better spy?
A great ensemble cast joins Gadot in the film — Alia Bhatt, Jamie Dornan, Matthias Schweighöfer, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Ready, and Jing Lusi. Back in June, Gadot (who also produces the film) spoke with MovieWeb about her character and her love of action. You can watch a clip from our interview above, which also features co-star Alia Bhatt.
The Action That Inspired Heart of Stone
Heart of Stone immediately begins with the kind of classic cold open we've come to expect in certain spy films, at least the kind that are shaken, not stirred. We meet Rachel Stone and her dashing, competent team at MI6 as they plan some sexy subterfuge amid the snowy ski slopes and posh casinos of a mountainous resort. Rachel stays in the van as usual, working her computer magic, but an unexpected intruder forces her to intervene. In order to avoid blowing her cover with her partners, she embarks on a wild race against time down the mountainous descent.
That opening is one of many big action set pieces in the film, and reminds audiences of just how good Gadot is at these things. The actor, who served as a combat instructor in the Israel Defense Forces, has incredible physical abilities that accompany many of her performances, and her passion for action is downright cinematic.
"I think, first of all, I'm a big fan of this genre — Bond, Mission Impossible, Bourne Identity, Die Hard, all these films. I love them," explained Gadot. She continued:
I love the suspense, the twists and turns, the drama, the scope, everything about them. I love getting into a movie and going through a journey, and feeling like I've been all around the world and come back, closer than being delivered or in the theater.
Gal Gadot Leads the Way for Female-Led Action Films
Heart of Stone is thus a passion project of sorts, an exciting action film that Gadot herself wanted to make. The success of movies like Red Notice, the Fast & Furious franchise, and her massive DC movies lit the fuse that led to this explosive film.
"For me, you know, I think after the success of Wonder Woman, I really realized that there was more room, there was more space for female-led action films. And that's really what gave me the boost of confidence to go and start and developing this movie," said Gadot. She elaborated:
It's funny, because I feel like beforehand, the roles kind of found me. With Rachel, I was looking for her. I was so passionate to tell a story like this, but in a different tone, much more grounded, much more gritty and raw. And you know, that just simply excites me.
"So I went for it, and here we are now," concluded the star. With her crimson lipstick, Gadot blows the world a kiss at the end of our interview, and it feels like both a "thank you" and "you're welcome" to the world of action lovers. They've supported her for years now, and she's giving them what they want and more with Heart of Stone.
Heart of Stone is a production of Skydance, Pilot Wave, and Mockingbird Pictures, and will be available to stream here on Netflix beginning Aug. 11th. You can watch the official trailer below: