Most may know Gal Gadot from “Wonder Woman,” Gisele from the “Fast and Furious” franchise or the new hit star of Netflix’s “Red Notice,” but she has a lot more talent under her belt.
Not only is Gadot the groundbreaking female lead for “Wonder Woman,” but she is also a model, soldier, mother and multicultural queen that many young women and girls look up to.
Growing up in a strict Jewish household, Gadot had little room for luxuries in her day-to-day life. “I had a very sheltered kind of life,” Gadot said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “There was no TV-watching. It was always ‘Take a ball and go play.’ ” Having this lifestyle and certain cultural values helped shape Gadot into a modest and humble teen growing up.
It was very clear from a young age that Gadot was going to grow up to be something amazing. Her long, brown hair swept through her town of Rosh HaAyin, Israel and she stood out like a rose in a bouquet of dandelions. She spent most of her high school years dodging modeling calls and gigs. She recalled in her interview with Rolling Stone that, “I was like, ‘Posing for money? Ugh, it’s not for me.’ ” when thinking about modeling throughout school.
Instead of modeling, Gadot spent the last few months of her high school education working for Burger King. However, her mandatory military service was looming in the distance.
GADOT AND MODELING
Although she was only focused on getting her two-year mandatory military service out of the way, her mom had different plans for her life after high school. Growing up it was clear that Gadot was good at attracting attention due to her looks. Now at an older age, her mom finally convinced her to compete in a beauty pageant.
This was no regular competition however: She was competing for Miss Israel 2004. At the end of the day, a crown was placed on her head and a sash around her shoulder. “I was shocked when they crowned me,” Gadot said in an interview with Glamour when talking about her experiences in Miss Israel.
After winning Miss Israel 2004 her mother encouraged her to pursue modeling. The next greatest feat for the young head-turner was Miss Universe. “When I went to Miss Universe, I rebelled. I was afraid I might get picked again.” She recalled in her Glamour interview. After all her hard work paid off, Gadot successfully lost. Now that she had diffused her modeling success momentarily, it was time for her to finish her mandatory military service.
MILITARY TO ACTRESS
While in the Israeli Military she climbed the ranks with style and innovation.“I taught gymnastics and calisthenics,” she tells Maxim when discussing her specialties. “The soldiers loved me because I made them fit.”
It was that very Maxim spread that would change her life forever. Although considered highly risque in the day, the flirtatious photos once again put Gadot and her beauty back in the minds of the public. After her two years of service, the options for success were endless for Gadot. Due to cultural and family pressure, Gadot felt the need to go to university.
“My parents were like, ‘You need to graduate university and get a degree,'” she recalls to Vanity Fair.
It was then that Gadot was called out to California to audition for a role in the then-upcoming James Bond Film, “Quantum of Solace.” Although not getting the gig, she realized that acting is so much more fun than going to law school, so she flew home and immediately dropped out, she told W Magazine. Although unsuccessful in Hollywood, she quickly got a role on Bubot, an Israeli TV show.
With some more experience and due to her prior military experience required in her home country, she was quickly called back to Hollywood and landed the role of Gisele in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. This role skyrocketed her Hollywood career and she had casting calls out the wazoo.
FROM ALMOST QUITTING TO BECOMING WONDER WOMAN
This sudden success had Gadot at a loss. She wanted to continue to pursue her career as an actor in Hollywood, but after having her first child in 2011 it was hard for her to keep up with her family from afar. By 2015, she felt so distant from her family she almost quit. Traveling halfway across the world to Israel wasn’t something she wanted to keep doing. In her interview with Today, she talked about how she was ready to leave when saying, “Maybe I should go back to law school and do that instead of dragging my family around.”
Having to put one’s children through so many international moves and tips at a young age was going to affect her child, but after a long talk with her husband, they agreed she should keep pursuing her career. Steps from getting on a plane back home, she got the most important call of her life.
The casting director for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” had called. Several months later, Gadot was chosen to play the role of a strong female lead who was tough all on her own. Diana, or Wonder Woman, started out as just a one-time appearance turned into an entirely new career for the actor.
The soldiers loved me because I made them fit.
“Wonder Woman” was born again and it was about time. Throughout the last half-decade that Gadot has been the face of the most famous female superhero, she has had many ups and downs. In the past, she was given the title of Honorary Ambassador for Women and Girls, but the title was later taken away because many fans felt she was not promoting positive body images for young women. Most recently Gadot has been under fire by some fans for her social media comments regarding her support for Israel.
Regardless of the controversy, Gadot has shown over the last several years that she truly is someone who can do it all. At a young age, her culture shaped her to be a unique and strong woman. Later, her home country being so far from Hollywood almost made her quit acting altogether. Despite these cultural boosts and setbacks, Gadot was able to become one of the most positive female figures in Hollywood due to her role as Wonder Woman as well as her role in “Death on the Nile.”