Wonder Woman just can’t be stopped. After the film blew away fans, critics, and those initial box-office predictions, the First Daughter of Themyscira has shattered multiple records worldwide. Furthermore, just a month after its initial release date, the superhero flick isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s about to become summer’s highest grossing film and the second highest-grossing film of the year. But let’s not forget one thing, front and center of all its glory, we have Gal Gadot. So let’s begin, shall we?
When it comes to fashion merchandising, Gal Gadot could conquer the world. With that being said, did you know that when she was just 18 years old, she won Miss Israel in 2004? Quite a feat.
However when she went on to represent Israel at the Miss Universe competition in Ecuador a few months later, she sabotaged her win. Basically, she was on a personal mission to fail because the pageant life isn’t for her. In 2016, while on the Jimmy Kimmel show, she said, “I’m just not that type of girl.”
As it is required by all residents of Israel, Gal served in the Israeli Defense Forces. So she carried out her obligatory two-year military service from the age of 20. While she promoted Batman v Superman, she told People magazine, “Part of being Israeli is to go to the army. All my friends went, my parents went and my grandparents went.”
After Gal finished her military service, she went to university where she studied law and international relations. When she finished her first year of school, she was approached by a casting director for a role. However, at the time, she thought she was “too serious and smart to be an actress,” Gadot told W magazine.
On The Rise
2007 and the 21-year-old features in the Maxim photo shoot, “Women of the Israeli Army”, and then goes on to feature on the cover of the New York Post. By April 2012, Shalom Life ranked Gal Number 5 on its list of “the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world”, just behind model Bar Refaeli and actress Eva Green.
BAM. Gal’s first ever acting role was in 2008 on the Israeli television series Bubot, she portrayed a character known as Miriam. (PSSSST, this is when she caught the attention of Justin Lin (i.e. the director of Fast & Furious).
Our girl, Gal, actually auditioned for the part of the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace but Olga Kurylenko wound up with the role. “It was always Olga’s,” Gal told Glamour. “But I started going to an acting coach, then I got my first role, in an Israeli TV series.”
Fast & Furious
Remember Justin Lin? He’s the director of Fast & Furious! Well he saw a training video of Gal and that was it. Immediately he knew he had to hire her. Moreover, he was just so impressed by Gal’s tough spirit that he actually rewrote her backstory in order to include military experience and made her chracter an ex Mossad Agent.
More to Come
So that’s when Gal landed her first movie role in Fast & Furious. She portrayed Gisele Yashar, a drug trafficker and weapons expert. Additionally, she appeared in two more sequels, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
No Stunt Double Here
What’s more bad a** about our favorite Hollywood star? She did ALL of her own stunts for the Fast & Furious movies! “All of the stunts on Fast Five and six, I have done myself and on Fast 6 we went crazy with the action movies,” she told Real Style Network back in 2013. “The adrenaline was just incredible and I enjoyed being able to do the stuff that in real life you can’t.” Then in a separate interview, she said that she wanted to be a “tough girl” and get in on the action. “I want to have gunshots, I want to fly up in the air, on the motorcycle, whatever. I want to do it all, by myself — no stuntwoman.”
Here and There
2010 rolls around and Gal Gadot lands some small roles, such as in the action-comedy Date Night and the action-adventure Knight and Day.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes theaters by storm in 2016 and that’s we see Gal Gadot make her first ever appearance as Wonder Woman. Her performance absolutely gripped people so much so that everyone was begging for her to land her own Wonder Woman film.
Of course Queen Beyoncé is somehow connected to Wonder Woman. How? Well she helped our girl Gal, land the role. “When I auditioned for Batman v Superman, I didn’t know it was for Wonder Woman,” she told W magazine. “The director, Zack Snyder, asked me to do a camera test. That was torture. They were looking at six or seven girls, and we were all in separate trailers and were told to stay inside until they called us. Waiting is my enemy Number One, and I was losing my mind. So, I decided to put on Beyoncé… Who runs the world? Girls! I just started to dance, and I let my anxiety go. Thank you, Beyoncé!”
