We all know Gal Gadot now that she’s played the hottest Wonder Woman ever. But do we really know her? Gadot was born in Israel, in the city of Petah Tikva and then raised in a neighboring city Rosh HaAyin. She was brought up in a very Jewish-Israeli family environment, which means that culturally, she remains close to her roots. And no, her name does not mean girl or woman. In Hebrew, Gal means wave and Gadot riverbanks— so she is, in essence, a wave crashing on the beach, in a perfect summer sun!
She pulled off what the Black Widow, aka Scarlett Johansson, could not do— land a superhero movie where she was the hero, not the femme fatale or the love interest, and her popularity might have surpassed that of Batman's Ben Affleck or Superman's Henry Cavill. It was perhaps her role as the weapons expert, Giselle Yashar, in the Fast & Furious franchise that led to her casting in Wonder Woman though, before that, she had lost out a Bond movie role to Camille Montes, for Quantum of Solace. That said; when fans began to publically question the Oscar snub to Wonder Woman at the 2018 Academy Awards, Gadot had something very sweet to say about that, "I was very moved and touched by the people who were disappointed that Wonder Woman wasn’t nominated, but we certainly never did the movie for that. We’ve done this movie and it was received in such an amazing, wonderful way, and we want to stay humble and grateful, and we’re going to have another movie, so who knows? Maybe the next one!” We hope so, Gal. Meanwhile, let’s not forget that Gadot is more than just Wonder Woman, she’s actually a wondrous woman! Here are 20 pics of her looking even better than her Wonder Woman character.
20 She’s A Natural Beauty, Even When She Travels
Obviously, being Wonder Woman has its perks, but it has its limitations as well. Case in point being an extensive travel schedule— and while Wonder Woman can fly, Gal can only take a jet. And flying in planes means most frequent flyers tend to accumulate jet lag almost as well as flyer miles. But Gal beats jet lag like a pro by drinking tons of water to prevent any travel-related dehydration and also having plenty of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant, which keeps tiredness and aging at bay. She also likes to soak up the sun to keep her serotonin levels up and can truly fall asleep like a baby, before you can snap your fingers!
19 Fitness Is Simply A Way Of Life For Her
Gadot's mom was a gymnastics teacher, so she grew up doing lots of different sports. For twelve years she was a dancer and simultaneously also played basketball, volleyball, and dodgeball. She was basically pretty active all through her life and it shows in that magnificent body. She still works out three times a week at least for a minimum of an hour and likes to do different things like TRX, pilates, and even boxing. But she’s flexible about her exercise and if there’s no gym, she’ll work out in her room. If she's by the ocean, she’ll swim. A complete water baby, Gal says, "I’ll paddleboard, which I love because it keeps you in shape and it’s meditative. The meaning of my name in Hebrew is wave so I’m into anything that has to do with the sea.”
18 She Was A Reluctant Actress Who Was More Into Academics
After Gadot won a beauty pageant in Israel, a casting director spotted her and asked her to audition for the role of a Bond girl for the upcoming movie, Quantum of Solace. Her first reaction was “no way!” She told the director, “I’m studying law and international relations. I’m way too serious and smart to be an actress, and besides, the script is all in English.” Gadot recalls that while she did speak English, she wasn’t all that comfortable with it. She did lose out on the role to the Ukrainian actress, Olga Kurylenko, though, she has no regrets. In fact, she says that the role was meant for Olga only, but after that, she did take some acting lessons. The same director did cast her in the role of Gisele Yashar in the Fast & Furious franchise. Then, of course, there came the casting call for Wonder Woman. And the rest, as they say, is superhero history!
