Gal Gadot, the famous actress and model, entered this world on April 30, 1985 in Petah Tikva, Israel and was raised in the adjacent city of Rosh HaAyin. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016, she recounted her childhood memories, stating that she grew up in a delightful, simple neighborhood where cell phones were unheard of. She reminisced about how they used to visit their friends by simply walking to their house and requesting to play with them. Gal Gadot emphasized how they were all very lively kids who loved to be active.
Her given name in Hebrew signifies a “wave,” while her family name translates to “riverbanks.”
Gal’s mother, Irit, worked as a teacher while her father, Michael, was an engineer. However, it was her mother’s profession that had a significant impact on Gal’s childhood. Irit was a physical education teacher, which led Gal to participate in various sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, and high jump. Gal mentioned in an interview with an Australian outlet that she was highly active during her childhood days.
Irit and Michael’s parents both hail from Israel, but Irit identifies as a first-generation Jewish Israeli while Michael is six generations removed from his roots. In the face of the Holocaust, Irit’s maternal grandmother was able to flee Europe before the Nazis invaded, but her grandfather was not as fortunate. He, along with his mother and brother, were sent to Auschwitz while his father died fighting in the army. Tragically, he was the only one to make it out alive. Irit recounts how he was greatly impacted by this experience and despite being broken by it, he remained optimistic, loving, and hopeful.
In 2016, on her Facebook profile, she referred to her younger sister Dana as a “ray of sun”.
Despite getting offers to model during high school, she chose to work at the nearby Burger King. According to her, the idea of posing for money did not appeal to her.
Upon completing high school, and prior to enlisting in the Israeli military as required by law, she was persuaded by her mother to participate in the 2004 Miss Israel beauty contest. She reminisces, “I unexpectedly made it through and was crowned the winner. The prospect of being Miss Israel and all the associated responsibilities left me frightened.” This recollection was shared with W Magazine in 2017.
The individual became a winner and was required to participate in the Miss Universe contest in Ecuador for that particular year. Nevertheless, she had no intention of taking it seriously. According to her interview with Glamour in 2016, she was frightened that she would be selected again. She disclosed that she arrived late for the event and did not bring any gowns. The organizers informed contestants to wear a gown to breakfast, but she refused to comply, saying, “There is no way I am going to have breakfast in a gown!” She failed to make it to the top 20. However, she expressed her delight to Rolling Stone, stating, “I lost massively, I victoriously lost.”
When she turned 20, she fulfilled her two-year military service requirement by becoming a combat instructor in the Israel Defense Services. During an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she shared that she didn’t participate in any dangerous activities or handle weapons while on the field. Instead, she worked in the gym, training fellow soldiers and keeping them physically fit. While in boot camp, she did receive weapon training, but thankfully never found herself in a situation where she needed to use one.
While working as a server, Gal Gadot crossed paths with Yaron Varsano, a real estate developer who was ten years older than her. They met at a chakra/yoga retreat party held in the desert and were part of the same friend group. Despite not knowing each other at first, they clicked instantly. Gal recalls feeling drawn to Yaron’s cool demeanor. After their first conversation, she felt compelled to ask him out on a date. Yaron wasted no time in expressing his feelings for Gal and told her he intended to marry her within two years. Gal agreed, and they exchanged vows in 2008.
Back in 2007, she was featured in a spread named “Women of the IDF” on Maxim which led to several offers in modeling and acting. The following year, she landed a long-term contract as the primary model for a well-known Israeli clothing brand, Castro.
Even though she was receiving tempting proposals, she chose to attend IDC Herzliya college and pursued her studies in law and international relations. According to her, the reason for this decision was that she is a profound person and a fan of Ally McBeal. This information was shared with Rolling Stone.
As soon as she finished her first year at university, a casting director approached her and offered her an audition for the Bond girl character Camille Montes in the movie “Quantum of Solace”. Initially, she was hesitant and told her agent that she was only a student and not an actress. However, her agent advised her to attend the audition out of respect. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the role, and it went to Olga Kurylenko instead.
Although she never got the chance to play a Bond girl, she made her acting debut in 2007 by taking on a role in the Israeli series called Bubot, which unfortunately did not last very long. Nevertheless, her major opportunity was just waiting to happen.
A few months after missing out on the chance to play the iconic role of Bond, fate brought the same casting director back into her life. This time, the opportunity was to audition for the character of Gisele in the fourth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. Fortunately, luck was on her side, and she landed the part. In an interview, she revealed that the director, Justin Lin, was impressed by her military background and expertise in handling weapons, which ultimately played a significant role in her selection for the role.
Gal has appeared in four Fast and Furious movies and has taken on most of her own stunt work in these action-packed films.
In the year of her first appearance in a movie, she also landed a role in an episode of the popular TV show Entourage and made appearances in a couple of episodes of the short-lived CW drama The Beautiful Life: TBL.
