Gal Gadot, a 32-year-old actress from Israel, is starring this weekend in the biggest movie in the world, Wonder Woman, which is being praised by critics and looks set to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
Before being cast as Wonder Woman in last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot was not a particularly well known actor. Still, she has popped up in a few movies you may have seen, almost always in supporting roles.
Here’s a look at some of the performances Gal Gadot delivered on film before making her debut as Wonder Woman.
Gisele Yashar in the ‘Fast and the Furious’ Franchise
Gal Gadot’s first major role was in the Fast and the Furious franchise.
Gadot portrayed Gisele Yashar, a character who enters the series in the fourth entry, Fast & Furious. In that movie, Gisele is a liaison for drug lord Arturo Braga (John Ortiz). She reprises the role in the two subsequent sequels, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
Over the years, Gadot has talked about the fact that she owes a lot to the Fast and the Furious franchise and that working on the movies was a joy because the cast was like a family.
She told Bring the Noise, “We don’t do those kind of movies [in Israel], with those kind of standards and everyone, the cast, Justin Lin, the director, they all welcomed me so well and made it so easy and comfortable for me that doing the fifth one was a no-brainer and doing the sixth one was a no-brainer as well, as we all became such good friends, off set as well. Vin Diesel is literally like a father and his family always adopt my family whenever we go to Los Angeles. So it’s like a family reunion — coming back home.”
Natanya in ‘Date Night’
In 2010, Gal Gadot had a supporting role in the Steve Carell/Tina Fey action comedy Date Night.
There’s a sequence in the movie in which Phil and Claire go to visit Holbrooke Grant (Mark Wahlberg), a former client of Claire’s. As they’re speaking, a woman named Natanya walks in, wearing a shirt but no pants.
“She’s Israeli, she doesn’t speak much English,” Holbrooke says of Natanya.
Natanya’s character believes that Phil and Claire are there for a four-way, saying, “You two make sex with us?” When she finds out that this is not the case, she tells Holbrooke, “I’m glad that we are not going to have sex with them. They look old and weak.”
Holbrooke also says that he met Natanya in Tel Aviv. In real life, Gal Gadot legitimately is from Israel, and she lived in Tel Aviv for some time.
Date Night performed well in the United States, grossing $152 million.
Naomi in ‘Knight and Day’
The same year as Date Night, Gal Gadot was in another action comedy, Knight and Day.
Knight and Day stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, with Diaz playing a car restorer who ends up getting entangled in an adventure with a secret agent, played by Tom Cruise. A villain in the movie is Antonio Quintana (Jordi Mollà), and Gal Gadot plays Naomi, Quintana’s henchwoman.
This was another minor role for Gal Gadot, but Knight and Day was a success at the box office, grossing $261 million.
Elena Vlaslov in ‘Triple 9’
In early 2016, Gal Gadot played Elena Vlaslov in Triple 9.
This was a crime thriller starring Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie and Aaron Paul. Gadot is the sister of Kate Wilset’s character, with whom Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character has fathered a child.
This was another minor role, as Gal Gadot only has a handful of lines in the movie. Still, she earned some attention when the film was released, as by this point, she had already been cast as Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Natalie Jones in ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’
Later in 2016, Gal Gadot actually had a fairly significant role in the film Keeping Up with the Joneses, an action comedy also starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher.
The movie follows a suburban couple, played by Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher, who find out that their neighbors, played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot, are secret agents.
Prior to Batman v. Superman, this was Gal Gadot’s most significant role in an American film. Unfortunately, Keeping Up with the Joneses was panned by critics and was a box office bomb, only grossing about $30 million on a $40 million budget.
Still, few complained about the performance of Gal Gadot, who holds her own next to Jon Hamm. She has an opportunity to be funny in the movie, and Gadot said she was really excited about that.
“I love comedy,” she told Collider. “I love it, I love it. I love what I do, and up to this day I was very lucky to be working with great people that I had chemistry with, in Fast and Furious, and Batman v Superman. I’m always lucky. But there’s something different working on a comedy set because it’s not about … it’s all about who’s going to deliver the best punch, who’s going to make us laugh harder. It’s hilarious and such an amazing experience; I’m having the time of my life.”