Gal Gadot‘s iconic alter ego can stop speeding bullets, slay enemies with a steel sword and run as fast as an Olympic sprinter.
In real life, the Israeli actress may not have superpowers, but she’s a warrior nonetheless: Gadot did many of her own stunts and adhered to a grueling training regimen before wielding her golden Lasso of Truth in the 2017 Wonder Woman installment and the upcoming sequel, 1984, which hits theaters and HBO Max on Christmas Day.
“I wanted to show that women are empowered and strong,” the star said of giving everything she has to the role.
Here, the 35-year-old mom of two talks about what it takes to bring a superhero to life.
To prepare for her first turn as an Amazonian goddess, the actress worked out six hours a day for six months. “I did two hours [of] gym work, two hours [of] fight choreography and one-and-a-half hours to two hours horseback riding, which is super hard,” she explained. (Gal — a former beauty pageant queen — ended up gaining 17 pounds of muscle!) Her time with trainer Mark Twight was spent alternating between cardio intervals on the stationary bike and rowing machine and strength exercises like squats, ball throws and pull-ups.
When Gal’s not in Diana Prince-mode, she hikes, swims or does Pilates three to four times a week. “I [also] like to paddleboard and TRX,” the star has said, “1 love doing things that make me feel healthy and alive.”
Her Wonder Woman eating plan is designed to keep her energized. Each meal consists of equal amounts of protein and greens (think avocado toast paired with peppers, celery and tomatoes). She maintains a healthy approach in her everyday life as well, following a Mediterranean diet with lots of fish and hearty salads with olive oil and lemon.
Indulgences are easily forgiven in the name of balance. “I have my bad things, like burgers or ice cream with chocolate,” Gal admitted. “I don’t restrict myself. I can eat everything… It’s all a matter of quantity of the food.” Noted!