Following Wonder Woman’s record-smashing success (its $100-million opening weekend was the highest ever for a female director), the film’s star, Gal Gadot, has reached major #wcw status. It seems like every day the world discovers something new about the actress that reveals she’s as superhuman IRL as she is on screen.
For example, she filmed the action-packed flick while five-months pregnant. She also did all of her own stunts as Gisele Yashar in the Fast and the Furious franchise. It’s clear Gadot is living her best life—and she’s motivating others to do so, too.
Ready to channel your inner Wonder Woman? Here are 4 times the star’s character off screen was seriously inspiring.
1. When she trusted her gut and pursued an acting a career
Before breaking into the film industry, Gadot was enrolled in law school—but realized pretty quickly that the career path didn’t suit her nearly as well as her Wonder Woman costume. “It’s not for me to be a lawyer, because I don’t like conflict,” Gadot told Interview magazine. “I hope it’s not going to sound too spiritual, but when you’re proactive and you’re good to the world…good things happen to you. Eventually, the universe will knock on your door and tell you, ‘You don’t need to be here; you need to be over there doing something else.'”
2. After she followed up her stint as a beauty queen by serving in the military
As an Israeli citizen, Gadot was required to complete two years of service in the Israeli Defense Force. “I think it gave me a lot of discipline, being able to give back to the country that you live in and doing something for society,” she told Glamour UK. “After I was done with it, I was happy.” But before that, Gadot was Miss Israel and competed at the Miss Universe pageant. “I was the rebel one, I was the one that didn’t listen,” she revealed to the British magazine.
3. The time she admitted that she de-stresses by dancing to Beyoncé
After auditioning for a role in Batman v Superman, Gadot says the call-back period was more anxiety-inducing than the audition itself. “Waiting is my enemy Number One, and I was losing my mind,” she told W magazine. “So I decided to put on Beyoncé. Who runs the world? Girls! I just started to dance, and I let my anxiety go. Thank you, Beyoncé!”
4. By being a body-positive role model for the masses
As if the fact that she was five-months pregnant with her second child while filming Wonder Woman isn’t unbelievable enough (seriously, girl, how?), the star spent six months prior to shooting doing six-hour workouts daily. Gadot told Glamour that thanks to her conditioning, she’s “gained about 17 pounds, and it’s all muscle. I feel so much better now. When you feel strong, it changes everything—your posture, the way you walk…” Not to mention your superhero stance.
5. By supporting the women around her
Not only was Wonder Woman wildly successful in the box office but according to Variety, its director Patty Jenkins is also making history as the highest paid female director ever with the sequel to the film. The magazine reports that speaking on the continued success of Jenkins, Gadot said “she is definitely paving the way for so many other female directors,” adding “I think it was very important that she fought to get the best deal. You got to walk the walk and talk the talk.”
Originally published June 23, 2017; updated July 9, 2018.
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