This time five years ago, nobody knew who Gal Gadot was. A Disney-kid-turned-superstar, this lady is not. Unlike Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, Demi Lovato, or Zac Efron, Gal hit Hollywood as a complete unknown. The highest-grossing actress of 2017 is now Wonder Woman, a style icon, and she joins Ariana Grande as the face of Reebok.
"I did not know anything. They tell me they want to do a camera test. And I'm like? Again? Another camera test?" Gal auditioned for Wonder Woman blind – she had no idea what she was auditioning for, Time reports. The producers were onto something, though.
This athletic muscle machine wasn't going to stay in the background forever. Gal may have started out with minor roles in Fast & Furious, but this girl was built for superstardom. The real Gal? She gives interviews in old rubber flip-flops.
You're looking at one of the most powerful and beautiful actresses in Hollywood today. The small-town Israeli girl who dabbled in modelling is now a bonafide A-Lister. Over 27 million of us are following Gal on Instagram, but how many of us even know what her name means?
Gal hasn't been dubbed the "real-life Wonder Woman" for nothing. Here are 20 little-known details about the notoriously private Gal Gadot.
19 Gal Means "Wave" In Hebrew
Yes, we've got the weird celeb baby names. Kylie Jenner has picked Stormi. Cardi B named her daughter Kulture. What we don't get too often, though, is a grown-up celebrity with a super cool, super unusual name.
Gal is Israeli. Her first name means "wave" in Hebrew, while Gadot means "riverbanks." Gadot isn't pronounced as most people think – take it from someone who understands the language.
Gal Gadot is actually pronounced closer to "gull" (like a seagull), while Gadot pronounces the "t" as in "Gah-DOTT."
18 Two Years In The Israeli Army
Military service in Israel is mandatory – for men and women. Gal might play a fighter on-screen, but she's one in real life. Gal served for two years in the Israeli Defence Forces where she was a combat instructor, Romper reports.
"The army wasn't that difficult for me. The military training gave me good training for Hollywood,"
Gal told FASHION. We'll assume that's the natural #Superhero in this girl. The Israeli army is known to be one of the most mentally and physically demanding in the world. "The soldiers loved me because I made them fit," Gal jokingly told Maxim.
17 Hid Her Pregnancy While Filming "Wonder Woman"
Hiding pregnancies during action roles is nothing new. Blake Lively was pregnant during The Shallows, Scarlett Johansson was pregnant during Avengers, and Halle Berry was expecting while filming X-Men. Gal joins them, although this starlet kept it under wraps.
"I didn't want attention," Gal told Rolling Stone. "I [let out my gut]," she told Glamour. "I started to come to set with sunglasses." The producers also ended up getting confused.
"I had this jug of water with huge pieces of ginger. One of the producers kept on asking: 'Why are you drinking that potato water? They thought I'd gone Hollywood."
Filming eventually worked around Gal's bump.
16 Producers Liked Her Specific Knowledge And Skills
Not many actresses arrive on set in the position to advise the prop coaches. It's usually the other way around. Gal had her two years in the army as experience, and she impressed Fast & Furious producers from day one.
"The director really liked that I was in the military, and he wanted to use my knowledge," Gal told FASHION about her early interactions with movie crews.
The swordsmanship, Kung Fu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu that Gal had to master tor Wonder Woman was called "a walk in the park" for the actress by Sunday Post. Gal is set to star alongside Dwayne Johnson in an upcoming movie.
15 Married A Total Normie
Gal comes with a #MarriageGoals that not many people know about. It's called being low key. Gal is married to Yaron Versano, a real estate developer. They even bought a hotel together in the past. Bustle reports Gal saying:
"We met nearly 10 years ago at this very strange party in the desert. He told me on our second date he was serious and wasn't going to wait more than two years to ask me to marry him."
"Fast-forward two years; he proposed. We were married in 2008," Gal added. Yaron may have sold his hotel for $26 million, but he's a total normie in the Hollywood world.
14 A Beauty Queen Who Worked At Burger King
Gal's beauty hasn't gone unnoticed. While Gal wanted to study international relations and law, she was scouted by modelling agents and eventually became Miss Israel 2004. "I was [surprised] when they crowned me," Gal told Glamour about being both Miss Israel and Miss Universe.