Before long, a plethora of opportunities came her way, and she had the pleasure of acting alongside some big names in Hollywood such as Tom Cruise in “Knight & Day,” Tina Fey, and Steve Carrell in “Date Night.”
In spite of their growing fame, she and her spouse managed to establish a hotel in Tel Aviv named The Varsano. Their constant travels and desire for a homely feel led them to discover apartments within a hotel in Los Angeles, inspiring the concept for Yaron’s hotel. According to her interview with TotallyJewish.com in 2011, they collaborate effectively as a couple since they understand each other’s careers and aspirations. As proof of her involvement in the business, she proudly expressed that she personally changed the sheets whenever she was in town.
Back in 2015, the pair decided to hand over the ownership of their hotel to a wealthy businessman named Roman Abramovich, who is both Israeli and Russian, for a whopping sum of $26 million.
During her first audition for the role of Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice directed by Zach Snyder, Gal Gadot was not informed about the specific role she was trying out for. According to an interview with Rolling Stone, Zach Snyder contacted her and asked if she knew what role she was auditioning for, to which Gadot replied in the negative. Snyder then revealed that he was referring to Wonder Woman, to which Gadot’s reaction was one of shock, as she tried to downplay her excitement during the conversation.
Before her life-changing audition, she had been considering giving up on her acting career altogether due to the overwhelming amount of rejection in the industry. She discussed her doubts with Willie Geist in 2017, stating that she was extremely close to quitting and even considered going back to law school instead. She also expressed her frustration with constantly making it far in auditions, only to ultimately be rejected. However, her outlook changed when her agent called to inform her that Warner Brothers was interested in auditioning her for a role.
In a 2017 interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Gal disclosed that preparing for her role as Wonder Woman was more demanding than her military training. Her physical training included swordsmanship, Kung Fu, kickboxing, capoeira, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which she had been doing for six hours every day for six months prior to filming. Two hours were allotted for gym work, another two hours for fight choreography, and an hour and a half to two hours for horseback riding. The training was significantly more challenging than her time in the army, she revealed.
Gal and Yaron have two lovely daughters named Alma and Maya.
During reshoots for Wonder Woman in November 2016, Gal Gadot was already five months pregnant with her second child, Maya. In order to conceal her growing baby bump, a triangle was cut from the front of her suit and replaced with a bright green cloth. This would later enable the bump to be digitally removed during post-production. While close-up shots still made her look like Wonder Woman, she admits that wide shots were a different story. She humorously described herself as looking like “Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.” Entertainment Weekly reported on this in 2017.
After its release, Wonder Woman received a lot of praise from the audience. However, there were some people who didn’t like it. In Lebanon, where there are ongoing conflicts with Israel, the movie was protested because Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, served in the Israeli military and supports the Israeli Defense Forces. Due to similar reasons, the film was banned in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qatar.
Gal Gadot, a well-known figure of the DC Cinematic Universe, once revealed in a 2013 Reshet.tv interview that she was being considered for a part that required her to shave her head and be painted blue. However, Karen Gillan ultimately landed the role of Nebula, who is bald and blue, in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Gal has a passion for performing her own stunts and has been a motorcycle enthusiast for the majority of her life. According to an interview with Elle Australia in 2015, she stated that she loves being active and physical, and used to dance which was great training. However, when she became a mother, she made the decision to give up her love for motorcycles.
During a conversation about dance, she revealed that she once considered pursuing it as a career. She shared with the Sydney Morning Herald that she had danced for 12 years, focusing on ballet, hip-hop, and jazz. At one point, she even contemplated becoming a choreographer. However, her acting career was not something she had intended to pursue. She explained that life simply led her in that direction.
In the month of October in the year 2019, she decided to take a big step for her career by establishing a production company called Pilot Wave together with her partner. According to the couple’s statement, they aim to produce content that will turn stories that have deeply inspired them into reality. They want to focus on highlighting the diverse perspectives and experiences of individuals and create powerful narratives that will spark the imagination of the audience.
Gal has been announced as the lead actress for an upcoming limited series on Apple TV+. The series will feature the renowned actress and inventor, Hedy Lamarr.
Last year, it was revealed that Gal Gadot would be stepping in as the fresh face of SmartWater. She took over from Jennifer Aniston, who had been representing the brand in their advertising campaigns for over a decade.
Gal made an appearance alongside Lynda Carter, Diane Nelson, and Patty Jenkins at the United Nations in 2016 to celebrate Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary. During the event, the character was designated as an “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.” However, the decision faced protests, which led to its revocation just two months later.
It wasn’t until 2017, during her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, that she finally tried a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for the first time. It may sound unbelievable, but it’s true!
In case you’re still uncertain, the correct pronunciation is “gah-dot.”