Gal Gadot in Talks to Play Actor and Inventor Hedy Lamarr in Showtime Limited Series
Shut up and take my money/stolen Showtime subscription!
Gal Gadot is on a mission to play badass women and we are here.for.it. The Wonder Woman star is circling a limited series project from Sarah Treem (The Affair) about the life of Hedy Lamarr. Gadot has expressed interest in playing the role, and it’s easy to see why. Hedy Lamarr was a certified badass.
The Austrian bombshell was a star for MGM in the 1940’s, appearing in films like Boom Town (1940), I Take This Woman (1940), and Comrade X (1940). Soon she became known for playing sultry and exotic femme fatales, and was even credited as the inspiration for Catwoman.
But Lamarr was also an inventor, whose work included improved traffic stoplights and a dissolving tablet to make carbonated water (this one was less successful, as Lamarr admitted that it tasted like Alka-Seltzer). While Lamarr had zero training in STEM, she continued to pursue her passion for inventing. Her first husband, Austrian arms merchant Friedrich Mandl, worked with the Nazis on military technology (Lamarr was Jewish), and would often bring her with him to dinners and formal events.
While attending, Lamarr overheard that radio-controlled torpedoes were easily jammed, and she came up with the idea for a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She worked with her close friend, composer George Antheil, to invent a device, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. Our sister in arms Teresa Jusino explained it thusly:
“They used a player-piano roll to randomly change a radio signal sent between a controller and the torpedo within a range of eighty-eight frequencies (based on a piano having eighty-eight keys). This would make it difficult for an enemy to jam all eighty-eight frequencies, as that would require too much power.”
Lamarr and Antheil drafted designs and patented their frequency-hopping invention, but it was ultimately rejected by the U.S. military. Military officials were (not surprisingly) suspect of a foreign-born female movie star pitching technological advances. Despite this, the military eventually adopted Lamarr’s tech in the 1960’s.
Her frequency-jumping patent laid the groundwork for modern communication developments including Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth technology. While Lamarr’s beauty made her an icon, she lamented her looks, saying:
“My face has been my misfortune. It has attracted six unsuccessful marriage partners. It has attracted all the wrong people into my boudoir and brought me tragedy and heartache for five decades. My face is a mask I cannot remove. I must always live with it. I curse it.”
If you want to learn more about Lamarr’s life, check out last year’s documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. The woman lived an incredible life, and fingers crossed this miniseries does her justice (also, she was bisexual, so it would be great to see that portrayed as well).
(via Deadline, image: EAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/Getty Images, MGM / Clarence Bull)
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