The former Israeli combat instructor and ex-pageant queen had given up on acting when she landed the role of a lifetime
ROLLING STONE – Wonder Woman herself is about to bless my unborn child. “Can I?” she asks, before spreading her long fingers around my pregnant belly. Her hands feel warm and maternal. She holds my gaze, unwavering. “Girl or boy?” she asks. “Girl,” I tell her. Her smile widens. “Being a woman is a strength,” she says. “In so many ways
Oddly, this is not a dream; it’s a lunch at the Chateau Marmont. Gal Gadot is ostensibly here to talk about her rise from almost total unknown to an iconic, worldwide symbol of all that is good and powerful as the first-ever feature-film incarnation of Wonder Woman. But it’s hard not to see elements of the superheroic in the way she just is. Never mind that she was up at 5 a.m. with a four-month-old (“Dude, it’s exhausting, but it’s the best”); in person, her aura hovers somewhere between Earth mother and glamazon. Her accent is Bond-worthy and cloaked in the smokiness of her voice. Her Wonder Woman performance so convincingly embodies both the badassness and the overwhelming decency of the character that she may as well be a walking, talking rebuff to the misogyny of the Trump era – so much so that it was reportedly not uncommon to see women weeping openly in theaters as they watched her onscreen. Most of the world may not yet know how to pronounce her name (it’s “gadott,” not “gadoh”), but Gadot can hardly bother herself with such frivolous concerns. “I like it when it’s calm and there’s a harmonic type of atmosphere,” she tells me. And later: “You should find your neutral place with yourself.” In her presence, these things seem possible, even probable.
On June 2, Gal Gadot, a former Miss Israel, will become the first woman to headline a superhero film in more than a decade when she appears as Wonder Woman. Like her comic book alter ego, Gadot is stunning and skyscraper tall, with a gracious, lovely demeanor. Even without her lasso and shield, she looks as though she could save the world.
On the day we met, she was channeling her powers into decorating a cake. (Who would’ve guessed that the actress had such a way with fondant?) “I want to start with a blue cake,” Gadot said definitively, as we entered Duff’s CakeMix, in Los Angeles. She was wearing simple black pants, a navy sweater, and classic black Gucci loafers.
Although she was six-months pregnant with her second child, the baby bump was nearly undetectable. Gadot, who has a doelike quality, wasn’t wearing makeup and her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail. “You couldn’t have invented a more perfect Wonder Woman than Gal,” Patty Jenkins, the film’s director, told me later.
“It sounds strange, but Gal is so clean—so pure—but it’s not for lack of wisdom or information. Like Wonder Woman, she is beautiful, kind, and strong. It’s a choice to stay so spiritually clean. Gal instinctively understands that choice.”