Gal Gadot


Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot

Early Life

On the 30th of April 1985, in Rosh HaAyin in Israel, Gal Gadot was born to Irit Gadot, a teacher, and Michael Gadot, who was an engineer. She has a younger sister called Dana, and her family is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. She was brought up in a very religious Jewish environment.

Her maternal grandparents are from Europe, and her grandfather was one of the survivors of the Holocaust. Gadot’s first name means ‘wave’ in Hebrew and her surname means ‘riverbanks.’ She was an active, athletic child, and she was involved in a number of sports, excelling especially in Basketball, as well as taking dance lessons.

One of her first career ambitions was to become a dance choreographer. She majored in biology during high school and, after graduating, went on to study law at the Reichman Law School and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. At age 20, Gadot served two years of mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat instructor which helped her in her acting career later on.

Career

     Pageant and Modeling

Before her military service, at age 18, Gadot entered the 2004 Miss Israeli pageant. She ended up winning the title and went on to represent Israel in the Miss Universe pageant in the same year in Ecuador.

This ignited her career as a model as she became the face of international campaigns for brands like Huawei smartphones, Gucci fragrances, Miss Sixty, Vine Vera skincare ranges, Captain Morgan rum, and Jaguar Cars.

She was featured in the 2007 Maxim photo shoot "Women of the IDF" as well as on the cover of the New York Post. From 2008-2016, she was the face of the fashion brand Castro.

     Acting

When she was in college, Gadot was asked to star in James Bond in Quantum of Solace as Bond’s love interest. Even though she wasn’t cast in the movie, she did get several callbacks, which kindled her interest in acting. Gadot once stated, “I realized it takes a lot to act, and it's so much more interesting than going to law school.” She then landed her first acting role in the 2008 Israeli drama Bubot.

Right after that, the same casting director from the Bond movie chose her for the role of Gisele Yashar in the famous action film Fast & Furious over six other actresses. She later stated that it was probably due to her military background, giving her knowledge about weapons and enabling her to do her own stunts in the film series.

Gadot went on to play minor roles in movies like Date Night and Knight and Day until she reprised her role as Gisele Yashar in 2011 and 2013 in Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. However, it was 2016 that was the pivoting year for Gadot when she landed her most famous role portraying the character of Wonder Woman in the movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The role didn’t come easy, and Gadot actually had to take kickboxing, Kung Fu, swordsmanship, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and capoeira training to prepare. It did pay off in the end since her performance was recognized as one of the best scenes of the film.


2016 continued to bring nothing but success for Gadot as she starred alongside prominent Hollywood stars like Kate Winslet in Triple 9 and with Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Costner in the action thriller film Criminal.

She ended the year with another success, taking the lead of the movie Keeping Up with the Joneses alongside Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, and Isla Fisher. The following year wasn’t any less impressive for Gadot as she returned as her beloved character in the solo Wonder Woman film.

The movie was a huge success at the box office as well as with critics. Wonder Woman had no time to rest as she came back to the screen a few months later in the ensemble film Justice League alongside Ben Affleck as Batman and Jason Mamoa as Aquaman.

After her success as Wonder Woman, Gadot received the honor of being invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She went on to lend her voice to Disney’s film Ralph Breaks the Internet in 2018.

In 2019, Gadot created her own production company, Pilot Wave, where she plans to produce and star in a mini-series about actress Hedy Lamarr as well as create a historical thriller movie about the humanitarian Irena Sendler.

Gadot is also set to star in the Netflix thriller film Red Notice alongside Ryan Reynolds and Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson. She was recently confirmed to portray Cleopatra in an epic film directed by the mastermind behind Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins. Gadot is currently in the process of filming Wonder Woman 1984, also directed by Jenkins, and set to be released in December 2020.

Other Achievements

In October 2008 and on the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, Gadot attended and gave a speech at the United Nation’s designation event of the character as its "Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls." The gesture was part of the UN’s goal to seek gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls by the year 2030.

However, the designation was stripped from her when some UN staff claimed the character is "not culturally encompassing or sensitive" and objectified women.

Gadot went on to replace Jennifer Aniston as the celebrity endorser for Smartwater in 2020. She also made a guest appearance in the music video for the hit song “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5.

In March 2020, Gadot took part with other A-list celebrities in filming an online version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as a response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. However, the video received a poor response and major backlash from the public as it was deemed an inadequate response to the pandemic.

Personal Life

Gadot married Israeli real estate developer, Yaron Varsano, in 2008 and they have two daughters, one born in 2011 and the other in 2017. The couple used to own a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv which Gadot helped manage, but they ended up selling it. Instead, her husband helped her form her current production company and is an active part of it.


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