Meet Gal Gadot: 9 Things To Know About The New Wonder Woman
By Mick Joest 2014-06-26 11:16:35
When Gal Gadot was first revealed as the new Wonder Woman, a healthy percentage of the comic and geek community reacted the same way. She was too skinny, didn’t have enough muscle, and all in all, wasn't the right gal. You can’t blame them for the assessment, Gadot is attractive and in shape, but as the words of Shakira echoed from the far reaches of 2006, her hips didn’t lie. While some minds have been swayed since, the verdict is still out as to whether the right woman was chosen to portray Diana Prince, warrior princess of the Amazons. I myself remained skeptical until I started to read more into the awesomeness that is Gal Gadot.
The beauty took a path that boggles the mind when you lay it out on paper. First she won a pageant, then joined the military, then became a model, which led to her becoming an actress. For any doubters, this list is for you. Gal Gadot is a woman who can and has done everything. While she’s not the hero we initially hoped for, I’m convinced she’s the hero we deserve.
Cliche Dark Knight references aside, Gadot is 29 years old, is married and has one daughter. She's been modeling and acting for the last decade, and she's steadily grown more famous as she's gone. In short, she's kind of a big deal, but she's still mostly an unknown to many comic book fans. So, here are 9 things you need to know about your new Wonder Woman...
She Is The First Non American To Portray Wonder WomanWhen people mention Wonder Woman, the name Lynda Carter inevitably comes up. With good reason, as Lynda was so popular as the TV Wonder Woman that she’s likely the reason the character is even getting a movie appearance. Carter did her own stunts on set, was a sex symbol of the era, and LOOKED like the comic book Wonder Woman. She was and continues to be what people see when they think Wonder Woman. So how does Gadot, who doesn’t fit the typical mold still don the stars and stripes?
If you can’t set the bar, change the game. Gadot is non American, and that’s cool because so is Wonder Woman. Lots of people don’t know the Wonder Woman origin, and Gadot not looking like the typical Wonder Woman gives DC a perfect opportunity to tell that tale to a mainstream audience. Not doing so would be a huge mistake in my eyes, although not as big a mistake as going the Cathy Lee Crosby route was.<
She Served Two Years In The Israeli Defense ForcesGal Gadot looks like a girly girl to the untrained eye, but she’s actually a real life bad ass. In 2004, the same year she would win Miss Israel, Gadot was conscripted in the Israeli Defense Forces, as is the custom for all residents. For those that don’t know, Israel is currently one of three countries in the world that allow women to serve on the front lines of combat. That also includes border patrol, which is no walk in the park. Gadot has weapons and combat training, which was initially what drew Fast and Furious director Justin Lin to casting her in his series.
Gadot stirred controversy in 2007 when she posed for a Maxim article titled “Women Of The Israeli Armed Forces”. Many Israeli ladies disagreed with the move, calling it degrading to the equal rights they fought for. One politician went so far as to say “they should’ve chosen someone with more substance,” taking a shot at Gadot's modeling career and her pageant history. Far be it from me to judge a political official, but it hardly seems fair to single Gadot out when she happily served her 18 months like everyone else.
She Loves MotorcyclesFast & Furious fans know Gal Gadot's character is comfortable riding a motorcycle. In real life, she loves getting on a bike too. She's been very open about her love for motorcycles in the past. She owns a black 2006 Ducati Monster and rides it often. I couldn’t find any confirmation that she was the one riding in Fast and Furious, but I would imagine she probably did at least some of the simpler takes.
People can play against type. That's what makes someone a good actor or actress, but there's no denying it can feel a little more authentic when the person has walked in those shoes before. Gadot is a woman who lives at least vaguely close to the edge in real life. She likes a little bit of danger, and that really comes through in her roles.
She Owns A Swanky Hotel With Her HusbandIf you ever find yourself in Tel Aviv, make a point to stop by the five star Varsano. That’s the hotel primarily run by Gadot’s husband Yaron Versano. The place is about as nice as hotels come, and if you’re lucky you might just see Gal Gadot folding bed sheets! She talked about the endeavor in depth in a 2011 interview...
After I shot Fast Four, my husband Yaron and I started travelling back and forth from Israel and the US, which was hard. We found ourselves staying in hotels all the time. We wanted to feel at home, which is when we discovered these apartments within a hotel in Los Angeles. It became the inspiration for Yaron's hotel, The Varsano. I think that Yaron and I make a really good team. I understand his career and he understands mine. We help each other progress in all areas of life. We're both very career driven."
