‘Wonder Woman:’ Patty Jenkins Opens Up About How Her Father Inspired Chris Pine’s Character

“The true story that not everybody knows is that my father was an American fighter pilot” the director says

AFI Fest Patty Jenkins Brett Ratner
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Chris Pine’s character in “Wonder Woman,” Steve Trevor, is one of DC Comic’s oldest supporting characters, having debuted in 1941. But director Patty Jenkins’ was able to add a little something new to the character’s storied history by drawing inspiration from father’s life.

Jenkins explained that her father was an American fighter pilot in conversation with Co-Founder of Women in Entertainment Gretchen McCourt at the third annual Women in Entertainment Summit at the Skirball Center Thursday in Los Angeles.

“Heres the funny thing: it is literally the story [of my father],” Jenkins said. “The true story that not everybody knows is that my father was an American fighter pilot who flew from Europe.”

Her father passed away in a plane crash during his time as a fighter pilot, which made her excited to tell Steve Trevor’s story–but she kept it as much of a secret on set as she could.

“I didn’t want anybody to know when we were shooting… I didn’t want people to come onto set and be nervous. I was like I’m not nervous, I’m ok,” she said, but added that she’s ready to share now that some time has passed. “It’s been a long time and I’m so honored to bring him back in this way.”

Jenkins also touched on the gender dynamics in the trench scene with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the soldiers, when Diana jumps out in front of enemy fire, saying “they can’t afford to be sexist” on the day of battle. She described the soldiers as thinking “she’s tough, we should let her go ahead.”

“It was a great way of not belittling the gender difference and not belittling anybody, Jenkins said.