Gal Gadot – Varsano (born 30 April 1985) is an Israeli actress, producer, and model. At age 18, she was crowned Miss Israel 2004. She then served two years in the Israel Defense Forces as a soldier, whereafter she began studying at the IDC Herzliya college, while building her modelling and acting careers.
Gadot’s first international film role came as Gisele Yashar in Fast & Furious (2009), a role she reprised in subsequent installments of the film franchise.
She went on to gain worldwide recognition for portraying Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), followed by the solo film Wonder Woman, the ensemble Justice League (both 2017), the sequel Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), and the alternate cut Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021).
Gadot has been dubbed the “biggest Israeli superstar” by local media outlets. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018 and she has placed twice in annual rankings of the world’s highest-paid actresses.
Gal Gadot was born in Petah Tikva, Israel, and raised in its neighboring city of Rosh HaAyin. In Hebrew, her first name means “wave” and her surname means “riverbanks”. Her parents are Irit (née Weiss), a Phys Ed. teacher, and Michael Gadot, an engineer.
Her parents Hebraized their surname from “Greenstein” to “Gadot” prior to her birth. Her father is a sixth-generation Sabra.
Her maternal grandparents were born in 20th century Europe; her grandfather, who was imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, survived the Holocaust, and her grandmother managed to escape before the Nazi invasion.
She has stated that she was brought up in a “very Jewish, Israeli family environment”. Gadot is of Ashkenazi Jewish (Polish-Jewish, Austrian-Jewish, German-Jewish, and Czech-Jewish) descent. She has a younger sister, Dana Gadot.
Growing up, Gadot learned and danced jazz and hip-hop for 12 years, and her first jobs were babysitting and at Burger King. She graduated from Begin High School in Rosh HaAyin, majoring in biology.
Jewish high schools in Israel tend to take their sophomores to a Holocaust memorial trip to Poland to experience and reminisce the Auschwitz and the Majdanek concentration camps from first hand, which Gadot shared: “I stood there on top of a mountain of ashes.
I, an entitled child, felt the suffering the Muselmann experienced back then. When it was time to give my speech at the memorial ceremony, my eyes filled up with tears, and I could not control the shivering. I returned home more mature and cried with my grandfather about that, coming a full circle from his childhood to mine.”
Gadot entered the Miss Israel competition at age 18, thinking it would be a fun experience. “I never thought I would win,” she said to Glamour magazine.
Gadot completed her two mandatory years of military service in the Israel Defense Forces, enlisted as a combat fitness instructor. She began her service at age 20. Gadot says that her background helped her to win the role of Gisele in Fast & Furious: “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.” After her military service, Gadot studied law and government at the IDC Herzliya college in Herzliya, Israel.
At age 18, Gadot won the 2004 Miss Israel beauty pageant, and subsequently competed for Israel in the Miss Universe 2004 pageant that took place that year in Ecuador.
She has led international campaigns as a model for Miss Sixty, Huawei smartphones, Captain Morgan rum, Gucci fragrances and Vine Vera skincare ranges, and Jaguar Cars.
Gadot has been the main model for fashion brand Castro in 2008–16. In 2013, her combined annual modelling and acting salary was estimated at NIS 2.4 million.
In 2007, 21-year-old Gadot was in the Maxim photo shoot “Women of the IDF” and was then featured on the cover of the New York Post.
In 2017, Gadot was placed at number one on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women list.
After Gadot had completed her first year of college, a casting director contacted her agent to have Gadot audition for the part of Camille Montes in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Although she lost the part to Olga Kurylenko, a few months later, Gadot starred in the 2008 Israeli drama Bubot.
Three months later, the casting director from her Quantum of Solace audition chose Gadot over six other actresses for the role of Gisele Yashar in the action film Fast & Furious, the fourth film in the Fast & Furious franchise. Gadot performed her own stuntwork in those films.
