Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress that is most well-known for her roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and Wonder Woman. One might assume Gadot to be an unlikely ex-military member.
Gal Gadot was in the military. Two years of military service is mandatory for Israeli citizens, and so Gadot carried out her service from the age of 20, serving as a combat instructor.
Let’s explore what Gadot got up to during her time in the military and how, if at all, this impacted her life.
What did Gal Gadot do in the military?
Gal Gadot told Glamour that she enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces as a combat trainer, after proving herself during the demanding bootcamp, which spans three months.
Her time as a soldier included teaching gymnastics and calisthenics. She remembers, “The soldiers loved me because I made them fit.”
The actress does not look back on her time in the military as something to resent. Instead she views her time in the military as beneficial to her character, saying, “The army wasn’t that difficult for me. The military gave me good training for Hollywood.”
Despite Gadot’s blasé reflection on her time in the military, her service came during a particularly challenging time for the Israeli Defense Forces—the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War—although it’s unclear if she witnessed active conflict.
Gadot has previously said that her military service was what impressed Justin Lin—director of Fast & Furious—enough to hire her, back in 2008. The director thought her knowledge of weapons would be helpful in the action movie series.
Furthermore, and perhaps thanks to the physical fitness that she gained in the military, Gal has been able to perform her own demanding stunts. The actress didn’t require a body double in all three Fast & Furious movies that she appeared in as part of the franchise.
Watch her during the filming of a stunt scene in Wonder Woman 1984, where she looks to be uncomfortable in the sweltering heat.
Why was Gal Gadot required to enlist in the military?
Conscription i.e. mandatory military service, is required for all Jewish men and women in Israel. The only exemptions made are due to special circumstances such as mental or physical health, religious reasons, criminal record, residence abroad or marital status.
However, some citizens of Israel try their best to dodge the draft. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Israeli ex-girlfriend Bar Refaeli, was once embroiled in controversy by avoiding enlistment in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Before beginning a relationship with the Titanic star in 2005, supermodel Bar Refaeli married a relative of hers before quickly divorcing, in a bid to get out of conscription.
On the matter, Refaeli said, “I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is—celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army.”
Actress Gal Gadot on the other hand, can’t relate, and instead valued her time serving her country, saying in 2016, “In Israel, serving is part of being an Israeli. You’ve got to give back to the state. You give two or three years, and it’s not about you. You give your freedom away. You learn discipline and respect.”
In 2017, Gadot found herself in hot water with Lebanon, the country she was once fighting against, when her movie Wonder Woman was banned.
Campaigners from the group, “Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon” reportedly pressured the government to ban the movie, calling it an “Israeli Soldier film,” presumably due to Gadot’s ex-military service.
Where does Gal Gabot live?
Although the actress holds Israeli citizenship and lived there for many years, she has been living in Los Angeles, California, USA for several years. The movie star lives with her daughter named Alma, and husband, Yaron Varsano.
On living in LA, she said, “I didn’t like it at all [at first]. It felt like everyone was in the industry–the waitress is an actress and the guy at the gas station is a producer. It was too much for me. But I made friends, and now I can find myself in LA.”