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Should women serve National Service? Wonder Woman Gal Gadot weighs in

The Israeli actress tells Channel NewsAsia’s Genevieve Loh that even her army training did not prepare her for the intensive training she had to undergo to play the iconic heroine.

LOS ANGELES: Gal Gadot is proving herself to be the perfect Wonder Woman for this generation.

When Channel NewsAsia posed the highly debatable question on whether it should be obligatory for women to serve National Service in countries such as Singapore, where only men are required to serve, the 32-year-old told Channel NewsAsia: “I’m Israeli, and in Israel, it is mandatory for everyone, women and men ... but me personally? I hope that no country will ever need an army.

"I hope that we won’t be fighting each other. And that we can all live together, in co–existence and peace.”

The mother-of-two acknowledged that it was hard to give up one’s freedom for two years of service in the military but emphasised that there’s something beautiful about giving back to the community and to the country.

The former model and beauty queen (she was Miss Universe Israel in 2004) was a combat trainer during her service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Like Singapore, all eligible Israelis are enlisted at the age of 18.

Looking back, did her time in the IDF, including an intensive physical boot camp, prep her to play one of the most powerful female characters of all time?

“You want my honest opinion? No,” she replied with a laugh. In fact, the training to become Wonder Woman was more intensive than being in the army, she said. 

“It was full-blown every day, six or seven hours a day for six months,” she said. “It was tiring!”

According to Gadot, being a dancer for 12 years did help when learning the fight choreography for the film. She also thought she would really enjoy horse riding because it looked like it would be “easy” but it turned out to be exactly the opposite.

All that, including gym work and martial arts training, added 7.7kg of muscle to her lean frame.

This is the biggest, and perhaps the most important, role to date for the actress who was previously best known for playing Gisele in three instalments of The Fast And The Furious franchise. She had beat out many other well-known contenders to play Wonder Woman.

The highly anticipated film, which tells the coming-of-age story of Diana Prince and how she became Wonder Woman, is expected to lift the DC universe out of it doldrums.

“There are not many female superheroes,” said Gadot. “And that’s why I feel so privileged and lucky to be the one who is going to bring her back to life and tell her story.”

Source: CNA/gl