Director Zack Snyder explains why he cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, “We tested a bunch of actresses, as you can imagine,” Snyder told Film Ink, he notes that six other actors were up for the role. “But the thing with Gal is that she’s strong, she’s beautiful, and she’s a kind person, which is interesting, but fierce at the same time. It’s that combination of being fierce but kind at the same time that we were looking for. She can get serious, but she’s amazingly fun to be around. And by the way, she really held her own with Ben in the screen test. Ben was like, ‘Whoa, that girl is something else!’”
So Gal Gadot is 5’10” which just makes her even more tall and lean. Or it just really means that she is the embodiment of an Amazonian warrior. All she needed to do was pack on some muscle. Therefore she received swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training all in preparation for the role!
On top of all that, Gal Gadot also relied on her roots as an Israeli Defense Force Combat Trainer. See, she was also trained in Krav Maga, the incredibly difficult, famous Israeli fighting style.
Six months. That’s how long Gal Gadot was training to get into shape to play Wonder Woman. Her daily routine? Oh you know, it consisted of two hours of weightlifting, two hours of fight choreography, and two hours of horseback riding.
Lean Mean Machine
Gal’s trainer went on to explain that it was difficult to transform her body from a lean fashion model to a strong Amazonian warrior. Furthermore, she consumed almost 7,000 calories a day(!) in order to bulk up.
From over 4,000 locations, Wonder Woman racked in a whopping $103.1 million! Plus, internationally it brought in $122.5 million from 55 markets. Which gives us a combined total of $223 million. YES.
Ugh, my heart. Gal met her husband, a real estate developer, Yaron Varsano in the desert. Of course she did. As she told Glamour, the adorable couple were introduced through mutual friends at a “very strange” desert party in Israel. “It was all about yoga, chakras, and eating healthy — we didn’t exactly find ourselves there, but we found each other.” These lovely kids have been married since 2008, some nine years now.
Furthermore, Gal and Yaron have two daughters: Alma, who was born in 2011, and Mary, who was just born in March 2017. EEK!
Back in 2015, Gal and her husband sold their luxury hotel, the Varsano, for approximately $26 million. Oh and the buyer is a Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, who is friends with Leonardo DiCaprio. Apparently Abramovich purchased the Tel Aviv property so he could rebuild it into his very own Israeli home. Must be nice.
Preggo Wonder Woman
That’s right, Gal filmed Wonder Woman while she was five months pregnant with her second daughter. MMHMM. Now, Gal had to re-shoot some scenes with a baby bump and all. Which proved a serious test for Gal and the costume department. Well in the end, they cut out the middle of her outfit so they could replace it with a bright green cloth to create some post-production magic. “On close-up I looked very much like Wonder Woman. On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog,” she recalled in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Director Patty Jenkins is so grateful for her work ethic, telling EW, “She’s pregnant during part of the movie, in a suit out in a field in the freezing cold in others. There are so many things we asked her to do … Everyday it was a hilarious gauntlet and she would do it.”
Almost a Quitter
Prior to landing the role of Wonder Woman, Gadot actually considered quitting acting. She said to Jimmy Fallon in May 2017, that she was about to give up on Hollywood before she got a call for a “secret” audition. “The rejection is tough. I was telling my husband, ‘I’m not sure how long I can take it,'” she said “The audition went great . . . but I still didn’t know if I wanted to continue acting.” Then her agent called, said that the secret role was for Wonder Woman, and she had landed the part. Yay!
Mom and Dad
Gal’s father, Michael, is an engineer and her mother, Irit, used to be a physical education teacher. She told ESPN, “Because of [my mom], I was so active my entire life. There was no TV time… She always instructed us to be physical.” Moreover, she has a younger sister named Dana.
