Gal Power: 17 Facts About Wonder Woman Gal Gadot
Even if you don’t know her name, Gal (rhymes with all) Gadot’s (the T is not silent) face is instantly recognizable to girls of all ages. The 2017 film “Wonder Woman” smashed box office records and provided a positive, inspirational role model both to little girls and their moms.
Gadot was born in Rosh Haayin, Israel on April 30, 1985 and had a rather ordinary childhood. Her mother, a gymnastics teacher, inspired her resilience and love of physical activity by regularly sending her outside to play. Gadot credits both her mom and her dad, an engineer, with ensuring she and her sister grew up feeling confident and capable.
Her Unique Name
Her name, Gal, means “water” and Gadot means “riverbank.” She says this may explain her particular affinity for water.
She's a Lifelong Athlete
Growing up, Gadot was an avid dancer who spent 12 years studying various styles of dance. A self-proclaimed tomboy, she also played tennis and was on basketball and volleyball teams. As an adult, she remains active. Her regular routine includes Pilates and TRX and swimming; she also takes on other challenges such as rock climbing. Her “Wonder Woman” exercise routine included reps on the rowing machine, bear crawls, burpees, broad jumps and pull ups, as well as pushups and planks.
A Rather Ordinary Childhood
Gadot’s love of activity started when she was young. She and her sister spent time playing outdoors and through high school her life was mostly uneventful. She told The Times of Israel, “I had a very sheltered kind of life. There was no TV-watching. It was always 'Take a ball and go play.'” She said she was “a good girl, a good student, a pleaser, and I was a tomboy. Always with wounds and scratches on my knees.”
Like many teens, her first job was babysitting for neighbors and at age 15 she got a job working at a Burger King. Though she had been offered some modeling opportunities, she wasn’t interested in posing for money.
Two Years as an Israeli Soldier
Like all Israelis, Gadot was called to serve in the military. She fulfilled her two years of mandatory service with the Israel Defense as a gym trainer. She told Interview her four months of boot camp were “all about sports, waking up at 6:30 a.m. and going for a run, doing push-ups.” In the military, she says, one has no personal freedom and truly learns discipline and respect.
She’s a Former Law Student
Inspired by the TV show “Ally McBeal,” Gadot studied law and international relations for a year before she discovered acting. She says she might someday be interested in maybe going back to school, but for film or art history, not law, since she dislikes conflict.
A Reluctant Beauty Queen, She Sabotaged Her Pageant Career
When her mother entered her in Miss Israel pageant, Gadot went along with it, thinking it would be a good experience. She never expected to win.
After becoming the 2004 Miss Israel, she was determined to not win Miss Universe. She told People, “I really didn’t want to win the Miss Universe pageant.…I wasn’t that type of girl. I rebelled. I came down late. I showed up late to everything. They make you wear evening gowns for breakfast. I didn’t wear evening gowns to breakfast. I didn’t wear my makeup.”
She lost that competition, but soon discovered a new passion.
Acting Wasn’t Even On Her Radar
The Miss Israel Pageant led to her taking modeling jobs. When her agent set up an acting audition, she almost didn’t show up. A casting director had noticed her and wanted her to try out for the next Bond girl. She wasn’t interested in acting. Her attitude was, “I’m way too serious and smart to be an actress.”
When she was finally convinced to give it a try, she discovered that acting is actually a lot of work. She didn’t get that part, but earned a new respect for acting as a discipline. Soon after, she landed her first acting role in an Israeli TV series. A few months later she was cast as Gisele in “Fast & Furious,” followed by a few small roles with Hollywood A-listers such as Tina Fey and Tom Cruise.
Her ‘Wonder Woman’ Audition Was a Blind One
At her “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” audition, no one told Gadot she was auditioning for the role of Wonder Woman. She was called for a camera test but told the specific role was confidential. She returned to Israel and was called back for a camera test. Only after that did she learn the role was the iconic figure.
Gal Gadot at Comic Con
Her iconic role as Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe introduced Gal Gadot to millions of new fans. She was instantly a global star.