Career driven is an understatement, Gal Gadot is a work horse! Hopefully this level of dedication is an indicator of the amount of work she is putting into becoming Wonder Woman. If it is, then we are in for a treat for sure.
She Was Almost A Bond GirlI can’t tell you how many foreign actress/model bios I’ve read that make this claim, but Gadot supposedly was actually really close to becoming a lover of one 007. Gadot was studying law at university (because she does everything) when she was approached to interview for a role in an upcoming James Bond film. Gadot arrived for the interview and learned that she would be auditioning for the role of Camille Montes in the film Quantum of Solace. It was at this audition that casting agents saw her as a better fit for Fast and Furious and offered her that role instead.
The role in question eventually went to Olga Kurylenko, which is probably a good thing for Gadot. Obviously, being in a Bond movie would have been sweet, but if you're not careful, that type of role can typecast someone. Instead, the actress was able to join Fast & Furious and jumpstart her career in a completely different way.
She Beat Out Olga Kurylenko For the Role Of Wonder WomanYeah, so, no hard feelings there right? I feel like it’s poetic justice that Gal would lose out her first big time acting role to the same woman she would later beat out for Wonder Woman. There was a third person involved in this as well, actress Elodie Yung, and as far as I know, none of the three have beef with each other. It is Hollywood after all. You’re bound to be lumped in with same people. That’s how casting calls work..
So what do all of these women have in common that DC producers were looking for? For starters they all sport a vague resemblance to Lynda Carter, minus the fact they’re all foreign. Clearly Wonder Woman’s foreign origin will come into play. Both Gadot and Kurylenko have modeling experience, much like Carter who was Miss USA 1972. Yung interestingly enough had nine years karate training to Gadot’s two years in Army so they were definitely looking for a type. A kickass, foreign, beautiful woman would only make sense to search for given Wonder Woman’s heritage!
She Isn’t Concerned About What You Think Wonder Woman Should Look LikeAn Israeli news station laid out the tough questions for Gadot in an interview conducted shortly after she was revealed as the hero. No punches were pulled as the reporter simply said…
“Wonder Woman has curves, will you be getting those...what about your breasts?”
It was the question on many people's minds. Wonder Woman historically has only come in one size, and that’s voluptuous. While Gadot is undoubtedly attractive, her proportions aren't what many came to expect from Diana Prince. Gal took the criticism like a pro and responded in the best way possible…
"It’s the physical preparations that I’m starting now. A very serious training regimen – Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, jujutsu, Brazilian…1,000 and 1 things…I’ll gain body mass...Wonder Woman is amazonian, and historically accurate Amazonian women actually had only one breast. So, if I’d really go 'by the book'…it’d be problematic."
No doubt the world would be shocked if we were treated to a one boobed wonder on the big screen, but good for her for silencing the critics. It’s funny how we were so quick to jump on Gadot for not having the right body type, but we never questioned Christian Bale’s ability to bulk up when he played Batman.
She’s Signed On For Three MoviesWhether you like her or not, Gadot is going to be here for at least three films. Batman vs Superman DOJ will be her first appearance, and Justice League her second. This leaves open the possibility of a Wonder Woman solo movie, but as we’ve mentioned before, contracts promise nothing. Remember when Mark Ruffalo signed that deal for six Hulk movies? We still don't know if any of them will be as the star.
While I’m all for Gadot as Wonder Woman, she's going to have to prove a fair amount to Warner Bros before they give her the keys to her own movie. She's clearly great in support, but there's a difference between carrying a few scenes and carrying a film. So, hopefully, her character goes over well enough with audiences that she's given a real chance in the future.
She's Really Goofy And AdorableWho is Gal Gadot? She’s an actress, model, veteran, businesswoman, mother, wife and all around wonderous woman. She’s accomplished much in life and she’s only 29 years old! Wonder Woman was always known to be a role model for young girls to look up to, and to that description I think Gal Gadot is the model Wonder Woman.
Only time will tell how long our on screen relationship with the Israeli actress will last, but I do hope that it’s a long one. She’s got big ambitions, and by all accounts, a great personality. If her past is any indication, she should conquer this role and prove to the world she is worthy of it.
Do you think Gal Gadot is a good choice to play Wonder Woman?