Jeffrey Taylor is a staff writer/moderator at The Superman Homepage, co-host of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast, available at the Superman Homepage, iTunes and The Superman Podcast Network.You can find his new Man of Steel Countdown column here at Movies.com every other Tuesday.
A good actor can play any kind of character, but I’ve always maintained that any actor playing Superman should be a kind and humble person to begin with. Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) has maintained a reputation as a warm and open person whenever he meets a new fan. I have heard similar stories about John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher (Superboy and Adventures of Superboy TV series).
I grew up in Williamstown, MA where Christopher Reeve had a summer home. He had performed at the Williamstown Theater Festival several times and fell in love with the area. When I was seven-years-old, his son Matt was on my baseball team and his father would come to many of his games. I was a bit nervous to meet him, but I eventually worked up the courage, got an autograph and even performed what would become the first of many Superman-related interviews. I was just some kid bothering him, but he took the time to answer my questions and was a heckuva nice guy.
I was fortunate to meet Henry Cavill last summer during an official set visit for Man of Steel in Plano, IL. Unfortunately I’m not yet allowed to discuss our conversation, but I don’t think I’ll get in too much trouble by saying that despite Henry’s insane and stressful schedule and workload, he was still a heckuva nice guy. I even saw him giving each crew member he was working with a smile and a "thank you" whenever he received some help. None of that is required by an actor in his position, but like I said, he’s a heckuva nice guy.
Popcandies TV posted a video of Cavill taking some time out with fans for photos and autographs while he was leaving Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood last month. It was one thing seeing him be a heckuva nice guy on the set when it was his job at that moment, it’s another that he was doing this with his free time. Fans appeared to be pushing each other out of the way to have a moment with him for a photo or an autograph, but he said, “I’m not going anywhere,” and gave everyone a moment to meet him. While some stars might rush on, Henry made sure that each person got some individual attention before heading on his way.
At the beginning of February, The official Edwards Air Force Base website posted a report that Man of Steel had been filming at the base for a week and a half at the end of January. The location was ideal due to its wide open spaces, unique landscapes and array of aircrafts. Approximately 200 service members were cast as extras. Supervising location manager Bill Doyle said, “Everyone in uniform has been hugely supportive. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them each and every day.”
As a special thank you, Henry Cavill spent an hour at Edwards Air Force Base meeting with airmen, taking photos with them and signing Man of Steel lithographs. Senior Airman Lyndee Bennett of the 95th Security Forces Squadron said, “It was great that he took the time out of his busy schedule to do something so wonderful for the military.”
There are a lot of actors who can pull off Superman’s look, and there are only so many that have the acting chops to play the role effectively. But the reason I trust that Henry Cavill is going to do great in Man of Steel is that I know he’s humble, respectful and above all else, a heckuva nice guy.
Be sure to catch Henry costarring with Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver in The Cold Light of Day, coming to theaters April 6. Henry is English, but he played the role with an American accent. If anyone is still worried about that, be sure to watch the trailer and judge for yourself.
Michael Shannon on playing General Zod
I haven’t met Michael Shannon yet, but my impression of him is “intimidating.” That’s probably due to my experience of him as Agent Nelson Van Alden on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He is outstanding in that role and I’ll be completely honest in saying I started watching the series because I wanted to see him in action. Fortunately it turned out to be an amazing show, too.
In the few interviews he’s given about his role as General Zod in Man of Steel, he certainly appears to be a heckuva nice guy, but guarded against accidentally leaking any information about the film. But he’s not above teasing. Take a look at this video of him talking about how “Zod has some cool speeches.”
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Shannon also spoke about Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder in an interview with The Playlist at Indiewire.com. On Cavill, he said, “Henry is a fantastic Superman. He’s got an edge to him and he’s smart, clever, and I had fun working with him.” But when asked about director Zack Snyder, he gave some very high praises by comparing him to the veteran director of Taxi Driver and Hugo, Martin Scorsese. “I think Zack is the master stylist. Visually, I mean, he’s up there with Scorsese in my book in terms of visual composition, orchestration, et cetera.”
Jadin Gould on playing Lana Lang
Lana Lang was a hugely important character in Superboy’s life from the comics. She grew up with young Clark Kent in Smallville and was the love interest of Superman’s adolescence. Fourteen-year-old Jadin Gould will be playing Lana for some scenes in Man of Steel and she spoke about her experience and how she balances her life with her work when she was at the Movie Guide Awards earlier in February.
Justice League: Doom
And if that wasn’t enough, the new direct-to-DVD (and blu-ray) film Justice League: Doom was released on February 28. In the film, Superman and the Justice League take on Vandal Savage and The Legion of Doom as they execute a plan to stop The League for good so they can destroy half of the world. Here's a review. DC Animation tends to release a new feature every few months. Next up, will be Superman vs. The Elite.
Where’s the Trailer??
Man of Steel is still well over a year away, but fans are eagerly awaiting a teaser trailer. Different websites are posting varying information, but chances are we’ll see it in front of Dark Knight Rises when it’s released to theaters on July 20, 2012.
If you had a chance to meet one of the cast or crew from Man of Steel, what one question would you ask?