We’ll say it: “Wonder Woman” is one of the most important movies of 2017.
While lots of movies make hundreds of millions of dollars and earn rave reviews, Wonder Woman was something special. The real draw is the strong female protagonist, played perfectly by Gal Gadot. In an era where female actors are often relegated to love interests and background roles, Gadot’s Wonder Woman is a true warrior in every sense of the word.
To see Wonder Woman‘s impact, look no further than the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, where Gal Gadot signed autographs and met with fans while promoting her upcoming film Justice League.
Footage from the event shows a young fan cosplaying as Wonder Woman breaking down in tears while meeting Gadot. The actor immediately reached over to take the little girl by the hand.
“There’s no reason to cry, all right?” Gadot says in the brief clip. “Here we are together.”
Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash in Justice League, quickly added some words of encouragement.
“You’re a warrior, I see it,” Miller says. “Your ability to cry is what makes you such a warrior. Come join the Justice League whenever you get ready.”
The fan, Ashley Keller, eventually leaves the table, but Gadot’s kindness clearly affected her.
Ashley’s mother, author Christine Keller, later wrote about the encounter on social media.
“These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people,” Keller wrote. “What a great role model and genuine, nice person. My daughter will always remember this moment for the rest of her life. Thank you, Gal Gadot!”
The clip quickly went viral, and people from around the world pitched in to offer words of encouragement.
“This precious girl warmed my heart and brought a sweet tear to my eye,” Linda Hoffman wrote online. “When my daughter was little, she loved Wonder Woman too. Now she is a grown up Wonder Woman raising three boys and teaching third grade. Bless your daughter’s sweet little heart!”
“I’m so glad that her hero was caring and personal,” wrote another user, Brendan Rafferty, “and made it a sweet and special moment.”
This isn’t the first time that a fan’s reaction to “Wonder Woman” went viral.
In early June, a letter detailing 11 ways that Wonder Woman has had a positive impact on America’s youth went viral. Reportedly written by an elementary school teacher, it eventually attracted a humble response from the film’s director, Patty Jenkins.
And when one theater announced an all-female screening of the blockbuster, the mayor of Austin, Texas wrote an excellent response to a citizen who complained about the event.
Sure, Wonder Woman is just an action movie, but it’s clearly having a positive effect on the United States’ approach to gender issues. Here’s hoping that superhero films (and all media, for that matter) keep trending in that direction.