We can’t imagine why but Ms Gadot’s short showbiz career to date has been enlivened by
controversy at every turn. From embassy parties to magazine covers she, ahem… turns heads
by Sally Cassidy
photography by Steve Shaw
When I was first told that I would be interviewing Gal Gadot, there were two thoughts that came to mind: “Young Hollywood” and “too cool for school attitude.” Here was a beautiful up-and-coming actress who would probably struggle to come up with worthwhile conversation. Or so I thought. To my surprise, when I called her hotel room that Friday afternoon, the person who answered the phone wasn’t some hung-over bitch trying to speed up our interview because she had better things to do. On the contrary, as soon as she picked up the phone and had the courtesy to ask how I was doing and wish me luck with this tundra-like weather of New York City, I knew I would be talking to a different breed of young Hollywood.
This discipline practiced at a relatively young age, makes Gal stand out from the rest. Her professionalism and kind-heartedness has led her into many accomplishments so far. Barely a year and a half ago, she started to study acting, and yet this April she made her debut in Fast & Furious with Vin Diesel. That’s quite a rapid step for someone who just began to practice this difficult artform. “I was very lucky to have gotten this part. The entire experience was amazing. Everyone on set was so nice and welcoming and we became very good friends, all of us.” Not only will we be seeing her on the big screen, we’ll be seeing her on the small screen as well, for her debut on Entourage. “I’m very, very excited about this! I love this show. It’s huge in Israel, actually. We start shooting in the end of March.” Gal is due to be in at least four episodes.
Gal first came on to the scene back in 2004 when she participated in the Miss Universe pageant, representing her country. She was eighteen at the time, and when asked about the experience she humbly responded, “I’m not the type who gets involved in these sorts of things. Pageants and things like that aren’t really me, but I guess throughout all of my youth, people wanted me to be a model. I thought modeling was very shallow and for dummies. But when I turned 18 and was asked to enter the Miss Israel pageant, I thought it would be my last shot to try my luck as a model or something like that.”
Gal has been featured in ads for Israel’s biggest brand, Castro, which turned into an international campaign. She has also been featured on many magazine covers and has shot various editorials. Her most infamous editorial was the Maxim spread featuring 25 of Israel’s hottest female soldiers, which came out during the summer of 2007. What began as an attempt to attract more tourists to Israel from the previously lacking demographic of males ages 18-38, quickly turned into a nasty controversy that called into question the integrity of the campaign. The Chairwoman of Meretz was quoted saying that she would have preferred the spread to be of women of substance and accomplishment.
Ouch. Did she mean that the women featured in the shoot were dumb? Is that really a fair judgment? When I asked Gal about this remark, she calmly responded, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially in Israel. There will be people who congratulate you and say that it was a great cause to be a part of, and then there will be people who will criticize. I wasn’t offended by what she said because I believed in what I did.”
Although you may think mandatory armed service is outrageous, it is perfectly normal for every Israeli, including Gal. And don’t think that just because Gal was Miss Israel that she was granted special privileges. She too had to serve. Although her term started at the age of 20, two years after it was supposed to begin, due to her busy schedule, there was no way of getting around the commitment. “I was a gymnastics trainer in the army. I bet it sounds very weird for people who are not Israeli and don’t know anything about Israel that you have to serve the army, but for me it was very normal, you know? My parents had to do it, and that’s just the reality in Israel. I grew up knowing that eventually I would have to be in it.” It is no wonder then, that Gal is so mature and grounded, even when she’s had such great cards handed to her.
With all these projects, what’s next for Miss Gal Gadot? There have been rumors that Gal will be starting law school in the fall. Would this mean that she’d be taking a break from the all hype just as it’s beginning? Of course not. Only a “dummie,” as she calls them, would make such a poor choice, and we all know by now that Gal is anything but. “I was studying law back in Israel, but I’ve learned it’s impossible to give equal attention to my studies and my acting career. Right now, I just want to be the best actress I can be and the most professional I can be.” When I asked if she saw Oscars in the future, her reply was, “We’ll see where it goes from here. I’m a day-by-day girl. I don’t want to worry so much about the destination, but more about the journey there. And right now, I just want to focus on working very hard to be the best I can be.”
Very well said, miss… very well said.
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