Superman’s an iconic comic book character that’s resided in pop culture for decades. With each generation we’ve seen various actors take on the legendary superhero. It hasn’t always worked out (Superman Returns) but affection for the Kryptonian has never waned. This week we’ll get Man of Steel, and our first look at Henry Cavill, in the title role. A lot of pressure comes with portraying such a beloved character, but Cavill’s not the only one who’s got big shoes to fill. You have Jor-El, Superman’s biological father who risked everything so his son could live. Then there’s the fierce but loyal Lois Lane, the ace reporter who’s also the love of Superman’s life. The list goes on, but today we’re focusing on Cavill, Russell Crowe and Amy Adams who play the latest incarnation of these characters.
Did you feel some responsibility playing Superman? How did you find your way into the iconic character?
Henry Cavill: First, I don’t think it’s about finding my way into an icon. Playing an icon, you don’t try to be an icon because that defeats the purpose. The responsibility attached is enormous and the realization that it actually really, really, matters meant that I wanted to put the most amount of work into representing the character properly. That specially applied when I was working out in the gym, when you feel you can’t push any harder and you can’t lift anymore weight. You think, hold on a second you got to look like Superman there’s a whole lot of people out there who are relying on me to be that superhero. So it really helped to push those extra few reps and just become that character.
This was a Lois Lane we’ve never seen before. Amy, can you talk about what attracted you to the part? How is this Lois different from previous ones.
Amy Adams: I grew up watching Superman and loving the characters. I let it be known that I auditioned several times, this was my third time. So thank you Zack [Snyder] for letting me play Lois. When I talked to Zack about this incarnation of Lois, what I loved was that she was still this intrepid reporter. She was somebody that was going to be a part of the solution not just part of the problem. She was going to have more of an inner track on Clark and sort of be on the inside as opposed to being on the outside. I really liked that and I thought that was a very unique idea. I really loved that Zack wanted it to be this really big, amazing film but was also very important to him to focus on the characters and the truth. Grounding the characters in reality as much as possible in this amazing world that he created.
Jor-El is pretty involved in this movie. Compared to the original film, where Marlon Brando just came in and shot a bit, he’s really the soul of the story. Russell, what was that experience like?
Russell Crowe: I have a confession… I’ve never seen any other Superman movie. Haven’t seen one with that fellow in it or the new young fellow, I didn’t see that either. I didn’t have any references in terms of cinematic experiences. The only Superman reference I have is the black and white Superman TV show that was on TV after school when I was a kid. So I really had nothing to draw on. The simple thing for me is I read the script and thought it was a complex and really cool story in and of itself. And I thought the problems that Jor-El faced in terms as his decision as a father was a very interesting thing to do and get involved.
Henry, how was it doing the flight scenes? Also, in terms of fight choreography, what type of training did you do?
Henry Cavill: Flight for one, there was a lot of rehearsal involved. When it came to actual super speed flight it was mostly belly pan work. Belly pan is the mold of the front of a persons body and you lie in it and a special gimble created so there’s a guy in a green suit and a green screen moving it depending on Zack’s direction and I just have to imagine what it’s like to fly. We had lots of help from Zack’s sort of imagery attached to it and his direction. There was also a lot of wire work that we did during the whole stunt process, that was incredibly complex and the guys tested it amazingly. A guy called Jim Churchman just did a fantastic job on the wires. That was probably the funnest part for me in regards to flying. I got to be 40 feet up in the air and sort of just completely out of control, well someone else’s control thank goodness.
Russell, you played such a convincing and heartfelt parent in the film.
Russell Crowe: I had a very interesting experience being a father on this movie. I think Zack employed four babies as the recently born Kal-El and unlike my own experiences as a father of two, I’ve managed to dodge all the piss and the poo even though I’m pretty slick with a nappy. But on this movie I got farted on first and that was OK, pissed on and that was a little bit convenient then the topper happened under those hot lights. It was after lunch, to be expected and I got a handful of the essential Kryptonian material. So I learned a lot, I had new experiences as a parent on this movie that I hadn’t previously had so thank you Zack.
Henry, have you taken anything from other actors that have played Superman? How did you want to be different from them?
Henry Cavill: I did not take anything from the other characters that played it before. As an actor, the way I do it and the way I viewed it, is that all the actors that have come before, it’s their interpretation of the source material, source material being the comic books and I wanted to have my interpretation not out of a sense of ego but in a sense that it might be a disjointed performance if I have someone else’s personality and their influence affect the interpretation of the character. So I went straight to the comic books and saw the older movies but I did not apply those performances to mine.
Man of Steel opens in theaters June 14 in 2D and 3D.