Gal Gadot covers InStyle to promote Death on the Nile, the latest Agatha Christie adaptation by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Poirot. The film also features Armie Hammer and Letitia Wright, so… the casting didn’t age well, and that’s part of the reason why the film’s release kept getting pushed back. Gal doesn’t mention anyone in the cast in this interview, and she barely even mentions the movie, so… good for her, I guess. She won’t have to wear this failure. She chats at length about her life in Israel, motherhood and more. Some highlights:
Her beauty pageant days: “Then I won [Miss Israel]. I was like, “Holy sh-t. Now what?” I didn’t want to win. I never thought I would. I was so naive. I was only 18, and to become a celebrity and have paparazzi around, it was too much for me. When they sent me to Miss Universe, I said, “Never again. I’m not even taking chances.” And they go, “You have to wear evening gowns for breakfast.” It was so ridiculous; I didn’t play by the book. I just did my thing, and I didn’t try to impress them. I was like, “English, no. Me no speak. Very hard language.” And then I didn’t make the first cut.
She still pulls the language card: “I always blame the language. In Hebrew, I’m so eloquent with the way I speak and the words I choose. I love language, and sometimes it’s frustrating that I live my life in English now. I dream in English but still don’t have the language completely embedded within me. Whenever I get frustrated, I’m like, “I’m still an immigrant.”
Coming to Hollywood as an immigrant: “I always look at the glass as half full, so I see it as an advantage, even though I’m sure there are many disadvantages. It took time to adjust to Hollywood — to understand the behavior, to read people, to be more polite and eloquent. I come from a culture where we don’t have filters. We say what we think, good and bad. My parents didn’t raise me to be the star of the family or to become famous. I didn’t think I was going to be an actress. That helped me keep my sanity.
Her military service in Israel: “Everyone I know went to the army — my parents, my grandparents, my friends. It’s kind of in the DNA of being Israeli. It’s mandatory. I did a boot camp. It was months of learning how to do Krav Maga and doing drills of push-ups, pull-ups, and running with sacks of sand on the beach. I wasn’t fighting on a field; I was just a gym instructor who prepped training programs for people in the army. It sounds exotic and exciting, but I’d just go to the gym at 5 a.m. and go back home at 4.
The “Imagine” video at the start of the pandemic: “With the whole “Imagine” controversy, it’s funny….The pandemic was in Europe and Israel before it came here [to the U.S.] in the same way. I was seeing where everything was headed. But [the video] was premature. It wasn’t the right timing, and it wasn’t the right thing. It was in poor taste. All pure intentions, but sometimes you don’t hit the bull’s-eye, right? I felt like I wanted to take the air out of it, so that [event] was a delightful opportunity to do that.
Her three daughters [Alma, 10; Maya, 4; and Daniella, 8 months]: “They’re the only thing I make sure to keep as private as possible. I want them to be naive and safe and protected. I share a lot — I believe that if I went through experiences that people can relate to or learn from, great. But as far as my family goes, I’m very protective.
Money is a priority: “Sometimes it’s not about the money, but more about what the money symbolizes. I’m a pleaser, and when I was little, I used to double-book playdates because I felt bad saying no. My mom told me, “When you say no, people respect you more.” I have a fight within me — the pleaser and the girl who wants to be assertive. So, with money, it’s not always about the sum, but if my fellows left and right are making this and I’m bringing the same value, I would love to be equal. I don’t like the word “respect,” because it has ego elements, but people take you more seriously when you treat yourself seriously.
On childbirth: “I love giving birth. I would do it once a week if I could. It’s so magical. And I always take epidurals, to be fair, so it’s not so painful. Just the moment you feel like you’re creating life, it’s incredible. But the pregnancies are hard for me — I feel sick and have migraines. I’m not in my element.
I like what she says about money, honestly – I hate when rich people say sh-t about “it’s not about the money.” It often IS about the money, but even more than that, it’s about what the money symbolizes and whether or not women are being treated fairly and equally. What she says about childbirth is wacky – she loves the experience but she always gets an epidural. Well, okay.
Cover & IG courtesy of InStyle.