Here's What Gal Gadot Really Did In The Israeli Army

Actress Gal Gadot may have proven once and for all that women can kick just as much butt as men by taking on the iconic role of Wonder Woman, in Patty Jenkins' 2017 movie of the same name, but prior to hitting the onscreen battlefield, she hit it for real as a member of the Israeli Defense Force. Per BBC, service is mandatory for all Israeli men and women. So, Gadot enrolled accordingly. It wasn't just any old stint either as, according to Vanity Fair, the Wonder Woman star served during the 34-day conflict between Lebanon and northern Israel, the so-called 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War.

In a 2015 interview with Fashion magazine, Gadot explained that her time in the military wasn't as tough as it sounds. "The army wasn't that difficult for me. The military gave me good training for Hollywood," she shrugged. In fact, according to the Israel native, training for Wonder Woman was actually way more intense than fighting in an actual battle. As the former Miss Israel admitted on Live with Kelly and Ryan, via People, "I never planned on being an actress. It kind of happened to me and I fell in love with the profession." 

The following year, she explained to Glamour magazine, "In Israel serving is part of being an Israeli. You've got to give back to the state. You give two or three years, and it's not about you. You give your freedom away. You learn discipline and respect." 

Though Gadot hasn't offered up too much about how her time in the military was spent, Heavy reports that she was a combat trainer. In 2007, she was featured as part of a Maxim spread about female IDF fighters, where she gave a glimpse into what her day-to-day army life was like, saying. "I taught gymnastics and calisthenics. The soldiers loved me because I made them fit."

Although her previous military experience seemingly made Gadot an ideal fit for the role of Wonder Woman, it also inspired some serious backlash. Slate even reported that Wonder Woman was banned in Lebanon after it was described as an Israeli "soldier film" by the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel–Lebanon. In 2014, Gadot herself courted controversy when she supported Israel's highly controversial invasion of Gaza in a Facebook post, condemning "the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children."