THE GAL WHO CHANGED HOL­LY­WOOD

For­mer SOLDIER. For­mer BEAUTY QUEEN. Fu­ture WON­DER WOMAN. Ac­tress GAL GADOT is about to be­come ev­ery­one’s FAVOURITE HERO.

Fashion (Canada) - - Front Page - By ELIO IANNACCI Pho­tographed by DAVID ROE­MER Styled by ZEINA ES­MAIL

Ac­tress Gal Gadot takes on a su­per­hero role. Pho­tographed by David Roe­mer.

THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN: THESE ARE THE WORDS

Glo­ria Steinem used to de­scribe how she felt about Won­der Woman when she was a child in the 1940s look­ing for a fe­male hero to call her own. As a young fem­i­nist in the 1970s, Steinem saw Won­der Woman as a light­house for those who felt cor­nered by tra­di­tional gen­der roles, il­lu­mi­nat­ing equal­ity in a dark age that re­stricted so much for so many. “She was the only hero that made you feel good about your­self,” Steinem said in a 2012 doc­u­men­tary called Won­der Women! The Un­told Story of Amer­i­can Su­per­heroines. “She gave an idea of jus­tice and com­pas­sion and friend­ship among women...it’s re­ally help­ful to be able to think your­self into some­one who is pow­er­ful.”

Gal Gadot echoes Steinem’s way of think­ing while on set dur­ing her photo shoot for FASH­ION. As the Is­raeli ac­tress gets her hair done in a stu­dio over­look­ing the Hud­son River in New York City, she opens up on be­ing the only ac­tress in history to don Won­der Woman’s ar­mour for the big screen.

“She is the ul­ti­mate sym­bol of strength,” Gadot says of the famed fe­male cru­sader she will por­tray in next year’s block­buster Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice, as well as its two se­quels and a solo Won­der Woman film. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d grow up to be in a movie play­ing some­one who in­flu­enced as many women as she has,” Gadot says with a sub­tle Is­raeli ac­cent. When the cast­ing was first an­nounced, a del­uge of In­ter­net cyn­ics ques­tioned Gadot’s fit for the role (Olga Kurylenko and Elodie Yung were among the other ru­moured can­di­dates). Some de­trac­tors claimed Gadot’s Is­raeli back­ground should have dis­qual­i­fied her from play­ing the char­ac­ter, who is of­ten con­sid­ered an Amer­i­can sym­bol of free­dom. Oth­ers stated she was too thin to play the tra­di­tion­ally busty and mus­cu­lar Won­der Woman. »

Gadot paid lit­tle mind to the In­ter­net trolls who chal­lenged her. In fact, none of their crit­i­cisms fazed her—she had al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced neg­a­tive media at­ten­tion from the Is­raeli press as she com­peted for and won the crown ti­tle of Miss Is­rael in 2004. She told Ynet, an Is­raeli news site, “Af­ter they asked me here, in Is­rael, if I have eat­ing dis­or­ders and why am I so skinny—that my head was too big and my body was like a broom­stick—I can take any­thing. It’s just empty talk.” As for Won­der Woman’s roots, she was al­ways writ­ten as a Gre­cian war­rior princess from Par­adise Is­land. And, as Gadot so suc­cinctly points out: “The true Ama­zons had one boob so it [wouldn’t] bother them with their archery.”

When it comes to prep­ping for the cam­era, the 30-yearold is just as thought­ful. Rather than draw­ing from ob­ser­va­tions of other peo­ple, Gadot main­tains a much more in­ter­nal ap­proach. “I re­late to the char­ac­ter,” she says of her act­ing strat­egy. “I al­ways think about how I would be­have if I were in their shoes.”

