11 surprising things you didn't know about Gal Gadot

  • Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress who is known for her role in 2017’s “Wonder Woman.”
  • The actress became Miss Israel in 2004 and she competed in Miss Universe that same year.
  • Gadot served for two years in the Israel Defence Force as a combat trainer and she’s said her military background helped her land some acting roles.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Best known for her role in 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” Gal Gadot has been on TV shows and in movies for years. She’s also a model, a pageant winner, and a martial artist.

Gadot tends to live her life out of the spotlight and there are a lot of fascinating things you might not know about her and her past.

Here are some things you might not have known about Gal Gadot.

The actress got her start in modelling as a reluctant pageant contestant.

MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty ImagesShe was crowned Miss Israel when she was 18 years old.

Back in 2004, the then-18-year-old Gadot was crowned Miss Israel.

In a 2017 interview with W magazine, the actress said the decision to compete was a reluctant one.

“I was 18, I just graduated high school and I had some time in between going to the army,” she told the publication. “My mum figured, ‘Hey, why don’t I send your photo, you finished school and this like a proper pageant,’ whatever.”

She also said she didn’t actually want to win the pageant.

“I got in and I never thought I would win and then I won and then it scared me,” she continued. “I was like, ‘What? Miss Israel? All the responsibility of being Miss Israel?'”

She said she was scared she’d win when she ran for Miss Universe that same year.

MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/GettyShe didn’t want to be Miss Universe.

While representing Israel at the Miss Universe competition, Gadot said she rebelled to make sure she wouldn’t win.

“When I went to Miss Universe, I rebelled. I was afraid I might get picked again,” she said in an interview with Glamour. “I showed up late. I came without gowns. They tell you to come to breakfast in a gown. I was like, ‘No way am I having breakfast in a gown!’ Who needs to wear an evening gown at 10:30 a.m.?'”

Read More: 25 celebrities that you didn’t realise competed in beauty pageants

Before she became an actress, she was studying law.

Neilson Barnard/Getty ImagesShe had been attending law school.

“If things had gone according to my plans, I’d be a lawyer,” Gadot said in a March 2016 interview with Glamour. “I never dreamt of being an actress.”

Her first film audition was for a part in “Quantum of Solace.” She didn’t get it but it helped her land a role in “The Fast and the Furious.”

UniversalShe was in multiple ‘The Fast and the Furious’ movies.

In 2016 she told Glamour that when was in school, a casting director for “Quantum of Solace” saw her modelling card and pulled her in for an audition. It was for the role of Camille.

Although Olga Kurylenko got the part instead, Gadot said she began taking acting lessons after her audition. The same director would later give her her big break as Gisele Yashar in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise.

Gadot served for two years in the Israel Defence Force as a combat trainer.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty ImagesShe taught gymnastics and calisthenics.

As an Israeli citizen, the star served her requisite two years in the army during the 2006Israel-Hezbollah War. Her role was as a combat trainer.

In a 2007 interview with Maxim, Gadot said that she taught the soldiers gymnastics and calisthenics.

She said her military background helped her land a role in “The Fast and the Furious.”

Universal PicturesShe said her military background was useful.

In a 2011 interview with Forward, the star said that her military background helped her land the role of Gisele.

She told the publication that the film’s director Justin Lin really liked that she had been in the Israeli military. “He wanted to use my knowledge of weapons,” she told the publication.

Her first onscreen break was on a short-lived Israeli drama called “Bubot.”

Dar-Set ProductionsThe series lasted for one year.

According to IMDb, the 2007 show was about conspiracies and love in the modelling world. Gadot played Miriam “Merry” Elkayam. The show lasted for just one year.

Before being cast as Diana Prince, Gadot appeared on a 2009 episode of “Entourage” as a woman named Lisa.

HBOShe had a minor role.

And in 2010 she appeared as Mark Wahlberg’s girlfriend in “Date Night” and alongside Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in “Knight & Day.”

Before landing her role in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” she said she almost quit acting.

Warner Bros.She played Diana Price, also known as Wonder Woman.

In a 2017 interview with Today, per People, Gadot said that she “was as close as it gets” to quitting acting and going back to law school before she got the call to try out for “Batman v. Superman.”

“There’s so much ‘no,'” she told the publication. “There’s so much rejection in this world that I thought, ‘Maybe it’s not for me … maybe I should go back to law school instead of dragging my family with me.'”

She said she gained around 17 pounds of muscle while training for the role of Wonder Woman.

Warner Bros.She said it made her feel stronger.

In a 2016 interview with Glamour, the actress said she gained about 17 pounds of muscle while training for her role in “Wonder Woman.” She said she feels stronger and like her posture is better because of it.

During an appearance on “Live With Ryan and Kelly,” the star said that even her army training did not prepare her for the gruelling training it took to become Wonder Woman.

“I was training six months prior to the shoots and six hours a day I did two hours of gym work, two hours of fight choreography, and one and a half hour [to] two hours [of] horseback riding … It was a lot more intense [than the army] by far,” she told the hosts.

Read More: RANKED: All the DC movies from ‘Man of Steel’ to ‘Shazam’

Gadot has said she’s a fan of motorcycles but gave them up when she became a mother.

Mike Coppola/Getty ImagesShe likes doing her own stunts, too.

“I enjoy doing my own stunts. I love being active and physical. I used to dance which was great training but I also loved motorcycles,” she said in a 2015 interview with Elle. However, she told the publication she “thought it best to give them up when [she] became a mother.”

She has two daughters, Maya and Alma, with her husband Yaron Versano.

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