Why 2017 was the year of Gal Gadot
Sure, she starred in one of the year's biggest blockbusters. But that was just the beginning.
Gal Gadot owned 2017.
While the Israeli actress had previous starring roles in films – like the "Fast and the Furious" franchise and last summer's "Keeping Up With the Joneses" – it really wasn't until this year that she catapulted into superstardom. In January, she began the year appearing in front of 111 million viewers in a Super Bowl commercial. And she's wrapping up the year as one of the world's biggest movie stars.
So how did she do it? Let us count the ways.
For starters, there was a little movie called 'Wonder Woman'
You may have heard of it. It's been named the best superhero movie of all time by the movie ranking website Rotten Tomatoes, which had this to say about the film: "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, 'Wonder Woman' succeeds in spectacular fashion." It made nearly $1 billion at the box office, and the Academy Awards is considering it for a Best Picture Award and Gadot for Best Actress. The film had an outsize influence beyond the multiplex as well, inspiring and empowering a new generation of young women. Gadot is already at work on a sequel, which is set to arrive in theaters in November 2019.
My daughter, like all American girls, is in training to be Wonder Woman. Note the determination. pic.twitter.com/K2HE0F3KqR— Faith Salie (@Faith_Salie) June 11, 2017
She had a new baby
A blockbuster franchise wasn't the only thing Gadot gave birth to in 2017. Gadot, husband Yaron Versano and 5-year-old daughter Alma welcomed a baby girl named Maya in March into the family. Gadot's pregnancy coincided with part of the filming on "Wonder Woman" which led to some clever tricks from the special effects department. They had to cut a hole in the belly of her costume and covered it with a green cloth that they could later manipulate in post-production. “On close-up I looked very much like Wonder Woman,” Gadot said. “On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.”
She hosted 'Saturday Night Live'
The actress had already proven in comedies like "Keeping up with the Joneses" that she can wield humor just as well as a sword. And while live television can often be an unpredictable challenge for even the most seasoned performer, it proved no problem for the 32-year-old actress. We can only assume it's because she took our advice in the weeks leading up to her hosting gig. Right?
Her mom became an Instagram star
When a school teacher joins Instagram, it usually doesn't make international headlines. But Irit Gadot is no mere school teacher. The mother of two – yep, Gal has a sister, Dana – is always posting on the social network about her daughters. Whether it's dinner with Dana or visiting Gal on the London set of "Wonder Woman," you can count on Irit to be the proudest mom on the Internet. She even posts heart emojis and adoring comments on Gal's social media posts as well – kind of like being Gal's biggest fan and her mom at the same time.
She moved to Hollywood
For a brief moment before she landed the role of Wonder Woman, Gadot was actually thinking about quitting the business. She wasn't sure this whole acting thing was going to work out, and figured she would just stay in Israel where her husband is a real estate developer and raise their family there. But fortunately for moviegoing audiences, she chose to make the leap and moved with her family from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles this year. She's now taking meetings with film studios and is circling two movies which she might shoot before filming begins on the "Wonder Woman" sequel.
In the meantime, she's still finding time to sneak in trips back to Israel to visit her parents and lifelong friends. Here she is in September for a girls weekend at a boutique hotel in her native country.
She starred in another superhero movie, too
Capitalizing on the success of "Wonder Woman," Warner Bros. also released "Justice League" this year. The ensemble cast features the combined powers of Batman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Wonder Woman. Not a bad group to hang out with. While the film has received mixed reviews, Gadot continues to shine. "It’s up to Wonder Woman again to save the day," wrote the New York Daily News. "And Gadot’s Amazon warrior does just that in every scene she steals as the conscience and muscle of the group."
She landed the cover of Rolling Stone (and every other magazine)
It seems you couldn't go through the grocery checkout aisle without encountering a magazine with Gadot on the cover. From Glamour and Elle to Entertainment Weekly and Marie Claire, she was everywhere. In August, Gadot appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, telling the publication that she credits her humble upbringing in Israel as a key to her success. "If I was raised in a place where these values were not so strong, things would be different," she told the magazine. "But it was very easy for me to relate to everything that Wonder Woman stands for."
As the year came to a close, GQ put her on its cover and named her "Wonder Woman of the Year."
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