17 Even Her Paparazzi Pictures Look Great
Heavy makeup is not Gadot’s style. But even when paps sneak in pictures of her going about her business, she remains radiant. Why? Gadot attributes it to her skin care. The one thing that she is really careful about is drinking plenty of water. Gadot feels that if your skin is dry from within, slapping on moisturizer will simply not help. You have got to work a hydrated skin from the inside out, so drinking oodles of water is a key to looking gorgeous as Gal. Then, her bedtime routine means she will clean her face well before she sleeps. Her day makeup is very light because she has to wear a lot during shoots and events, and sunscreen is a must for her…
16 She Is Fit And Strong
Gal landed her first movie role in 2009 in Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise; where she played the drug trafficker and weapons expert, Gisele Yashar. The character and Gal were pretty popular so she appeared in two more sequels— Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. The amazing thing about her movie role was that she did all the stunts herself. Said Gal, “All of the stunts on Fast Five and Six, I have done myself and on Fast 6, we went crazy with the action movies. The adrenaline was just incredible and I enjoyed being able to do the stuff that in real life you can’t.” Gal remembers being a tomboy most of her life and always wanted to play a “tough girl” if she did movies— she doesn’t believe in using stuntwomen because she feels that if they can do it, so can she… And clearly, she can!
15 The Wonder Woman Audition Was Tough But Beyoncé Helped
After the rather grueling stunts of Fast & Furious, the director of Wonder Woman approached Gal for a camera test. She recalls it as utter torture. The test itself wasn’t tough, it was the waiting that nearly killed Gadot! She remembers that there were some six to seven women auditioning for the part and they were all kept in different trailers until they were called. Gadot laughs, "Waiting is my enemy number one, and I was losing my mind. So, I decided to put on Beyoncé. 'Who runs the world? Girls!' I just started to dance, and I let my anxiety go. Thank you, Beyoncé.”
14 Gal Was Actually In The Army
She served two years in the Israeli Defense Forces. More than a choice, it’s actually a requirement that needs to be fulfilled by all residents of Israel and so Gal was a member of the military when she turned 20. Gal said that being in the army is part of being Israeli, “All my friends went, my parents went and my grandparents went.” Ancestry wise, her maternal grandparents were born in Europe and her grandfather was a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, though her grandmother escaped before the Nazi invasion. She is Polish-Jewish, Austrian-Jewish, German-Jewish, and Czech-Jewish. So yep, she’s plenty Jewish. Her mom was a gym teacher, while her father was an engineer and she also has a younger sister called Dana.
13 She Is The Face Of Gucci Bamboo Perfume
Nope, we don’t mean body odor. We mean that Gal thinks that everyone needs a signature scent, much like an olfactory calling or identity. She likes it to be so that people can smell her before she can even say hello. She is the face of the Gucci Bamboo fragrance, which has ylang-ylang, and she identifies with it because it's floral with just a hint of sweetness of vanilla, plus a little musk of sandalwood. For Gal, a fragrance is deeply personal and her favorite scents, other than the Gucci, are the smell of the ocean and her daughters. Another tip that she freely offers is to pack a little go-to makeup bag in your purse. For Gal, it’s the creams her aesthetician Gisele makes, a La Mer Cleansing Oil, an Evian Water Spray, Careline mascara, and some blush. Plus she always keeps a bold lipstick at hand, like a MAC Diva or a Gucci Iconic Red. And then there’s that 1000-watt smile!
12 She Basically Threw Her Miss Universe Contest Away
When Gal was 18 (in 2004) and had just graduated high school, her mom was interested in her participating in the Miss Israel pageant. To please her mom, Gal agreed. And well, she became Miss Israel, just like that. Gal remembers, “I got in and I never thought I would win and then I won and then it scared me. I was like, 'What? Miss Israel? All the responsibility of being Miss Israel?'" So then she represented Israel at the Miss Universe competition in Ecuador, and it was then that she literally sabotaged herself so that she would not win. Why? Because, as she said on Jimmy Kimmel, pageant life was not her cup of tea. It’s funny to note, in retrospect, that she did not even finish in the top 15, while Tanushree Dutta had stood eighth then, representing India. While Dutta bombed in Bollywood, Gadot managed to take Hollywood by storm— clearly, she has superpowers!
