Gal Gadot Interview with S Moda for El Pais
June 23, 2023
Earning a privileged position at the top of the Los Angeles hills was not an easy task for Gal Gadot (Petach Tikva, Israel, 38 years old). He couldn’t even consider himself a yearning, considering that his first goal in moving to the United States was to complete a law degree. Before her, with the newly acquired age of majority and while she was waiting for the call to fulfill her mandatory military service, she decided to enter beauty pageants for fun and ended up being crowned. Her joke got out of her hands and she was forced to boycott her candidacy so as not to also take the title of Miss Universe, although she would end up getting it, unofficially but indisputably, by turning her Wonder Womaninto a global cinematographic icon and an emotional reference that would channel the feelings of a wave of women loaded with reasons to fight. A role that she got when she was about to give up acting, after seeing herself pigeonholed for years in supporting roles more focused on taking advantage of her slenderness and innate elegance than her talent. Today, with her lesson learned and the glass ceiling shattered, Gadot takes action literally and figuratively with Heart of Stone (released on Netflix August 11), a spy thriller starring, produced and conceived by herself. . with Wonder WomanI felt that there was a place for these types of films with female leads. But I wanted it to be more realistic and earthy, for the viewers to feel their adrenaline and pain”, explains the interpreter. Her determination is none other than to continue opening doors and dismantling prejudices: “There is still a long way to go when it comes to exploring stories from a feminine perspective.” With figures like her leading the way, the journey will be shorter.
His character in Heart of Stone strays away from the male lead archetype of the genre. She doesn’t attempt to save the world on her own, but instead relies on the relationships she forges along the way.
He wanted Rachel Stone to be flawed, to not always find the right answer from her, and to conflict with the challenges that appear before her. I think there’s something very primitive about her wanting not to feel lonely and isolated. She sought to explore that need to be surrounded by people, to establish the human relationships that we all seek.
There are few risky disciplines that you don’t practice in the film: skydiving, zip line, base jumping, snowmobile pursuit , air fights… Is there anything left for you to do?
Throw myself into a burning fire and walk on hot stones! We have aspired to the highest, to make it as big as possible, but always making sure that everything was feasible, that a human being can do the things we have filmed. My goal was for everything to be very real, not to look like another superhero.
Given that you served two years as a combat instructor in the military, has your military training helped you prepare for so much action?
I don’t know if it’s my military training, I would say that the fact of having been a dancer for years has had a greater influence. When you dance you have to express yourself through your body because it is the only language tool you have. In those scenes you have to coordinate your movements because they go with a very specific rhythm, speed and intention. It is another form of corporal expression and I experienced it as something very natural.
It is curious how several of the actresses who have succeeded in the genre, such as Charlize Theron or Milla Jovovich, were also models. Do you find similarities between walking down the catwalk and kicking?
Yes there could be. The body has a way of communicating without words and it all depends on the intention you put into what you show. It happens when you parade, when you dance or when you fight. For example, I remember walking down the runway when I was a model many years ago and feeling unstoppable.
Many of their generation colleagues are also betting on producing the films they star in. What are the benefits?
In this case, it’s because the idea to make the film came from me and my husband, Yaron. If we hadn’t produced, driven and developed the story, she never would have gotten the chance to play Rachel Stone. Production is just one way to fulfill our dreams. If I have a dream role that I want to play, developing the story myself and having my own production company is an incredible advantage in order to achieve it.
And how has it been working side by side with him? Did they avoid talking about work at dinner at home?
[Laughs] No, he’s been great. Yaron is a very creative person, with a great business mentality and once you accept that he will not always agree, you can talk about anything. We are the type of couple that is very used to doing everything together and we enjoy it, it has been an organic decision.
I want to go back to 2017, when Wonder Woman bursts into theaters. Soon after, the #MeToo movement exploded and her character became a global feminist icon. How did she live those days?
I remember it as if she had watched it from a moving train. I had just had my second daughter [Maya], she was about eight weeks old when the movie came out, and that same month I had back surgery for an injury I sustained while filming. If you think about it, it’s even funny because people would think that in those days I was popping a bottle of champagne and feeling cool from the top of Mount Olympus, but I was dealing with many fronts and personal issues. And also, all that sudden exposure and fame… it was very overwhelming.
Did it overwhelm you to see yourself erected into a social phenomenon?
I loved it, but I never felt like everything that happened was about me. I always thought that I was just a vessel for this character. It wasn’t me, it was Diana. So that made it a lot more bearable.
In her beginnings she was able to give life to a spy, her first casting in Hollywood was for a James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.
I didn’t get the role, so I continued studying. The truth is that it is funny to see how inscrutable the paths of life are and how when one door closes another opens for you in the future. This whole process made me understand that I really did want to become an actress.
At that time he was studying Law and International Relations. Was it important to study for a degree before immersing yourself in the industry?
Having an education was always essential. Until the James Bond audition, I had never thought about going into movies, so my college career meant everything to me. Since I was little I have been taught that this is the only thing that no one can take away from you once you have achieved it, so I value my education very much.
His character in Heart of Stone is ordered to avoid any kind of relationship or friendship in favor of his spy work. Has she also had to make sacrifices in her personal life to be an actress?
Yes of course. For starters, all our friends and family are in Israel, and we live in Los Angeles, a city we love but is on the opposite end of the road from the people we love. There is a price to pay, but I am one of those who think that all good things cost. It was worth it.
Your beauty is always highlighted in profiles posted about you and even Margot Robbie recently said that you were “impossibly beautiful”. Beyond the compliment, have you felt that her physique outshone her talent?
Wow! First of all, for that to come from someone as beautiful as Margot Robbie is a huge compliment. [Meditates for several seconds] To be completely transparent with you, the truth is that I don’t have those kinds of thoughts. I am not obsessed with my physical appearance, I am passionate about other types of things that have nothing to do with my looks. That is my only drive, my motivation and what keeps my brain busy. I don’t ask myself those questions.
And how has your personal style evolved over the years? Is it allowed to play more?
I always think that less is more and that sophistication is the best key. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear, but who wears them. And I am that kind of person. I like clothing that complements those who wear it, not the one that defines them completely.
Next year she will give life to the evil queen in the new adaptation of Snow White . Does she excite her to be her now her the antagonist?
She has been such a delightful and enjoyable role that I can only be pleased. I am grateful to play one of the first Disney villains and to have the opportunity to do a musical, a genre that has allowed me to be more dramatic and play everything in a more bombastic and delicious way. I have really enjoyed it.
His co-star in the film, Rachel Zegler, had to endure the hate of the networks for being Latina. Something similar to what you experienced when the next adaptation of Cleopatra was announced . How do you live with this type of online harassment?
It doesn’t take getting used to if you don’t pay too much attention to it. My compass is only focused on the character, on the story. I’m passionate about Cleopatra because she’s always considered herself a very one-dimensional figure. Her name is known to everyone, but most of them only perceive her as someone very seductive and sexual… She was much, much more. I would love the opportunity to celebrate her figure, her life and her philosophy.
In the film, his character must protect an artificial intelligence that safeguards peace in the world. As an actress, do you feel that artificial intelligence will end up being a threat to her profession?
Honestly, I still can’t rate it. What seems clear is that artificial intelligence is going to become an important factor in everyone’s lives and it is fascinating to see how quickly it has become so real. Only time can tell.