In 2010, she had small roles in the action comedy Date Night and the action-adventure comedy Knight and Day. 2011 brought her back to the Fast & Furious franchise, reprising her role as Gisele in Fast Five, and in 2013’s Fast & Furious 6.
Gadot portrayed Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Gadot received swordsmanship, Kung Fu, kickboxing, capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training in preparation for the role. Gadot’s performance as the superhero, which was the character’s first appearance in film, was singled out as one of the best parts of the film.
Gadot, fellow Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and U.N. Under-Secretary General Cristina Gallach appeared at the United Nations on 21 October 2016, the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, to mark the character’s designation by the United Nations as its “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls”.
The gesture was intended to raise awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. The decision was met with protests from UN staff members who stated in their petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the character is “not culturally encompassing or sensitive” and served to objectify women.
As a result, the character was stripped of the designation, and the project ended 16 December.
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. Later that year, she co-starred in the action crime thriller film Criminal, as the wife of Ryan Reynolds’ character, alongside Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones.
Her final film of 2016 was the action comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses, in which she played a secret agent, alongside Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, and Isla Fisher.
In 2017, Gadot starred in a solo film for her character, Wonder Woman. She reprised the role in the ensemble film Justice League, which was released in November 2017, and was her third DC Extended Universe installment. That same year, Gadot was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 2018, Time magazine named Gadot one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Forbes ranked her as the tenth highest-paid actress in the world, with annual earnings of $10 million. In the same year, Gadot voiced Shank in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Gadot appeared in the music video for Maroon 5’s song “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B.
In July 2018, during a break in filming Wonder Woman 1984, Gadot visited a Virginia children’s hospital in costume as Wonder Woman.
In 2020, Forbes ranked Gadot as the third highest-paid actress in the world, with annual earnings of $31.5 million. On 11 October 2020, Gadot was confirmed to be reuniting with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins on Cleopatra, an epic film centered on Cleopatra produced by Paramount Pictures. In December, Gadot was cast in the spy thriller Heart of Stone.
In 2021, her two films are lined up for release. She is starring alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds in the Netflix action thriller film Red Notice, written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. Her second film Death on the Nile directed by Kenneth Branagh is slated for release on 11 February 2022.
In October 2019, Gadot formed a production company, Pilot Wave, with her husband, Yaron “Jaron” Varsano, and said she will star in and co-produce an Apple TV+ limited series about actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, as well as the Warner Bros. historical thriller film Irena Sendler, following the life of WWII humanitarian Irena Sendler.
In 2020, Gadot co-produced, as well as starred, in the sequel film Wonder Woman 1984.
Gadot was named as celebrity endorser for Smartwater in 2020, replacing Jennifer Aniston, who had served in that role since 2008.
Gadot married Israeli real estate developer Yaron “Jaron” Varsano in 2008.
They have two daughters, one born in 2011, and another in 2017. Gadot announced that she is pregnant with her third child in March 2021, after speculation about her during the Golden Globe awards the night before.
The two later formed their own film-television production company, Pilot Wave, in 2019. Gadot and Varsano owned a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, which she helped run, that eventually was sold to Roman Abramovich in 2015 for $26 million.
During the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, Gadot posted on Facebook a photo of herself and her daughter praying in support of the Israel Defense Forces, accompanied by a comment that quickly accumulated over 200,000 likes as well as more than 15,000 comments of both support and criticism:
“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!!! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf”
In March 2020, Gadot and a number of other celebrities, including her Wonder Woman 1984 co-star Kristen Wiig, performed an online version of the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, intended to raise morale during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the video was poorly received by the public who dismissed it as an ineffective response to the pandemic; Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called it “an empty and profoundly awkward gesture”. Gadot later acknowledged the video did not garner the positive reaction that had been intended, but was unapologetic in explaining the thinking behind it.