"When I went to Miss Universe, I rebelled." Gal purposefully messed up her auditions not to be selected.
"I showed up late. I came without gowns. They tell you to come to breakfast in a gown," Gal continued, adding: "I was like, 'No way am I having breakfast in a gown!'" The Sun reports. Gal also briefly worked at Burger King.
13 Her Workout Routine
The sheer power that comes with girl is enough to make you want to hit the gym. Her workouts are unreal (and she's got the Instagram videos to prove it). To prep for Wonder Woman, Elle reports that Gal was hitting the gym for six hours a day.
"I did two hours of gym work, two hours fight choreography, and two hours horseback riding, which is super hard," Gal said.
"When people used to tell me: Yeah I do sports, I ride horses, I was like: That's not a sport. The horse does everything. No! No! You'd be surprised – it's so painful," she added.
12 She's No #Diva
Gal is one of the most chill actresses in Hollywood. With her hair mostly pulled back in a ponytail and an Instagram-viewable wardrobe of T-shirts and jeans, Gal isn't one to cruise Rodeo Drive and empty Gucci. A #diva this girl is not. GQ called her "The Gal Next Door."
When GQ interviewed Gal in 2017, she took the interview crew to the beach. The towels? Gal provided them herself. "I enjoy talking to random people sometimes," Gal said. Super relaxed and super casual, this girl doesn't come with a #Attitude.
11 "Every Woman, Every Man, Everyone Should Be A Feminist"
If you want an idea of Gal's #FeministPower, watch her sit on talk show couches explaining the costumes for Wonder Woman (and why historical Amazon women are portrayed the way they are). Glamour quotes Gal saying:
"People always ask me: Are you a feminist? And I find the question surprising because I think: Yes, of course. Every woman, every man, everyone should be a feminist."
"I've had my moments where I've felt like men were misbehaving," Gal said, but this fierce-fighting warrior is now the ultimate #GirlBoss and she having none of it.
10 Clueless: She Had No Idea What She Was Auditioning For
Gal auditioned for Wonder Woman blind. Speaking on The Ellen Show, Gal exclaimed:
"I didn't know what I was auditioning for. They said it was super confidential, you're just going to read a scene with Zac Snyder."
Gal then received a phone call on a flight back home to Israel. She still didn't know what was going on. "Great! What am I testing for?" Gal asked. Gal was eventually told: "I'm not sure if you have it in Israel, but did you ever hear about Wonder Woman?" Gal jokingly admitted to Ellen that she tried to "pull off her coolest voice" when replying. She'd landed the role and the rest is history.
9 Reebok Scooped Her Up For $10 Million
Sports brands know the value of a famous face. Demi Lovato was snapped up by Fabletics, Selena Gomez is the face of Puma. Kendall and Kylie Jenner are fronting Adidas. Joining Ariana Grande with a #Reebok is Gal Gadot.
Gal's partnership with Reebok is reported to be $10 million, The Times of Israel reports. The athletic-wear giant now has leverage on the competition with a girl who is the ultimate #WorkoutQueen.
"Working out has always been a big part of my life," Gal told Harper's Bazaar. "Through fitness, I have found that I gain strength, endurance, and confidence."
8 Taking On Motherhood
There are two sides to Gal. One is the sword-wielding, armor-donning Wonder Woman. The other is a down-to-Earth mother of two who's happy to hit an ice-cream outlet with zero makeup. Her social media captions, as E! News reports, couldn't be more real.
"Sleepless night, colicky 3-month old baby, and an early wake up by my 5-year-old. Went to the garden for some fresh air with my coffee and now reading 'Cat in The Hat' with my daughter."
Gal is a mother to two girls named Maya and Alma. Protecting their privacy is important to Gal. As Romper reports, Gal started blanking out her kids' faces on social media as fame took over.
7 Giving People Egg Sandwiches
When you're famous on Gal's level, the catering is usually provided. We can't even imagine what the setup is for a Kim Kardashian interview, but it's unlikely to be what GQ got when they interviewed Gal in 2017.