Sorry, she’s not a crazy cat lady…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Gal is #TeamDog through and through! Meet Lola. Lola makes many adorable appearances on Gal’s social media accounts.
Before she got the role as Diana of Themyscira, Gadot had auditioned for a role in Guardians of the Galaxy. So while the part was never named, she said that the part she was up for had required her to shave her head and be painted blue. Which sounds like a description similar to the character Nebula.
During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Gal said, “I’ve gotta tell you, I know that it’s written on my Wikipedia page, but I don’t ride motorcycles! It’s not true, but that’s fine. I’m a daring person and I always like to experience things but now that I’m a mother, I take a lot more responsibility and I don’t do crazy stuff that can kill me.” She goes on to add, “So, I do all the crazy stuff when I work and then in my ordinary life I’m very low-key.”
Talk about a need for better fashion merchandising. Turns out that initially, Gadot simply couldn’t breathe in the early version of her kick a** costume.
Turns out that it was important for Gadot for a woman direct the movie. Gadot said that if she worked with a female director, that this would allow them to depict Wonder Woman in a “normal” way. Furthermore, Gadot hopes Wonder Woman will act as a role model for girls. “I feel that I’ve got the opportunity to set a great role model for girls to look up to a strong, active, compassionate, loving, positive woman, and I think it’s so important,” she said.
We should mention that Gal’s parents are Jewish immigrants from Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Poland. Furthermore, her background is incredibly important to her. “I was brought up in a very Jewish, Israeli family environment, so of course my heritage is very important to me,” she said during an interview with Totally Jewish. “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.”
Now let’s explain the roots of her name! So there’s her first name, “Gal,” which means “wave” in Hebrew, and her surname, “Gadot,” which means “riverbanks.” How absolutely lovely.
When Gal interviewed with Glamour magazine, she did hold back on her ideas about feminism. “There are such misconceptions as to what a feminist is,” she said. “Feminism is about equality. I want all people to have the same opportunities and to get the same salaries for the same jobs. I realize I’m doing what I want to do because of the women before me who laid the groundwork. Without them I wouldn’t be an educated working mother who is following her dreams; I wouldn’t be here.”
Even though the character of Wonder Women usually wears stars and stripes, she’s actually not American. While some people were annoyed that Gadot landed the role, the original ladies Lynda Carter and Cathy Lee Crosby, don’t mind one bit. Especially Carter!
Lynda Carter reportedly gave the director Patty Jenkins her blessing when she first had signed onto the film. On top of that, Carter and Gadot built an incredibly strong relationship from there, just out of mutual love for the character.
Gucci have made sure to step in and chose Gal as the face of their Bamboo fragrance campaign. So since 2015, she’s been in some pretty delicious ads.
Furthermore, Gal Gadot and Paul Walker were quite close. So when she learned of his tragic car crash back in 2013, she was devastated. Posting this on social media, “Lost a dear friend today. So sudden and tragic. . .Hard to believe. . .Paul was a great man with a big heart and passion for life. I’m so sad he’s no longer with us. Can’t believe I’m actually writing this. . .I’m sending my condolences to his family and his precious daughter Meadow. . .Rest in peace brother. We will miss you here. . .”
When Gadot chatted with The Stndrd, she mentioned her strong desire to see many more substantial roles for women in the film industry. “There aren’t enough good roles for strong women. I wish we had more female writers,” she said. “Most of the female characters you see in films today are ‘the poor heartbroken girl.’ That’s why I’m so proud of the Fast movies. I feel like Gisele is an empowering woman.”
Gal Gadot was paid only $300,000 for Wonder Woman, which made $573 million worldwide. There are many who are practically rioting as Henry Cavill, Superman in Man of Steel, earned $14 million. However! Cavill’s $14 million earnings came from bonuses for box-office performance, while Gadot’s $300,000 is merely the base salary for each movie that she has made so far in the DC Universe.