If there were ever a job description posted for Wonder Woman, it would have to include: proficiency with a golden lasso, interest in saving the world, and definitely being able to kick some serious ass.
Enter Gal Gadot. The Israeli-born actress will play the Amazonian warrior in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and again in a standalone Wonder Woman film due out in 2017 (which will be the first mainstream comic-book adaptation with a woman in the title role, thankyouverymuch), and while she’s said she’s “still working on” the lasso part, she’s got that final requirement in spades.
In preparation for Comic-Con’s Women Who Kick Ass panel on Saturday (hosted by EW’s own Sara Vilkomerson), here are five reasons why Gadot totally kicks ass:
She’s army strong
The 2004 Miss Israel winner served two years in her native country’s national army before her acting career took off, and it came in handy when Hollywood came calling.
“[Fast & Furious director] Justin really liked that I was in the Israeli military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons,” she said in a 2011 interview, ahead of the franchise’s fifth installment.
She was almost part of a different kind of Justice League
Gadot enrolled in law school after her time in the army, and told EW she had no intention of pursuing a career in the public eye — even when a casting director asked her to fly to London to audition for Quantum of Solace.
“I said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to go; it’s all in English, I’m not an actress, and I’m in school,’ ” she said in this week’s cover story. “So I didn’t go.” Her agent convinced her to change her mind, and while she lost out on that part, she was hired to join the Fast & Furious franchise three months later.
She said it herself: “I want to be a tough girl”
“I always told [director Justin Lin], ‘I want to be a badass’ — can I say badass?” she asked in the interview below while promoting Fast & Furious 6. “I want to be a tough girl, I want to do all kinds of action. I want to have gunshots, I want fly up in the air, on the motorcycle, whatever. I want to do it all, by myself — no stuntwoman.”
She wants to see more badass women on-screen…
“There aren’t enough good roles for strong women,” Gadot lamented in 2013. “I wish we had more female writers. Most of the female characters you see in films today are ‘the poor heartbroken girl.’ That’s why I’m so proud of the Fast movies. I feel like Giselle is an empowering woman. I think I speak for the majority of female actors when I say we need stronger roles. My biggest challenge is to find more strong parts.”
…and applauds Wonder Women of all shapes and sizes
Case in point: This Instagram she posted celebrating “all the amazing women around the world.”
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