"Wonder Woman has brought me the egg sandwich wrapped in cellophane," the magazine's reporter wrote, after calling it "unexpected."
Gal arrived in "old rubber flip-flops" and denims so distressed, the magazine called them "inconsolable." Gal has buckets of style, but when she's relaxing, it's #ChillMode.
The Face Of Revlon And Gucci, But Still Says #NoMakeUp
When you're the face of a major cosmetics brand, it's expected that you pile the stuff on. Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Kim Kardashian are running beauty empires. Their #MakeUp faces reflect it
Alongside being the face of Reebok, Gal is now fronting the cosmetics giant Revlon. While we'll get a slick of lipstick here and there from Gal, most of her Instagram pics are fully makeup-free.
It doesn't end there. Gal has also been the face of Gucci's Bamboo fragrance. And yet, her social media looks like this.
6 We Wouldn't Even Recognize Her On The Street
A-listers have a way of acting the part. Watch any episode of KUTWK and you'll see 5-star hotels (and top-tier suites). Gal Gadot is no Kardashian. The glam squad doesn't seem to exist for this girl, and you're unlikely to catch her in Versace.
"I cannot believe I wore the same swimsuit twice!" Gal joked to GQ about wearing swimwear that she'd previously been seen in on Instagram.
Instead of hosting the interview in an air-conditioned hotel lobby, Gal kept it real. She took GQ to the Tel Aviv beach in Israel.
5 "I Knew He Was The One"
#Goals is basically the best way to sum up Gal's marriage. Steering well clear of the standard "one-year" shelf life that most Hollywood marriages have, Gal has been married to Yavon Versano for over ten years.
"We didn't exactly find ourselves [in the desert], but we found each other,"
Gal told Glamour about meeting her future husband. "It was all about yoga, chakras, and eating healthy," Gal said. She met her husband at a "strange party" in the desert. Over ten years later, these two are rock solid (plus they've got two kids).
4 "Kisses From Lola"
Gal adores animals. That's probably why she has a pet dog named Lola. "What would we do without loving our pets? They bring so much joy to our lives," Gal captioned a Twitter video of herself with her dog.
Loving animals hardly makes you unique. Ariana Grande is an animal lover who has said she prefers animals to people. Kaley Cuoco is 100% about her horses.
What we rarely see, though, is a celeb who posts #NoMakeUp selfies of herself with a pup where the celeb herself isn't the center of attention. "Kisses from Lola" was the caption to this pic.
3 Took A Low Salary For "Wonder Woman"
We're talking low for Hollywood, here. While Scarlett Johansson is eyeing up $15 million for a standalone Black Widow movie, according to Business Insider, Gal's initial salary for Wonder Woman was a mere $300,000.
Henry Cavill earned $14 million for Superman. Robert Downey Junior's Avengers: Infinity War pay was around the $10 million mark. Compared to these, Gal's paycheck for Wonder Woman was surprisingly low.
The figure is said to have been the same for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League. This figure was, however, the base pay for Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger (but it's since risen into the millions).
2 She's Proud Of Her Heritage, But She Knows What Her Family Went Through
Gal Gadot is fiercely proud of her Israeli heritage. While her English is fluent, you'll spot the unique Israeli accent in any interview you watch of hers.
In 2018, Gal posted a tribute to her grandfather who survived The Holocaust. "I think of you today, at this very moment of remembrance."
As Jerusalem Post reports, Gal's grandfather was born in 1928 in Czechoslovakia (now Ukraine). His entire family, as Gal said, "[lost their lives] because someone had decided they were born into the wrong religion and race." Here is Gal in a more sober moment for Holocaust Remembrance.
1 Being A Woman Is What Make Her Powerful
Sometimes, the pictures just speak for themselves. Gal has been acing her action roles since day one. Hand-to-hand combat? Not a problem. Beating guys to a pulp? Likewise.
"Being a woman is my strength. In so many ways,"
Gal told Rolling Stone. We may just have found the most unlikely, un-Hollywood actress ever. Gal Gadot is the breath of fresh air this industry needed (but she's so powerful, Hollywood might not know how to handle her).
She's the real-life Wonder Woman and there's no doubt about it. Hit share on Facebook and get this understated goddess out.