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Upclose with Gal Gadot

By: Jennifer Cox



Gal Gadot is the latest Israeli star to take Hollywood by storm, and it’s her sizzling good looks coupled with her down-to-earth, easygoing demeanour that have made her such a rising star. After winning Miss Israel in 2004, Gal piqued the interests of various modelling agencies and began working for prestigious brands like SuperPharm and Strauss. Contracts with Perry Ellis, La Perla Lingerie, and Esprit came next, and, more recently, Israeli clothing label Castro.

At the age of 20, while still modelling, Gal Gadot joined the Israeli Army, signing up for a two-year service term. Throughout, she continued to work as a model and began experimenting in acting, going as far as working with an acting coach. It paid off because, in 2007, she was able to land the lead role of Merry Elkayam on the TV drama Bubot, which aired in her native Israel.

Always balancing between working as a model and actress, Gal was featured in a sexy spread on women in the Israeli Army in lad mag Maxim in 2007. She auditioned for a role as a coveted Bond girl in the flick Quantum of Solace (and was turned down), however, Gal’s striking beauty was obviously burnt into the minds of casting directors - she was brought in to try out for, and later join the cast of, the fourth instalment of the actioner Fast & Furious, which was released last April. She has also recently appeared as a guest-star on one of HBO’s hottest new shows Entourage.

The Israeli superstar took time out to sit down with UMM and candidly discuss her plans for 2009, her guilty pleasures, and so much more…

UMM: So, what’s going on in your life right now?
GG: I just finished shooting Entourage - one episode - I’m going to do Date Night, a new movie with Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Mark Wahlberg, and other projects I cannot really speak about.

UMM: What was it like working with Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious?
GG
: Well, let me tell you the story... I decided I wanted to be an actress a year and a half ago. My first Hollywood audition was for a Bond girl (Quantum of Solace) – needless to say, I didn’t get the part. In the meantime, I started working as an actress in Israel, and the same casting director for James Bond cast me for Fast & Furious. They remembered me and asked me to send a tape from Tel Aviv to L.A.  A week later, I was doing the test in front of Vin [Diesel], and two weeks later, it was announced I got the part.

It was amazing for me. I was so very, very, very excited. It was my first feature and it was a huge feature – it had a very good opening.

And it was amazing working on the set. I was the opposite of Vin [playing his protagonist-turned-love interest], and he was so welcoming and friendly. We became very good friends. I worked only with the guys, and I enjoyed it very much. It’s always nice to be the only girl. We all became friends and it was an amazing experience.

UMM: What was your favourite car in the flick?
GG: My own car - a white Porsche - but when you come to L.A., you see them everywhere. But during the shooting, I liked my car the best. See – I’m very loyal!

UMM:  Israeli talent is currently the talk of Tinseltown, with stars like Ayelet Zurer (actress in Angels & Demons), Meital Dohan (actress in Weeds), Noa Tishby (actress, model and singer), and Bar Rafaeli (model and SI’s 2009 Swimsuit Issue covergirl). How does it feel to be part of a trend that’s gaining so much attention in Hollywood?
GG
: It’s amazing. It’s a huge honour, and I’m very proud we have some very strong women represented. I’m just so proud to be a part of it.

UMM: What actor/actress would you love to work with?
GG: Sean Penn. He’s very talented and very versatile. It’s like he can be anyone he wants to be because he has the capability to [take on any role]. He’s a very good actor.

UMM: You straddle the line between acting and modelling, but of the two, what would you say is your passion?
GG: Acting for sure. I started as a model and became Miss Israel, and the reason I wanted to be an actress was because I got tired of doing just the posing all the time. As an actress, I can do so much more... bring myself and my personality [to my work]. I enjoy doing the research on the different roles I do. It is much more interesting and very different than just modelling. But I still do both.

UMM: You were in the Israeli Army, which means you must be in incredible shape. What’s your exercise routine like? How often do you work out?
GG: In high school, I played volleyball, basketball and tennis, and now I do yoga and Pilates with a trainer whenever I have free time. Every chance I get, I am training.

UMM: Do you think it was difficult being a pretty face in the Israeli Army?
GG
: No... As soon as you get to know me, I’m a very nice person. I don’t try and use my beauty to intimidate people or as a power. It’s something some people think I have and some might not think I have.

UMM: I saw that you recently got engaged. Are you married now?
GG
: Yes, I am married. We’ve been together for three years.

UMM: What first attracted you to your husband?
GG: His confidence.

UMM: Do you think that you’ll have children?
GG
: Some day, yes, but not any time soon. I’m still young.

UMM: What do you look for in a guy? How do you know that a guy is good for you?
GG: When there’s a good natural connection, interest and attraction.

UMM: What would be an ideal first date for you?
GG: Going to a nice place on the beach and drinking some wine, because in Israel, we have bars on the beach, and it’s nice and easygoing. I like it.

UMM: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
GG
: When people lie. And my loud alarm clock on my cell phone because it wakes me up. I hate when I have to wake up. It’s so loud and it annoys me (laughs).

UMM: What’s your biggest regret?
GG: I don’t really regret anything. I would have done everything the same.

UMM: What one thing are you most proud of accomplishing in your life?
GG: Wow, that’s a really tough question... I’m only 24 years old... ummm... I’m proud of being loyal and good to all of my family and friends.

UMM: What’s your favourite hotspot or place to party?
GG: I’m not a party girl... I like to go out to a very good restaurant or to a nice bar while watching the beach, like I used to do in Israel.

UMM: What’s your take on our star and paparazzi obsessed culture? Do you think that the public has the right to know about the personal lives of celebs?
GG:
 I think it goes hand-in-hand - the more you have all of the paparazzi following you, the more you get work because your exposure is what helps you get the roles. You bring ratings with you that way, you know? But I don’t think anyone is entitled to get [involved] in someone’s life and write about it and take pictures and stuff like that. It’s part of our reality, so I guess we get used to everything.

UMM: Do you have the paparazzi following you?
GG: Yes, I do. But they follow me more in Israel. The paparazzi are insane there. But I know to expect it so it doesn’t bother me.

UMM: Are you into the whole notion of trying to live more green and eco-friendly?
GG
: Oh yes, I always think about my awareness. I try to recycle and I try to eat organically.

UMM: How do you unwind after a long day of work?
GG: A good bath. And music.

UMM:  Is there something in particular you’ve been into lately?
GG: I’ve been listening to Zero 7.

UMM: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
GG: When I eat a whole box of chocolates - I’m such a chocolate addict.

UMM:  What would you say is your favourite article of clothing?
GG: I love anything by Castro - they’re an Israeli designer and they’re amazing.



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 User Comments [1]:

Name: Highryder
Comment: Behold the New Age, Elegance. Cast in the starring role as Angel of the Era, Maria Sharapova! Gal you are Gorgeous. I would like to thank Abbis Mahmoud for the outstanding critical analysis on the challenges facing the modern world. Indeed, Compassion will be one of the essential elements. Now about the new cover of UMM, without question for me Maria is the most beautiful woman my eyes have ever had the privilege of seeing. Thankyou and kindly keep up the good work.
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