Acting can be a thankless business. With all the work, the rejection, the dealing with people you don’t get along with, the exhausting hours and press tours, it’s a wonder than any celeb can stick it out as long as some of our greatest stars have. Sometimes all that disappointment can push an actor to the brink — and then the right audition at the right time for a fantastic role can pull them back again. That’s exactly what happened to Gal Gadot, a.k.a. our new Wonder Woman: before she was cast, she almost quit acting altogether.

During a recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show (via /Film), Gadot revealed that if she hadn’t taken the call for a mystery audition for Zack Snyder, she might have quit doing movies.

This profession, the rejection… oh dude, it’s tough. I had so many ‘almosts,’ and another camera test, and ‘it’s almost mine,’ and another role, and another role, and I was telling my husband, ‘I’m not sure how long I can take it, dragging my family to Los Angeles, doing this.’ On that same trip when we were in Los Angeles, I got a phone call from Zack Snyder, who wanted to audition me for this secret role. I was like, ‘OK, sure, I’ll do that.’…

The audition went great, I went back to Israel to shoot an Israeli movie, and I didn’t know if I wanted to continue acting afterwards. Anyway, I’m in Israel, I get a phone call, they tell me that they want to do a camera test – I’m like, ‘Again? Another camera test? Another almost, almost?’ And I said, ‘OK, whatever. What am I testing for? What’s the part?’ And my agent goes, ‘They didn’t tell you?’ And I’m like, ‘No.’ So no one knows what I’m going to be…

So Zack called me two days later and he was like, ‘I don’t know if you have this character in Israel, if she’s big or not, but did you ever hear about Wonder Woman?’ And I was like [mimes fainting].

“Did you ever hear about Wonder Woman?” Oh, Zack. What a jokester. Gadot did have a recurring role as Gisele for three of the more recent Fast & Furious movies, but after her character was killed off, it did seem like she was having a hard time finding work. Wonder Woman is her first huge starring role, and it’s clearly helped her out a lot — Keeping Up With the Joneses, anyone? And after Wonder Woman’s extremely positive early reception, Gadot is definitely here to stay.

Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2.

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