Israeli actress actress Gal Gadot is self-described feminist who isn’t afraid of a challenge. Best known for her work as Gisele Yashar in The Fast and the Furious film series, she’s signed a three-picture deal to play Wonder Woman on the big screen. She’ll make her first appearance as the legendary Amazon princess in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 6, 2016.
The first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was unveiled during the Warner Bros. panel at last week’s San Diego Comic-Con. In honor of the occasion, here’s what you need to know about the actress behind our favorite female superhero.
Lynda Carter, the star of the 1975 to 1979 Wonder Woman TV series, won the Miss World USA title in 1972 representing the state of Arizona. Like Carter, Gal Gadot also competed in beauty pageants before becoming an actress. She won Miss Israel pageant in 2004 and went on to participate in the Miss Universe competition. Following her pageant win, she worked as a model before winning her first acting gig.
One of the biggest fan criticisms of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is that the petite actress is simply too waifish to be a believable Amazon. However, Gadot is tougher than she looks. She spent two years serving in the Israel Defense Force, where she completed combat training and served as a fitness trainer teaching gymnastics and calisthenics to other soldiers. Gadot also did all of her own stunts for her role as Gisele Yashar in Fast&Furious, the fourth film in The Fast & the Furious franchise. Her intriguing combination of strength and beauty is said to have been the reason she won the role over six other actresses.
Wonder Woman’s original love interest in Steve Trevor, an intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II. Wonder Woman falls in love with Trevor when his plane crashes on Paradise Island. Gadot married Israeli businessman Yaron Varsano in September 2008. She gave birth to their first child in November 2011, a baby girl named Alma.
While Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth forces anyone who it captures to tell the truth, Gal Gadot will gladly speak her mind to anyone who will listen. Speaking out about the most recent Israel-Gaza conflict, with a death toll that rises past 1,000 for Palestinians, Gadot posted the following caption next to a Facebook photo of her playing with her daughter:
“I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf”
Photo courtesy of DigitalTrends.com.