To the untrained eye, Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot may seem like a beautiful actress but, in real life, she’s just as bad ass as her Wonder Woman character.
In 2004, Gadot was crowned Miss Israel. Unbeknownst to many, in the same year, she was conscripted in the Israeli Defense Forces. “Serving in the Israeli army means giving up your freedom for two years,” she says wearing a sleeveless black leather dress, which hugs in all the right places, perched on a blue velvet chesterfield lounge talking exclusively to Gritty Pretty at Berlin’s Soho House.
“In an ideal world, I wish Israelis didn’t have to serve in the IDF and that people could live peacefully in a harmonic way [in Israel, serving in the army is mandatory]. But, if I can take anything from my experience of being in the army, it would be that it taught me the values of discipline and to give respect to the responsibilities that I have.”
Add to the fact that Gadot is a self-proclaimed tomboy who, as the daughter of a gymnastic teacher mother, grew up regularly doing sports – “I never think of sport as a chore – it’s a joy” – and who drove a Ducati until she became a mother to daughter Alma, 5. Sure, she counts pilates as her go-to workout (she continued doing classes 2-3 times a week while pregnant) but she also admits to also having her simple beauty routine down pat; relying on drinking water daily, slathering Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream on just about everything, a bespoke moisturiser crafted by a one-named wonder in her home country known simply as Giselle and finally, a couple of coats of her favourite Careline Bold Mascara.
Gadot, who needs no introduction, is of course Amazonian superhero, Wonder Woman, in the latest DC Comics installment which has already smashed box office records and continues to exceed all expectations (we’ve seen it – and loved it).
Calling the Wonder Woman role and also working with Kate Winslet in Triple 9 her “biggest career highlights”, another equal of her success is her partnership with Gucci Bamboo, the fragrance for women. “I feel very privileged to be a part of such a major fashion house like Gucci. It’s a huge thing for me and I’m really proud of it,” says the 30-year-old brunette beauty. Adding, “My family and I have always big fans of the brand,” admitting her first fashion memory is of her mother’s Gucci handbags and shoes. “I distinctly remember the Gucci logo on some of her pieces.”
The fragrance, which is a complex blend of orange blossom, Casablanca lily and ylang ylang, is designed to be worn by the modern woman. In other words, all of us. “It’s very fresh and very floral but also has a touch of sweetness to it,” says Gadot. “It’s young, sexy and yet it is still sophisticated and elegant.”
Nowadays, Gadot admits, “As women, we are expected to be perfect workers, mothers, wives and daughters – it’s a lot to accomplish all of these things. We are expected to be smart and sophisticated and able to juggle what we have to.” She’s also aware there’s an archaic mentality that if you’re good at your job, you aren’t a good mother and if you’re a good mother, then you aren’t good at your job. “This simply isn’t the case,” she says boldly. “We can absolutely be powerful and feminine at the same time. We, as females, can be strong and delicate.”
In the Gucci Bamboo video campaign directed by Fabien Baron and lensed by Mert & Marcus, Gadot’s on-camera skills were tested with two days spent shooting the stills campaign and another four filming the commercial.
Her military service came in handy when asked to wield a fencing sword. And, her 12 years as a dancer pays off as she moves effortlessly across a ballroom floor and she even plays the piano naked (as one does when your core is toned from finding your balance on a stand-up paddle board in the middle of the ocean).
When it comes to acting, “I’m very open-minded but I really enjoy portraying strong, independent woman,” said Gadot. “When you go to the movies, [it’s always] the upset, heartbroken girl who’s waiting to be saved by a guy. In real life, that’s not the way it is!” Damn straight.
It appears the actress has it all. Humbly admitting, “I’m very grateful.” But, in truth, it’s her husband [Israeli businessman, Yaron Varsano] and her daughter who are her life’s greatest achievements. “Alma made everything every in my life so much clearer.” [Editor’s note: since this interview, Gadot has given birth to a second daughter, Maya]. Asked if she could give her daughter just one piece of advice to take her through life, Gadot replied, “I would tell my daughter to find her self confidence from within and to do what’s best for her and not what is expected of her.” Now, that’s bad ass.
To shop Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum, click here.
This story has been edited and was originally published July 10, 2015.