From Miss Israel to Hollywood’s Most Expensive Star: The Rise of Gal Gadot

In recent years, Gal Gadot has become a famous Israeli actress. Despite her Jewish roots and ancestors originating from Poland, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, it’s Gal’s grace and intelligence that have made her so successful. Interestingly, Gal’s original plan was to become a choreographer, and she spent 12 years studying dance. However, things took an unexpected turn when she decided to participate in the Miss Israel beauty pageant at 18 years old. According to a 2017 interview with W magazine, Gal’s mother had encouraged her to sign up before joining the army. Despite not expecting to win, Gal’s stunning looks, towering height of 1.78m, and sharp mind helped her win the Miss Israel crown. Although it was a surprise, Gal admits feeling scared when she won because becoming a beauty queen was never part of her plans.

Back in 2004, Gal Gadot, who is now famously known for playing the role of Wonder Woman, participated in the Miss Israel pageant and eventually represented her country at the Miss Universe contest that same year. However, Gadot’s approach to the competition was unlike most beauty pageant contestants. She did not aim to win the crown and instead actively tried to lower her chances of winning. Gadot would show up late to rehearsals and wear inappropriate attire to breakfast, which was quite unusual behavior. Even when asked questions by judge Paula Abdul, Gadot skillfully avoided answering by claiming her English language skills were not proficient enough. Nonetheless, even with all these attempts to sabotage her own journey, Gadot’s experience as a “warrior goddess” ended on her own terms.

The hybrid rose, who had previously participated in beauty pageants, decided to take a break and spend two years serving in the Israel Defense Forces before pursuing her law studies in her hometown. In 2008, she was invited by a casting director to try out for the role of a “Bond girl” in Quantum of Solace, but she had no real interest in acting and only attended the audition out of politeness. Ultimately, the part went to Olga Kurylenko. In an interview with W magazine, Miss Israel admitted that she had never thought about acting or appearing in English-language movies.

At first, Gal Gadot had some doubts about trying out for the role of Gisele in the incredibly popular Fast & Furious series. But she took the chance and, thankfully, was chosen for the part. This opportunity opened the door to Hollywood for the Israeli actress, who had never imagined herself making it in the movie industry. Nowadays, movies are increasingly focused on showcasing strong female characters and giving them a voice.

In 2009, Gal Gadot made her way into Hollywood with the film Fast & Furious. Her captivating appearance and breathtaking action scenes garnered immense attention from viewers. Gadot played the role of Gisele, a beautiful Jewish woman and kept impressing the audience with her performances in the sequels Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. She even took on dangerous stunts herself, without relying on a stunt double. In an interview conducted in 2013, Gadot expressed her desire to take on everything herself, from handling guns to flying through the air and riding motorcycles.

Back in 1985, a female student made waves in the Fast & Furious movie series which caught the eye of Warner Bros. Director Zack Snyder personally reached out to her for an audition to play Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot faced many challenges but eventually won the coveted role of the “warrior goddess” of the DC cinematic franchise. However, she received backlash for not embodying the curvaceous and fiery appearance of the original comic book character. In response, Gal Gadot expertly shut down these negative comments by referencing Amazonian legend where warriors only have one breast to ensure their archery shots never miss. She also confidently asserted that she represents the modernized vision of Wonder Woman as an action star.

Wonder Woman, played by the gorgeous 8X beauty, made her first appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and immediately grabbed the audience’s attention. Despite being alongside two male heroes, her portrayal as a strong and mighty goddess outshone them all. Her performance left a long-lasting impression on viewers and received more accolades than the male leads. The actress had to go through rigorous training in martial arts such as kungfu, fencing, Capoeira, and kickboxing to get ready for the role. This rigorous training resulted in mesmerizing and realistic action scenes that kept the audience glued to their seats.

In 2017, Gal Gadot took on the iconic role of Wonder Woman and it quickly became a symbol of feminism across the globe. The film was a massive success, bringing in an impressive 822.3 million USD and earning a spot on DC’s highest-grossing solo films list. Recently, the director of the movie, Patty Jenkins, spoke highly of Gadot’s portrayal of the superhero in an interview with Chi W magazine. Jenkins praised Gadot for perfectly embodying the characteristics of Wonder Woman – pure, intelligent, beautiful, sharp, kind, innocent, and strong.

In 2020, Gal Gadot returned to the big screen as Wonder Woman in the highly anticipated sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. This time, she not only starred in the film but also produced it, showcasing her diverse talents and skills. Her awe-inspiring action scenes and commanding presence as a symbol of strength and justice continue to enthrall audiences worldwide. Gal Gadot’s Hollywood status has dramatically evolved since the release of the first film. She is now a valuable star, earning an impressive salary of 10 million USD for Wonder Woman 1984, which is 33 times higher than what she received for the previous installment. This significant increase in pay speaks to the actress’s rising stature and influence in the entertainment industry at age 36.

Gal Gadot gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of Wonder Woman, propelling her to become one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. According to Forbes, she ranked third on the list of 2020’s highest-earning actresses with a staggering income of $31.5 million. As Gal enters her 36th year in 2021, she has a myriad of exciting projects in the works, including two unreleased films, Death on the Nile and Red Notice. Fans are also eagerly anticipating her upcoming role as Cleopatra in an upcoming movie. Despite her powerful on-screen persona, Gal returns to her role as a wife and mother at home. She tied the knot with real estate developer Yaron Varsano in 2008, and they have two daughters together. Gal is a superhero in her own right, balancing the demands of a busy filming schedule, devotedly raising her family, supporting her husband’s business ventures, and providing him with a spiritual foundation when needed.

In April 2020, Gal Gadot spoke to Vogue and shared that her family comes first, even with her fame. When she found out she got the role of Wonder Woman, she called her husband to tell him the news and that she wanted another child. Yaron Varsano was concerned this could damage her career, but Gadot was determined and took risks. She filmed Wonder Woman while pregnant with her second child and followed safety regulations, did challenging scenes, and intense action sequences without risking her health or her unborn child’s. Patty Jenkins, the director, even praised Gadot for braving the cold weather in skimpy clothing to fulfill crew demands.

According to an interview with Vogue, Gal Gadot values a balanced personal life just as much as her successful career. She uses the analogy of a kite, where the higher it soars professionally, the more important it becomes to stay grounded and maintain equilibrium in her personal life. As a mother of two, family is her top priority, and she strives to keep everything stable so that she can focus on what truly matters.

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