After debuting in her role as Wonder Woman in last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and arguably stealing the film out from under its stars, hopes have been high for Gal Gadot's stand-alone Wonder Woman movie, the first female-centred superhero movie directed by a female filmmaker, Patty Jenkins.

Gal Gadot as Wonder WomanGal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Born in Israel, Gadot completed her required military service and was crowned Miss Israel in 2004, then went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant before bursting onto movie screens in 2008's Fast & Furious.

But she thinks she was destined to play Diana Prince. "Somehow I think that I always wished to play Wonder Woman, without even knowing it myself," she says. "Eight years ago, when I just became an actress, I knew that I wanted to show the stronger side of women, because I feel that there's not enough stories being told about strong, independent women. Little did I know that five years later, I'd land the part!"

Gadot says that making the film was a challenge, because Jenkins put her through her paces. "They decided to shoot the movie in London," she says, "which is fantastic. But it was winter, which is less amazing. And while we shot outside days and nights, I was wearing a very short piece of rubber, running, jumping, needing to fight, with all that. So the physicality of it is really challenging, but I like it. I enjoy it. It makes me happy after I do it right."

Watch the trailer for Wonder Woman:

She goes on to describe what makes Diana Prince so unusual for a superhero. "First of all, she doesn't see any gender difference," Gadot says. "It's not even an issue. She comes from this world where it's not a thing to be a man or to be a woman. So she feels that she can do everything, and she will go for it. She's also a peace seeker. She wouldn't go and look to start a battle or a fight. She would try to solve it in any other way."

And of course there's that other thing. "All of you guys always had a figure to look up to, whether it's Superman or Batman or Spider-Man or whoever," Gadot says. "And for girls, it's always the princesses who are being saved or being passive. Now finally Wonder Woman: she's fearless, she's proactive, she believes in herself. She believes she can do everything, and that's a true woman for me!"

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana of Themyscira