Pregnancy Didn’t Slow Her Down
Gadot, who married her husband Yaron Versano in 2008, was pregnant during the filming of “Justice League,” as well as reshoots for “Wonder Woman,” including the battle scene. During reshoots, her costume needed to be altered to allow for later editing. A section added to her midsection was green. She told Cosmopolitan, “On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog."
Her Army Experiences Prepared Her for Hollywood
Her army training apparently impressed “Fast & Furious” producers; Gadot believes that fact that her character, Gisele, was a weapons expert may have influenced her earning the role. You might think that her army training may have prepared her to play an Amazon princess, but she admitted to Kelly Ripa that training for “Wonder Woman” was even more intensive.
Training for "Wonder Woman"
She went through six months of six-hour training days: two hours in the gym, two working on fight choreography and two on horseback, which she quickly learned is more physical than many people think. Besides riding a horse, she also learned sword fighting skills and how to use a lasso.
Part of the ‘Wonder Woman’ Story Was Personal
Her grandfather’s family was killed in the Holocaust. “His entire family was murdered — it’s unthinkable,” Gadot told Rolling Stone. “He affected me a lot. After all the horrors he’d seen, he was like this damaged bird, but he was always hopeful and positive and full of love. If I was raised in a place where these values were not so strong, things would be different. But it was very easy for me to relate to everything that Wonder Woman stands for.”
Motherhood Is a Priority
Gadot takes parenting seriously. Her daughters travel with her and influence what work she agrees to take on. She wants to be a role model, to show them that women can be strong and that they can both do what they love and have a family at the same time.
When speaking to Interview (before her second daughter was born) she said, “I always tell myself that it is very, very important for me to be a good role model for Alma, my daughter. As long as she’s the first priority, which she is and always will be, it’s okay if Mommy goes to work and has a busy period, as long as I balance everything.”
She Eats Whatever She Wants
Admitting a fondness for burgers and ice cream, Gadot didn’t have a strict diet when preparing to play a superhero, but she does stress moderation and common sense in choosing foods. She told Harper’s Bazaar, "It's all a matter of measurements and quantity of the food; just enjoy your food and don't eat while you drive and don't eat when you talk on the phone. Just give the food the respect and give yourself the respect to enjoy it."
Her First Peanut Butter Cup Was On National TV
Her first Reese’s peanut butter cup was during an interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” She said that she loves peanut butter but had never had it with chocolate. Before trying the new treat, she and Jimmy shared one of her favorites, a chocolate bar filled with popping candy.
She Deflects Criticism With a Shrug
With her Wonder Woman debut came criticism that her body type was all wrong. Speaking about these critics, she told Robot Underdog: “People said that I was too skinny and my boobs were too small... 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.”
A Witty Response
In other interviews, she has pointed out that these complaints ignored the fact that Amazons were said to have only one breast so as not to get in the way of the bow and arrow.
She's an Unabashed Feminist
Gadot told Glamour, “There are such misconceptions as to what a feminist is. Feminism is about equality.” She says that she personally hasn’t been physically sexually harassed but has seen the anti-woman attitude and mentality and attitude of superiority coming from men.
Everyone Should be a Feminist
She told Rolling Stone, “Every woman, every man, everyone should be a feminist. Because whoever is not a feminist is a sexist.”
Bringing Superpowers to Children’s Hospital
While filming “Wonder Woman 1984,” which comes out next summer, Gadot visited Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, dressed as Wonder Woman. She came bearing gifts: coloring books, autographed pictures and toys.
Her Everyday Life Hasn’t Changed
Gadot still does laundry and makes dinner for her girls. Up until 2015, she also helped run the hotel she owned with her husband, including changing the sheets after guests left. Despite being the face for Revlon and Gucci Bamboo perfume, Gadot’s Instagram often shows her wearing little to no makeup. Her Facebook posts promoting workout gear from Reebok show her comfortably engaging in what appears to be a daily routine.
She Seems Comfortable in the Spotlight
Fame appears to have not affected her much.
Gal Gadot Signed with Revlon
In 2018, Gal became the Global Brand Ambassador for Revlon Cosmetics.
Gal Gadot for Vanity Fair
Gal Gadot at the Oscars
Yup, She's Wonder Woman!
“I represent the ‘Wonder Woman’ of the new world.”
-- Gal Gadot