11 She Met Her Husband At A Party
Gal is a married woman, hitched to the real estate developer, Yaron Varsano. Being Wonder Woman, her meeting with Varsano was nothing short of dramatic either. She said that she was introduced to Varsano at a very strange desert party. The party was all about being healthy and about yoga, chakras, and a nutritious diet. Obviously, Gadot has nothing against eating healthy but perhaps she found Varsano far more interesting. Varsano has 10 years over Gal and while both knew that the other was the "one," Varsano was far more serious and told her he’d only wait two years to propose. Surely enough, two years later, he proposed and they were married in 2008. Ten years have passed in happy bliss and the couple has two daughters; Alma, born in 2011, and Mary, born in March of 2017. They owned, the Varsano, which they sold in 2015 for a whopping $26 million to Di Caprio’s BFF, Roman Abramovich.
10 She Worked Hard To Get To Where She Is
Gal has pretty decent hair, too, which she nourishes with Kérastase ampoules, “day and night, especially when I travel because I get dehydrated and they make the root of the hair stronger." She says that while she keeps getting advice about how she should not wash her hair every day but she does so anyway. She cannot stand oily, dirty hair, or leftover product in her hair. But she makes it a point to stay away from the hair dryer unless she needs to style her hair for a professional appointment or work. Considering that she majored in biology at school and also studied law and international relations, she is a beauty with brains for sure. And she has worked hard to get here, being a babysitter and a burger flipper at Burger King like every other normal teen.
9 Gadot Did Not Need Much Makeup To Become Wonder Woman
While many would think that becoming Wonder Woman meant that Gal needed a helluva lot of makeup, it isn’t so. In fact, her makeup artist, Sarah Brocks, told Allure magazine that she used small amounts of several different products, which she applied with fingers and then blended well so that the makeup became part of Gal’s skin. Most of the makeup was cream-based and if she needed finer definition, she’d add fine powder formulas at the end. Some go-to brands were Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Venice Beach Bronze, along with Stila’s Convertable Color Dual Lip & Cheek Cream in Lillium. And those dewy lips were not a “lipstick” per se, but the Chanel Rouge Coco Baume keeps Gal’s lips hydrated, and then the Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick that mimics the natural, rosy color of your lips.
8 That Wonder Woman Body Was All Hard Work
A body like that doesn't happen overnight, even if Gadot was fit, to begin with. While she was slim and athletic, to look Wonder Woman strong, she did need to bulk up. So a part of the preparation for the film when she got the role, Gadot started out on an intensive health and fitness routine six months out from filming. Says the feisty actress that she was built more than a beanstalk, than the fearless Amazonian warrior she had to portray. So yes, despite having all the basics of fitness, it took hard work on her part to look the part as well. She did have Hollywood's finest trainers and nutritionists at her disposal, but the hard work, blood, and sweat (and tears) were obviously all her!
7 She Lost One Role To Olga Kurylenko, But Olga Lost Wonder Woman To Her
Olga Kurylenko secured the Bond girl role in Quantum of Solace but Gal showed no hard feelings and was gracious enough to accept that the role fit Olga perfectly. So in an about-turn of what we can only call poetic turnabout, Gal won the Wonder Woman role over Olga, and allegedly, also from the actress, Elodie Yung. However, none of three actresses have publicly fought it out, yet! All three of these actresses have a mild resemblance to the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, plus are of foreign origin. And this time, DC wanted Wonder Woman to be exotic, not an American gal. In case you are wondering who would win if Yung and Gadot fought it out, keep in mind that Yung has some nine years of karate training, as opposed to Gadot’s two-year army stint, where she beat sense into recruits as a trainer.
