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How the Breakout of ‘Wonder Woman’ Did–And Didn’t–Play in Gal Gadot’s Native Israel

“No one’s gone as far as Gal Gadot:” The movie “Wonder Woman,” whose major opening this weekend grossed over $100 million, has officially made Gadot the new most famous Israeli in America. And it also got her a free ticket to the hearts of the gay community.

Many countries look enviously to Hollywood. Some look more enviously than most.

Israel has long been obsessed with that tinsel-y place nearly 8,000 miles away. When the cable drama “Prisoners of War” was adapted to become the Showtime hit “Homeland,” it was cause for national celebration. On a similar elevated note, a visitor to the country could currently walk into any cafe or restaurant and learn what happened in recent episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

On a less elevated note, a visitor to the country in the 1990’s could walk into cafe or restaurant and learn what happened on “Baywatch.”

Into that environment this weekend arrived “Wonder Woman” and, more important, its Israeli star, Gal Gadot.

Gadot, from the non-descript central city of Rosh Haayin, is the first Israeli actor to anchor a modern Hollywood‎ tentpole. Iit was certainly an auspicious induction: “Wonder Woman” grossed $100.5 million in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, the third biggest opening this year, along with an additional $122 million overseas.

Gadot, 32, has been an effusive presence on American late-night television. She has not been shy about her Israeli roots. Israel has returned the favor, reacting with the endearing, if persistent, solicitousness of a boy who can’t stop telling you how proud he is to be invited to his big brother’s high-school basketball championship. Continue reading in the LA Times

“After two decades of hand wringing, indecision, and a revolving door of casting, Wonder Woman finally came to life on the big screen this weekend. Fans of the character, her iconic outfit, or of women kicking serious ass should rejoiced with a huge turnout… Gal Gadot is fabulous.” Queerty

“This movie looks great, but it didn’t simply rely on looking cool. It had a well-thought, cohesive plot, driven by Diana’s passion for the benefit of humanity. Gadot perfectly encapsulated the character, and her chemistry with Chris Pine was fantastic.” GayRVA

“Gal Gadot is everything we ever wanted…” Out magazine

Fast Facts About Gal Gadot