The Israeli actress, who was criticised by superhero fans for being flat-chested, accepts she was "too skinny" when she looked at pictures of herself from five years ago.

The 30-year-old beauty, who made her debut as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last month (Mar16), will bring her character back to the big screen next year (17) in a stand-alone Wonder Woman movie and The Justice League Parts 1 & 2 .

"I’m actually shooting Wonder Woman now, so I need to keep up the look. I feel really strong. I look back at photos of me from five years ago and I think I was too skinny. It just wasn't cool at all," she tells US Weekly.

As a DC Comics pin-up heroine, Wonder Woman has been a sex symbol for years.

In the 1970s the comic book franchise became a popular TV spin-off show with 1972 Miss World USA Lynda Carter in the role. In common with Lynda, Gal won Miss Israel in 2004 before going on to compete for the Miss Universe crown.

The former Gucci model hopes her turn in the role will show a tougher side to the character and become an inspiration to female fans.

"There are so many strong male characters, but we need more female ones. I’m happy to be the one to start a trend," she said.

Gal is no stranger to intense training, she completed compulsory national service in the Israeli Defense Forces from the age of 18. The gruelling physical training of those years is something the actress believes has stood her in good stead.

"I served for three years... as a combat ­trainer, so that was similar to what I went through for the movie," she recalls.

"They were both super intensive and super demanding. I trained five times a week, doing a lot of gym work, weights and martial arts. I was taught to fight with a sword and shield and to ride horses."