Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
April 30, 1985
2004 - Present
Currently Known For:
Actress and Model
Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League and as Gisele Yashar in The Fast & the Furious Film Franchise
“I’ll tell you what. I’m like a horse, I don’t look—I look at my path only. I don’t look at what my colleague has, or what my friend has got. I’m focused on my way, and then you’re just confident because whatever needs to happen, will happen—that’s my motto.” Crowned Miss Israel at 18 years old and then serving two years with the Israel Defense Forces, Gal Gadot’s rise to stardom has been anything but ordinary. In fact, Gadot was content studying law at IDC Herzliya college when a casting director jolted her world and invited her to audition as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. Although she didn’t get the part, she was cast as Gisele Yashar in The Fast & the Furious film franchise where she turned heads by performing most of her own stunts. Then, in 2016, she auditioned for and won the part of Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and has since reprised her role in the 2017 blockbusters Wonder Woman and Justice League. Needless to say, the 32-year-old Gadot has taken Hollywood by storm as the newest member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and one of the hottest leading ladies in town!
The eldest of two daughters, Gal Gadot was born on April 30, 1985 in Petah Tikva, Israel where her father worked as an engineer and her mother was a physical education teacher. “I had a very sheltered kind of life,” Gadot recalled. “There was no TV-watching. It was always, ‘Take a ball and go play.’ In general, I was a good girl, a good student, a pleaser, and I was a tomboy. Always with wounds and scratches on my knees.” Standing at 5’10” tall and a standout on her high school basketball team, Gadot studied biology and took jobs babysitting and working at Burger King after school. When she was of age, she completed her mandatory two years of service in the Israel Defense Forces where she was a combat trainer, a period that Gadot credits with helping her land the part in Fast & Furious. “You give two or three years, and it’s not about you,” she said. “You learn discipline and respect.”
Taking those life lessons with her, Gadot was 18 years old when she received her first offer to model, which she politely declined. “I was like, ‘Posing for money? Ugh, it’s not for me,’” she said. However, her mom and friend had other plans and secretly entered her in the Miss Israel contest. “I told myself, ‘I’m just gonna do this. They’re gonna fly us to Europe and I’m gonna get to tell my grandchildren that Grandmom did the Miss Israel thing.’ Little did I know that I would win.” Winning the Miss Israel title meant that Gadot was a contestant in the Miss Universe pageant which, at the time, seemed overwhelming. Not even making it in the top 20, Gadot was thrilled and later said, “I lost majorly. I victoriously lost.”
Going on to study law and international relations at the IDC Herzilya college, Gadot was wrapping up her first year as a student when a casting director reached out to her agent and invited her to audition as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. “I told my agent, ‘What are you talking about? I’m in school. I’m not an actress. I’m not gonna go,’” Gadot said of hearing the news. Although her agent convinced her to audition out of respect, Gadot never imagined that losing the part in a Bond film would launch her acting career as she snagged a starring role in the 2008 Israeli drama Bubot and then won the part of Gisele Yashar in The Fast & The Furious film franchise. Performing her own stunt work in the 2009 Fast & Furious film, Gadot later reprised her role in Fast Five in 2011, Fast & Furious 6 in 2013, and Furious 7 in 2015.
Amid her growing success with the Fast & Furious franchise, Gadot built her reputation with roles in Date Knight and Knight and Day as she modeled in international campaigns for brands like Captain Morgan, Gucci and Jaguar with ads in Cosmopolitan, Glamour and FHM. Then, in 2016, she received the call of a lifetime when she was invited to audition for a part in the new DC film, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. “I didn’t know it was for Wonder Woman,” Gadot said of her audition. “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!”
Winning the part of Wonder Woman and making her debut in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, many critics praised Gadot’s performance as the highlight of the film but others had something else to say when they learned Gadot would star in the Wonder Woman film. “They said I was too skinny and my boobs were too small,” Gadot said. “They said my head was too big and my body was like a broomstick. I can take anything. It’s just empty talk. I can understand that part of what I’m doing means being exposed and part of being exposed is being under fire.”
Using the criticism to her advantage, Gadot spent the next few months building muscle and made Wonder Woman into a fiercely independent and feminine woman who held her own in a male-dominated world. The result was breathtaking as Wonder Woman hit theaters in 2017 and grossed over $821 million at box offices worldwide as critics ranked it at the top of the best superhero movies of all time and praised it as the first live action superhero film ever directed by a woman. Even so, Gadot remains humble about her performance saying, “It just shows that the world was ready for a female-driven action movie.”
With the Wonder Woman sequel set for release in November 2019, Gadot has plenty to keep her busy especially since reprising her role for Justice League in 2017, which is her third DC film and stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Ezra Miller as Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Although the film has received mixed reviews, Gadot’s performance was a high point in the flick, which just goes to show you just how powerful and talented the stunning 32-year-old Gadot truly is.