December 5th, 2013
11:17 AM ET
Talk about a breakthrough role.
Now that Israeli model/actress Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder's Batman vs. Superman movie, she's catapulted from little-known name to one on everyone's lips.
So who is she, exactly? The short answer is Gisele from the "Fast & Furious" franchise - the criminal weapons expert/Mossad agent who's appeared in the last three "Fast" flms.
But outside of her association with the Universal franchise, there's a bit more to 28-year-old Gadot than that. Here's what we've dug up:
1. She served in the Israeli military
Gadot served with the Israel Defense Forces as a fitness instructor, and "Fast & Furious" director Justin Lin mined some of that experience for Gadot's character, Gisele. "Justin Lin and I knew we were going to work on [three films together], and we wanted her to evolve," Gadot told Forward.com. "I think the main reason was that Justin really liked that I was in the Israeli military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons."
2. She has action star chops
As a result, Gadot's movie training is almost exclusively action-oriented, and she's a fan of doing her own stunts.
Aside from her work with the "Fast" franchise - which began in 2009 with "Fast & Furious" and escalated with 2011's "Fast Five" and 2013's "Fast & Furious 6" - she's appeared in just a few other pictures, including 2010's "Date Night" and "Knight And Day." She's green, but also has plenty of experience playing a badass - which should be perfect for portraying Diana Prince in her big screen debut.
3. She's a former Miss Israel
Gadot grew up in Tel Aviv, and prior to going into the military she won the 2004 Miss Israel pageant. That kick-started her modeling career, which has included some work in Maxim.
4. She's married - and a mom
Gadot will be balancing parenthood with Snyder's project, which is scheduled to begin principal photography in early 2014 as it heads toward a July 2015 release date. The new Wonder Woman is married to businessman - and owner of The Varsano Hotel in Tel Aviv - Yaron Varsano, with whom she welcomed daughter Alma in 2011.
5. The movie is still untitled, but she's excited anyway
Although this film is being called "Batman vs. Superman," it's still technically untitled. As it's a sequel to "Man of Steel," there's speculation that the official title could include that marker. That blockbuster's star, Henry Cavill, will be back in the Batman vs. Superman film as the iconic hero with the mild-mannered alter-ego, and Ben Affleck will (controversially) portray Batman.
Even with few details, Gadot is (obviously) thrilled to join the project.
"Had to share this with the best fans in the world," she posted on her Facebook page Wednesday. "I can't express how happy and excited I am to be part of this amazing project! Thank you for all your support!"
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