“I feel like I’ve been given such a huge opportunity to show the strong, beautiful side of women.”
As a kid from the small Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin, this has been a tremendous career move, one that Gal Gadot (pronounced Gah-dote), could never have imagined. Standing at 5’10”, the beautiful doe-eyed, sultry Gal first dreamt of being a choreographer and then decided to study law. Playing volleyball and basketball on her high school team she states, “At 178 cm, I was not an amazing shooter, but I ripped them on defense.” However, life took an unexpected turn when a pageant scout convinced her to compete in the 2004 Miss Israel contest, which she won and launched a modeling career. But she slowed down on that in order to serve her two years in the Israeli army, earning a spot as a combat trainer after excelling in a grueling three-month boot camp. She says of her time in the army, “You give two or three years, and it’s not about you. You give your freedom away for a while. You learn discipline and respect. The things I’ve been through as a soldier prepared me to deal with career things as well” Upon completion of two years of service in the Israeli Defense Forces, she enrolled at a university, where she was studying law and was first discovered by casting directors. However, Gal’s physical dexterity helped her portray the badass Gisele in Fast & Furious, her first Hollywood gig. With the popularity of Gisele’s character Gal’s screen time increased in Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. In all three movies, she performed her own stunts. As her hobbies make her action-movie ready, Gal is a motorcycle enthusiast and owns a black 2006 Ducati Monster. Additionally her roles in 2016 in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Criminal, Triple 9 and Keeping Up with the Joneses have made Gal a household name.
It’s been a whirlwind and a career-making role for actress Gal Gadot as she will rely on that fierce strength again as she reincarnates Wonder Woman, debuting in movie theaters on June 2, a part she will inhabit for the foreseeable future. Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. When playing Wonder Woman it was important to show how just independent she is. Gal says, “She is not relying on a man, and she’s not there because of a love story. She’s not there to serve someone else.” Well, it’s pretty clear she doesn’t need help from anybody! “She has so many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she’s a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence. And more importantly, Wonder Woman is getting the respect of having her own movie!” With at least two more spin-offs of Wonder Woman scheduled through 2019, Gal’s role of Diana Prince in Justice League is in post –production and she will continue with that role in Justice League Part Two.
Fun loving Gal says, “In real life I’m the type of girl who doesn’t take herself too seriously. I’m very serious when it comes to work, but I like to make jokes and have a good laugh and make fun of myself.” Always travelling between Israel and the USA, Gal is married to Israeli real estate developer Yaron Versano and they have two beautiful daughters, Alma and Maya. “ When you play a character, you bring yourself into the character. You get a chance to shine and show your translation for the character and her state of mind,” says Gal. Born into a Jewish family (from Poland, Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia), Gal says, “I definitely have a strong sense of my Jewish and Israeli identity. I was brought up in a very Jewish, Israeli family environment, so of course my heritage is very important to me. I want people to have a good impression of Israel. I don’t feel like I’m an ambassador for my country, but I do talk about Israel a lot – I enjoy telling people about where I come from and my religion.”
Additionally her roles in 2016 in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Criminal, Triple 9 and Keeping Up with the Joneses has made Gal a household name. Along with being the face of Gucci’s Bamboo perfume brand, Gal is everywhere as she is continually in the national spotlight.
In 2016, Wonder Woman, Gal (along with Lynda Carter) were named an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women & Girls by the United Nations. Subsequently, Gal was invited to give a speech at the UN in New York City. As the iconic hero, Wonder Woman, Gal uses her bracelets to ward off danger and incoming bullets. She is extremely protective of her family as well and charmingly superstitious as she is always knocking on wood repeatedly as she stresses how grateful she is for the twists and turns of fate that have brought her here. “I think women are amazing for being able to show what they feel. I admire women who do. I think it’s a mistake when women cover their emotions to look tough. I say let’s own who we are and use it as a strength,” says Gal.
The beautiful and exotic Gal Gadot not only wants to be a role model for girls everywhere, but especially for two in particular, her daughters. She wants to be able to share the idea of a brave, capable, powerful female superhero with her daughters and is excited to be the one to bring that to life. Gal added, “There aren’t enough good roles for strong women. I wish we had more female writers. Most of the female characters you see in films are the ‘poor heartbroken girl’. It is so important for girls and boys to have a female, strong, superhero to look up to.”
All and all, it’s what Gal strongly believes in and will continue to promote when she says, “Wonder Woman is a fighter, better than most. But it’s what she fights for that is important. It’s her vision of a future of peace and acceptance that makes her the right ambassador for everyone.”
By Marla Horn Lazarus