In October (16), the female superhero was announced amid much fanfare as an honorary ambassador for the organisation, with both actresses who have played the role onscreen, Gal and Lynda Carter, attending a New York ceremony which was supposed to launch a year-long campaign promoting gender equality.

However, the choice of Wonder Woman as an icon of equality sparked a backlash, with a petition calling on U.N. officials to reconsider the choice due to her sexualised appearance garnering more than 44,000 signatures.

On Friday (16Dec16), the character's campaign was abruptly ended - but 31-year-old Gal is baffled by the uproar.

"There are so many horrible things that are going on in the world, and this is what you're protesting? Seriously?" she tells Time magazine. "When people argue that Wonder Woman should cover up, I don't quite get it. They say, 'If she's smart and strong, she can't also be sexy.' That's not fair. Why can't she be all of the above?"

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star reprises her role as the Amazonian warrior in 2017's Wonder Woman and she felt it was important for the character to be shown as both strong and loving.

"We knew it was tricky," she says. "We wanted to find the balance between portraying her as confident and strong and feminine and warm. I didn't want her to be a ball buster. I didn't want her to be bossy. You can be powerful and also loving."

And she is hoping the standalone film will promote strong female characters and teach boys and men it is acceptable to see a woman in a position of leadership.

"We need to educate boys, show boys strong women in powerful positions," she adds. "It's all about expanding the possibilities of what women can be. I know I couldn't do this without my husband."

Gadot has been married to Yaron Versano since 2008 and they are parents to a five-year-old daughter named Alma.