She’s taken the world by storm as Wonder Woman, which brought in $103 million on its opening weekend. Here are some fun facts about this fabulous Israeli actress.
1. Gal was born in Israel.
Gal Gadot was born in Rosh HaAyin, Israel on April 30th, 1985 to an engineer father and a teacher mother. Her maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. In Hebrew, her name translates to Wave Riverbanks (Gal means Wave and Gadot means riverbanks).
2. She served in the army.
When she was twenty-years-old, Gal became a member of the military. She served as an enlisted soldier for two years and served as a combat instructor. It was her military background and knowledge of weapons that helped her get her breakout role as Gisele in “Fast & Furious.”
3. She won Miss Israel in 2004
At the age of 18, Gadot won the Miss Israel beauty pageant. Yet, when she went to represent Israel in the Miss Universe pageant, she began to shy away from the role. Gal has revealed in an interview that she only became a contender in the Miss Israel pageant because of her mother and had not thought that she could win.
4. Gal sabotaged herself in the Miss Universe pageant
After coming in first place in the Miss Israel pageant, Gal landed a coveted spot on the Miss Universe circuit. However, she quickly realized she was not up for the role and began to sabotage herself during the pageant. She was so reluctant to win that she turned up late for events, wore the wrong kind of evening wear, and even pretended that she couldn’t speak English.
5. Her military training landed her the role in Fast and the Furious
Her two years in the military landed her the role as Gisele Harabo in the fourth installment of Fast and the Furious. She also played a role in the fifth and sixth installments of the film. Gal believes she got that role because of her military training. Due to this experience, Director Justin Lin encouraged her to perform her own stunts, and the actress did just that.
6. Gal studied law
As a young girl, Gal wanted to be a choreographer but things later changed. After high school, Gadot went on to study law and international relations. When she was at law school, a casting director called her to audition for a movie, but initially Gadot wasn’t interested because she felt she was too serious to act in movies.
7. Gal lost her first role to Olga Kurylenko
When a casting director saw Gal’s comp card on the wall of an Israeli modeling agency, he wanted her to try out for his upcoming blockbuster. The film was none other than the James Bond movie Quantum Solace, and while at first, she said no, she later went on to audition. The role went to French actress Olga Kurylenko. Gal then went on to act in Israeli television series before moving on to bigger things in Hollywood.
8. She was a model
Prior to diving into the world of acting, Gal was a successful model. After winning the Miss Israel pageant, Gal was signed with an agency. During her time as a model, she appeared in a 2007 Maxim photoshoot that was showcasing some of the women in the Israeli Defense Forces.
9. She didn’t know she was auditioning for Wonder Woman
When Gal was invited to audition for the role of Wonder Woman in the Batman V. Superman installation, no one actually told her what the audition was for. Instead, director Zack Snyder asked Gal to do a camera test and only found out two weeks later, when she was told she had the role.
10. Gal is a Beyonce fan
Before the auditions, Gadot was one of a few actresses waiting for a camera test. She was told to wait in her trailer until she was called. The waiting was making her anxious, so she listened to Beyoncé’s song, “Who run the world? Girls!” “I just started to dance, and I let my anxiety go. Thank you, Beyoncé!” she said in an interview in W Magazine earlier this year.
11. Gal had grueling training for Wonder Woman
Although Gal had extensive training due to her military background, she was put through additional training when she was cast as Wonder Woman. The actress received training in Kung Fu, kickboxing, capoeira, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and swordsmanship. Gal talked about the intensity of the training on a segment of Live with Kelly and Ryan saying that the training was far more grueling than the army.
12. Gal and Wonder Woman are breaking glass ceilings
Gadot’s first outing as Wonder Woman came in the movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” in 2016. The film was widely panned by the critics, but almost all agreed that Gadot was the best part of the film. Gadot’s film “Wonder Woman” is the first superhero movie in over a decade to feature a female in the title role. Not only is Wonder Woman the highest rated DC Extended Universe movie ever with a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it has also had the third highest opening out of all the films. In addition to that, this was the first superhero movie that was directed by a woman. The director Patty Jenkins has now surpassed the best opening weekend for a female director, which was previously held by Sam Taylor-Johnson for Fifty Shades of Grey.
13. She was five months pregnant while filming
When the director needed to film reshoots for Wonder Woman in November, Gal was already five months pregnant. So the costume department had to get creative in hiding her baby bump. They ended up cutting out the middle part of her costume out and placing a bright green cloth over the bump instead, where it would be hidden in post-production. Talking about the experience, Gal said, “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.”
14. She is married to real estate developer Yaron Versano
Gal has been married to real estate developer Yaron Versano for nine years. Speaking about the marriage, Gal has said: “We met nearly 10 years ago through mutual friends at this very strange party in the Israeli desert. It was all about yoga, chakras, and eating healthy — we didn’t exactly find ourselves there, but we found each other. I think I [knew he was the one], but I was too young to get it. He did. He’s 10 years older than me. He told me on our second date he was serious and wasn’t going to wait more than two years to ask me to marry him. Fast-forward two years; he proposed. We were married in 2008.”
15. Gal now has two children
While filming Wonder Woman, Gal was pregnant with her second child. Gal and her husband, Yaron Versano, welcomed their first child Alma in 2011 and their second daughter Maya in March 2017. Speaking on motherhood, Gal has said, “It’s cheesy, but I feel like Wonder Woman when I give birth. When you deliver, you feel like you’re a god. Like, ‘Oh my God, I made this!’ The best thing is to become a mother and to give life.”