Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Gal Gadot

(1985 - )

Gal Gadot

(1985 - )


Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and model. As an actress, Gadot is known for her role as Gisele Yashar in The Fast and the Furious film series. In 2016, Gadot began playing the role of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and continuing as the lead in Wonder Woman (2017).

In 2013, she was ranked as the second-highest earning model in Israel behind Bar Refaeli. She is the face of Gucci's Bamboo perfume.

Gadot was born and raised in Rosh HaAyin, Israel. In Hebrew, her first name means "wave" and her surname means "riverbanks". She is the daughter of Irit (née Weiss), a teacher, and Michael Gadot, an engineer. Both her parents were born in Israel, and they had Hebraized their surname from “Greenstein” to “Gadot.” Her maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Gadot stated that she was brought up in a “very Jewish, Israeli family environment.” Her ancestry is Polish-Jewish, Austrian-Jewish, German-Jewish, and Czech-Jewish. Her high school major was biology. She says that in high school she was successful at basketball due to her height. As an adult, she started studying law twice at Reichman.

At the age of 18, Gadot won the 2004 Miss Israel competition, and next competed in the 2004 Miss Universe pageant in Ecuador. Following her participation in the competitions, she joined the Israeli Army where, as a citizen of Israel, she completed her two years of mandatory military service.

From the age of 20, Gadot served for two years as an enlisted soldier of the Israel Defense Forces. There, she excelled in a grueling three-month boot camp that prepared her to serve as a combat trainer. She says of her time in the army: “You give two or three years, and it's not about you. You give your freedom away for a while. You learn discipline and respect. The things I've been through as a soldier prepared me to deal with career things as well.”

After leaving the army, Gadot studied law. It was when she had completed her first year of school that a casting director called her to audition for the part of Bond girl Camille Montes in the film Quantum of Solace. Although she lost the part to Olga Kurylenko, the same casting director hired Gadot for the role of Gisele in Fast & Furious. Gadot said, “I think the main reason was that [the director] Justin Lin really liked that I was in the military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons.” Gadot performed her own stunts in the Fast & Furious films.

In 2007, the 21 year old Gadot took a part in the Maxim photo shoot "Women of the Israeli Army", and as such she featured on the cover of the New York Post. In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked her Number 5 on its list of "the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world", behind model Bar Refaeli and actress Eva Green. In 2014, Gadot was one of two Israeli actresses, along with Odeya Rush, listed as an upcoming leading lady by InStyle magazine.

She has led international campaigns for Captain Morgan rum, Gucci fragrances and Vine Vera skincare ranges, and advertised Jaguar Cars. She is the face of Gucci's Bamboo perfume brand, of Huawei smartphones, and of Miss Sixty. She has featured as the covergirl on Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Bride Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, UMM, Cleo, Fashion, Lucire, FHM. Gadot has been the main model for fashion brand Castro in 2008-2016. In 2013, her annual modelling salary was estimated at NIS 2.4 million, which was ahead of a number of other famous Israeli models such as Esti Ginzburg and Shlomit Malka, although significantly behind Bar Refaeli.

In 2008, Gadot starred in the Israeli drama Bubot. She appeared as Gisele in Fast & Furious, the fourth film in The Fast & the Furious franchise, having won the role over six other actresses. In 2010, she had a small role in the action-adventure Knight and Day. Earlier that year, she appeared in the film Date Night as Natanya, the girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg's character. 2011 brought her back to The Fast & the Furious franchise, reprising her role as Gisele in Fast Five. In 2013, Gadot played Gisele again in Fast & Furious 6.

Gadot played Wonder Woman in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and is signed for two future sequels which include the Justice League and a solo Wonder Woman film. Gadot received swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training in preparation for the role. Gadot's performance as the superhero was hailed as one of the best parts of the film.

Also in 2016, she had a small role in John Hillcoat's crime-thriller Triple 9, where she starred along with Kate Winslet and Aaron Paul, and also co-starred alongside Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones in the poorly-received film Criminal, as the wife of Ryan Reynolds' character. Costner said that the first day he and Gadot met, they filmed a scene in which he was to tie her up and wrap her mouth with tape as a gag. Gadot was also signed on a main role in the comedy film Keeping Up with the Joneses along with Isla Fisher and Jon Hamm.

Gadot married Israeli real estate developer Yaron Varsano on 28 September 2008. The couple owned a luxury hotel in the Neve Tzedek district of Tel Aviv, which they sold to Roman Abramovich in 2015 for $26 million. The couple has a daughter, born in 2011.

Gadot is a motorcycle rider and owns a black 2006 Ducati Monster-S2R.

In 2016, Wonder Woman played by Gadot (along with Lynda Carter) was named an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women & Girls by the United Nations. Subsequently, Gadot was invited to give a speech at the UN in New York City.


Sources: Wikipedia
Wikimedia Commons, By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Gal Gadot) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons