Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, speaking for the first time since landing the coveted, iconic role of super-heroine Wonder Woman earlier this month, has responded to fan criticism that she is “too skinny” to accurately portray the Amazon princess.
Interviewed by Channel 10 this week, Gadot said that she would soon begin “a very serious training program” to “gain body mass,” including sword training, kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu and “1,001 other things.”
However, asked if she was going to change something to become “large-breasted” for the role, Gadot, a former Miss Israel, dismissively said that breasts are something “anyone can buy for 9,000 shekels” but she would represent “the Wonder Woman of the new world.”
The original Greek Amazons — legendary female warriors — actually removed one of their breasts, the better to wield a bow and arrow, so if she played the role in a “historically accurate” fashion, it would be “problematic,” Gadot noted.
In a separate video interview with Ynet this week, Gadot said she received the call that she had won the role as she was boarding an airplane, and, because of the secrecy surrounding the casting, could not yet reveal the news.
It was like “a shot of adrenaline,” she said, but she had to “be totally quiet” on the outside while “dancing samba” on the inside during the flight and period immediately afterward.
In the same interview, Gadot, 28, reflected on the challenges of juggling a busy international career with being a wife and mother, and said that really, “every woman is a Wonder Woman.”
Gadot will play Diana of Themyscira, AKA Wonder Woman of Paradise Island, in the new untitled Batman-Superman pic, which will star Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill and open in July 2015. The movie will be directed by Zack Snyder, the man behind 2013′s “Man of Steel.”
Although many fans of the character have been supportive, the casting has also received criticism for Gadot’s slim build, which some have felt was not appropriate for Wonder Woman, who at times has been depicted as being powerful enough to go head to head with Superman.
Gadot beat out Elodie Yung (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) and Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”), who also appeared on a shortlist for the role.
Gadot was born in Rosh HaAyin and was an fitness trainer during her IDF service. She became Miss Israel in 2004, and first got international attention when she appeared in a 2007 photo shoot for Maxim magazine focused on the sexy female soldiers of the IDF. Later, in addition to her successful modeling career, she acted in Israeli television and in the blockbuster “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.