For her on­go­ing Won­der Woman role, her char­ac­ter in Fast Five and Fast & Fu­ri­ous 6, as well as a star turn in Triple 9—an ac­tion-packed movie due in the­atres in Septem­ber—Gadot’s past has helped her im­mensely. At the age of 20, af­ter she won the Miss Uni­verse Is­rael pageant and started mod­el­ling, the Tel Aviv na­tive was re­quired to put in mil­i­tary ser­vice time. Gadot went on to lead rig­or­ous boot­camps for high-rank­ing com­man­ders and sergeants. While most would see the ex­pe­ri­ence as a pro­fes­sional set­back of sorts, she looks back on her time spent learn­ing how to han­dle weapons and pre­pare for com­bat with fond­ness. “It was de­mand­ing be­cause you give up your free­dom for two years, but there is some­thing spe­cial in giv­ing back to your com­mu­nity,” she says. “One day I hope we have peace in the Mid­dle East and ev­ery­one is able to live to­gether in har­mony. I wish none of the coun­tries in the world will ever need an army, but this is how it goes in Is­rael. It’s manda­tory and I did my part. But the army wasn’t that dif­fi­cult for me. The mil­i­tary gave me good train­ing for Hol­ly­wood.”

Aside from her ex­pe­ri­ence as both a soldier and a beauty queen, Gadot’s life is a world apart from most ac­tresses. When she’s not film­ing, she re­turns home to Tel Aviv, where she lives with her hus­band, an Is­raeli busi­ness ty­coon, and Alma, her three-year-old daugh­ter (the cou­ple have no plans to move). By pri­or­i­tiz­ing fam­ily life, Gadot main­tains a highly mo­ti­vated at­ti­tude that helps her cope with hec­tic shoot­ing sched­ules. “Nowa­days be­ing a woman is hard, be­cause we have to be the best wife, best mother, best worker, best ev­ery­thing!” she says, sound­ing a lit­tle ex­as­per­ated. “But I truly be­lieve we are more em­pow­ered. Men are more women-friendly in this gen­er­a­tion…. We’re also stronger, so­phis­ti­cated and can achieve what we want. That’s what I would like my daugh­ter to know.”

Gadot says she learned from the best, list­ing her mother at the top of her own list of won­der women. Another is Pené­lope Cruz, whose ca­reer tra­jec­tory en­cour­ages her. “[Pené­lope] stands up for her­self and has some­thing to say—she has her own spice, which I love,” Gadot ex­plains. “She is very coura­geous and also has an ac­cent, but she just goes with it.”

Like Cruz, Gadot has packed her time with var­ied projects that will fur­ther push the lim­its of her tal­ent. She is the face of Gucci’s Bam­boo fra­grance and a cam­paign model for Cas­tro (Is­rael’s lead­ing fash­ion re­tailer). Gadot also wrapped a com­edy called Keep­ing Up With The Jone­ses, along­side Jon Hamm and Isla Fisher (she plays a se­cret agent who comes to wreak havoc on subur­bia), and a drama called Crim­i­nal, fea­tur­ing Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Cost­ner.

Gadot cites a scene in the lat­ter film as the most men­tally chal­leng­ing one she’s done to date. She plays a woman who loses her hus­band and must in­ter­act with a dan­ger­ous con­vict in or­der to help solve a crime. “We had a very heart­break­ing scene be­tween my char­ac­ter and [Cost­ner’s]. Both of them were just break­ing down bar­ri­ers. It was very emo­tional. I was cry­ing all day long.”

Phys­i­cally, Gadot is also work­ing hard for the money. She has to work out for two, of­ten re­fer­ring to her Won­der Woman role as a sep­a­rate per­son. She also has a Won­der Woman fit­ness rou­tine ded­i­cated to get­ting a su­per­hero bod through weight train­ing. On the side, she switches among Pi­lates, pad­dle board­ing, TRX, yoga and work­ing out with a per­sonal trainer. While most of us would be com­plain­ing about the gym time we’d have to put in, Gadot seems to thrive on do­ing the ground­work.

“Rule num­ber one for me? Come pre­pared. When I am pre­pared, I can tackle ev­ery­thing,” she says be­fore her agent re­minds her that her plane to Tel Aviv is leav­ing soon. “If that means push­ing my­self more, then fine. Isn’t that what be­ing a woman is all about?”

“The ARMY wasn’t that

DIF­FI­CULT for me. The MIL­I­TARY gave

me GOOD TRAIN­ING for HOL­LY­WOOD.”

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