6 Wonder Woman Was Filmed While She Was Expecting
In case you thought that Gadot was the wish-washy type, do know that she filmed Wonder Woman while five months pregnant with her second child. Okay, so not the whole movie obviously, but some serious terrain re-shoots. And this was not just a test for Gadot, but for the costume department as well, since they could not let even a hint of the bump be seen. So they cut out the middle of her outfit and replaced it with a bright green cloth for some post-production touch up. Gal was very kicked with it all, “On closeup shots, I looked very much like Wonder Woman. On wide shots, I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog." The film’s director, Patty Jenkins, had nothing but praise for Gadot because she showed absolute professional perfection and did every shot that way it needed to be done, pushing herself, despite her pregnancy.
5 She Was Body-Shamed For Not Being Curvy Enough
The comic book character, Wonder Woman, is disproportionately curvy. When Gal was cast as the character, there was a bit of a furor— Arab countries banned the movie because of her being an actress of Israeli origins. And then there were those who felt that Gadot was not, err, endowed enough to play the role of Wonder Woman. Gal shut down her body-shamers in style by pointing out that the Amazon women were also one-sided in the chest area, so no matter what, anyone would technically be "inaccurate." She just concentrated on the physical preparations and got into a whole regimen of Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, jujitsu, Brazilian, and as Gal put it, “one thousand and one things, and one more” to basically gain body mass.
4 She’s All For More Superheroes
At 32, Gadot is an actress, model, businesswoman, mother, wife, and all around Wonder Woman, considering she is juggling a ton of things at any given time. She believes that Wonder Woman is an ideal role model for girls and there need to be more such superheroes for girls to look up to. In fact, there is a marked lack of feminine superheroes in the market— it’s usually the hero rescuing the damsel in distress. With Wonder Woman, this changed. But Gadot feels that it needs to change more. In fact, she herself, as Wonder Woman, wants to be a good role model for her daughters, Alma and Maya, as well as for girls all around the world. It’s not the comic book character— she just wants girls of today to believe in the concept of a brave, capable, and powerful superhero who is female and who does not need any man to “rescue” her.
3 She Is A Big Foodie
As Gadot puts it, dieting isn't rocket science. She chooses whole foods over processed and balances her greens with proteins. She also believes that poor nutrition and inadequate sleep means that you end up reducing the effectiveness of your training by a lot. Each meal needs to have equal amounts of protein and greens. Also, so-called health drinks do not work since many green juices can be pretty caloric because of natural sugars in the food. But despite all these rules, Gal is a self-professed foodie and does not restrict her food all that much. Says Gadot, "I love to experience food, but at the same time I look at food as fuel and I want to give the best to my body. So, of course, I have my "bad things" that I eat like burgers or ice cream with chocolate. I don't restrict myself, I can eat everything."
2 Her Workout Could Put Other Superheroes To Shame
Gadot not only started preparing for her Wonder Woman role six months in advance, she would train for six hours a day! Yep, now that’s some commitment. And her routine was no cakewalk – she hit the gym for two hours, did two hours of fight choreography which is not like a slapstick dance fight, and two hours of horseback riding. And if you are thinking that it’s the poor horse that does all the hard work, then Gadot begs to differ, “No! No! You'd be surprised—it's so painful." Though she herself used to believe that horse riding involves no work on the rider’s end… How things change! To maintain that gorgeous bod, Gadot works out still but obviously, not as much, and she also believes that you need to enjoy your food to avoid overeating. Distractions like the TV and the phone should be kept to minimal and this way you would be able to eat healthy in no time. If Wonder Woman is saying that, we better be all ears.
1 That Glowing Skin Is Because Of A Microwave!
Gadot is a simple girl at heart and while her cosmetics cost a pretty dime, they are simple. For instance, if she is wearing makeup and feels that her skin is dry, she used the Evian Mineral Water Spray— it hydrates her skin while keeping the makeup in place. Says Gal, “It’s easy! I am so into easy.” To remove it all after a long day, she likes to use La Mer cleansing oil and her idea of a skin treat involves the microwave! She puts a moist towel with a few drops of lavender essential oil in the microwave and heats it up for a minute. Then she uses the hot towel to really work out the makeup and clean her pores and just washes her face after that!