|2009||Fast & Furious||Gisele Yashar||Justin Lin|
|2010||Date Night||Natanya||Shawn Levy|
|Knight and Day||Naomi||James Mangold|
|2011||Fast Five||Gisele Yashar||Justin Lin|
|2013||Fast & Furious 6|
|2014||Kicking Out Shoshana||Mirit Ben Harush||Shay Kanot|
|2015||Furious 7||Gisele Yashar||James Wan||Credited and appears in a deleted scene|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Diana Prince / Wonder Woman||Zack Snyder|
|Criminal||Jill Pope||Ariel Vromen|
|Keeping Up with the Joneses||Natalie Jones||Greg Mottola|
|Triple 9||Elena Vlaslov||John Hillcoat|
|2017||Wonder Woman||Diana Prince / Wonder Woman||Patty Jenkins|
|Justice League||Zack Snyder|
Joss Whedon (uncredited)
|2018||Ralph Breaks the Internet||Shank||Rich Moore and Phil Johnston||Voice|
|2019||Between Two Ferns: The Movie||Herself||Scott Aukerman||Cameo|
|2020||Wonder Woman 1984||Diana Prince / Wonder Woman||Patty Jenkins||Also producer|
|2021||Zack Snyder’s Justice League||Zack Snyder’s alternate cut|
|Red Notice||“The World’s Greatest Art Thief”||Rawson Marshall Thurber||Post-production|
|2022||Death on the Nile||Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle||Kenneth Branagh||Completed|
|2007||Bubot||Miriam “Merry” Elkayam|
|2009||The Beautiful Life||Olivia||3 episodes|
|Entourage||Lisa||Episode: “Amongst Friends”|
|2017||Saturday Night Live||Herself (host)||Episode: “Gal Gadot / Sam Smith”|
|2018||The Simpsons||Herself||Voice; episode: “Bart’s Not Dead”|
|2019||Eurovision Song Contest 2019||Guest|
|2020||COVID Is No Joke||Television special|
|Class of 2020: In This Together||Television special|
|2012||“Lie”||Noy Alooshe featuring Saar Badishi||Herself|
|2018||“Girls Like You” (Original, Volume 2 and Vertical Video versions)||Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B|
|2020||“Imagine (Quarantine Edition)”||Artists for We Are One|
|2013||Vine Vera||Cosmetics||United States|
|2015||Huawei||Smartphone: Huawei P9||Israel|
|2015||Gucci||Fragrance: Bamboo||United States|
|2017||Wix||Israeli software and website||United States|
|2017||GTArcade||Video game: League of Angels: Paradise Island||China|
|2018||Huawei||Smartphone: Huawei P20||United States|
|2004||Miss Israel 2004||Herself||Winner|
|2004||Miss Universe 2004||Miss Israel||Participant|
Awards and nominations
|2016||Chinese American Film Festival||Most Popular US Actress in China||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Won|
|Critics’ Choice Awards||Best Actress in an Action Movie||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Breakout Star||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Scene Stealer||Nominated|
|Women Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Female Action Hero||Nominated|
|2017||Detroit Film Critics Society||Breakthrough||Wonder Woman||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||Spotlight Award||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Liplock (shared with Chris Pine)||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Action Actress||Won|
|Choice Movie: Actress Summer||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Comedy Actress||Keeping Up with the Joneses||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Ship (shared with Chris Pine)||Wonder Woman||Nominated|
|2018||Critics’ Choice Awards||#SeeHer Award||N/A||Won|
|Jupiter Award||Best International Actress||Wonder Woman||Won|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Fight (Wonder Woman vs German soldiers)||Won|
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||Rising Star Award – Actress||Won|
|Santa Barbara Film Festival||Virtuosos Award||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Shorty Awards||Best Actor||N/A||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress: Action||Justice League||Nominated|
|Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Wonder Woman & Justice League||Nominated|
|2019||Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Female Voice from an Animated Movie||Ralph Breaks the Internet||Nominated|
|2021||Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Wonder Woman 1984||Nominated|