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 many minds have been swayed since, the verdict is still out for some 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 about 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 32 years old, is married and has two daughters. She's been modeling and acting for the last decade, and she's steadily grown more famous as she's gone on. In short, she's kind of a big deal, but she's still mostly an unknown to many comic book fans. So, here are 12 things you need to know about your new Wonder Woman...
She Is The First Non American To Portray Wonder Woman
When people mention Wonder Woman, the name Lynda Carter inevitably comes up. With good reason, too, 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 not American, and that's cool because Wonder Woman isn't either. 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 Forces
Gal 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 Motorcycles
Fast & 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 Husband
If 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 Varsano. 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 Girl
I 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 Woman
Yeah, 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 the 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 that 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 Like
An 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 Woman 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 Movies
Whether you like her or not, Gadot is going to be here for at least three films. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice was her first appearance, Wonder Woman her second, and Justice League her third. While there was some speculation when she was first cast as Wonder Woman about whether or not Gadot would get to shine in a solo superhero movie, we now know that this isn't going to be like when Mark Ruffalo signed a deal for six movies as the Hulk, without us knowing if any of them would actually star the Hulk.
Gal Gadot clearly proved herself as Wonder Woman to the powers that be at Warner Bros., as they gave her the keys to her own movie without even having audiences see her turn in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice first. While that movie opened last year, her Wonder Woman solo film will be released in just a few days. Anyone who's seen Gadot's turn in Batman V Superman knows that she made a mighty impression, especially once the film let her unleash all her Wonder Woman goodness, so there's really no denying that starting on her solo film so quickly was the right thing to do. All that remains to be seen is whether her contract will be extended, or if she actually won't appear in Justice League Part 2.
She's Really Goofy And Adorable
Who 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 32 years old! Wonder Woman was always known to be a role model for young girls to look up to, and to that description that 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.
She Wants More Female Superheroes
There's has been a great deal of discussion about the dearth of female superheroes in the current cinematic landscape. And even those few that are present and accounted for have yet to front their own movies. That changes in 2017 with Wonder Woman, which will mark the first lead role for a female comic book character in a live-action movie. Obviously Gal Gadot will be involved in that film in a big way, but she also believes there needs to be more female superheroes.
Gal Gadot not only wants to be a role model for girls everywhere, but for two in particular, her daughters, Alma and Maya. She wants to be able to share the idea of a brave, capable, powerful female superhero with her daughters and is excited to be the one to bring that to life. Gadot added, "It is so important for girls and boys to have a female, strong, superhero to look up to."
She Didn't Know She Was Auditioning For Wonder Woman
Secrecy and security on these big blockbuster movies, especially when it comes to those based on beloved comic book characters, is notoriously tight. The veil around Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was apparently pulled so close that Gal Gadot didn't even initially know she was auditioning for the part of Wonder Woman.
At first, Gal Gadot just thought she was up for a part in a movie directed by Zack Snyder, but she didn't know the true nature of the role. It wasn't until after her initial audition that she found out the role she was up for. Snyder called her back before she was supposed to go in for a screen test with co-star Ben Affleck, and asked if she knew who Wonder Woman was. That was when it dawned on her that she was in contention to play one of the most iconic characters, comic book or otherwise, of all time. Though she was able to maintain her composure, she has noted that it took a great deal of strength and will power to remain calm on the phone.
Wonder Woman Will Be Different In Her Solo Movie Than In Batman V Superman
By the time we meet Diana Prince, better known as Wonder Woman, in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, she will already be very, very old---like thousands of years old. Beyond that, however, she also has decades worth of living in the human world, dealing with our messes, under her belt. In her solo movie, 2017's Wonder Woman, this won't be the case, at least not entirely. Part of the film, as we saw from that photo in Dawn of Justice, takes place in World War I, marking her first foray into the human realm. Gal Gadot said:
Wonder Woman is different from the woman you see in BvS. She's more naive, and pure, and she's this young idealist who does not understand the complexities of men in life. Whereas in BvS, she's super. She's very experienced. It's been such an amazing, creative process.
This will be an interesting role for Gal Gadot, playing a much earlier, less knowledgeable version of Wonder Woman, at least in regards to the world of humans. Up to this point, she's spent her whole life on Themyscira, the home of the Amazons, and this will be the first time she's interacted with the world at large and seen what we're capable of. Given that she will see humanity in less-than-stellar form during the Great War, it's a wonder she sticks around.