Entertainment Weekly has an interview with the new Superman Henry Cavill talking about the final test that decided how he got to be the Last Son of Krypton.
To become Hollywood’s new Man of Steel, Henry Cavill had to pass the Laugh Test. To wit: Could he wear the Superman suit without anyone giggling? And not just any Superman suit. To shoot his screen test last month, the 27-year-old British actor donned a replica of the costume Christopher Reeve wore in director Richard Donner’s classic 1978 film. By today’s standards, those sky blue spandex threads with the iconic S shield on the chest look dated—and hence an effective yardstick for the team now charged with making Superman fly for 21st-century moviegoers. “If you can put on that suit and pull it off,” says director Zack Snyder, “that’s an awesome achievement.”
As an assistant helped him into the suit, Cavill was feeling less than super. He certainly has the face for Superman—solid chin, defined cheekbones, piercing eyes, dark hair. He’s also 6′ 1″ and radiates intelligence, maturity, and all around good-guyness, though he’s too humble to say so himself. But Cavill worried that the rest of him wasn’t up to snuff. He had recently lost the muscle tone he gained to play a loincloth warrior in the mythic fantasy Immortals, due this November. “All I could think was, Oh, God, they’re going to look at me and go, ‘He’s not Superman. Not a chance,’ ” recalls Cavill, best known for playing Henry VIII’s buddy Charles Brandon on Showtime’s The Tudors. “The actor inside me was going, ‘You’re not ready! You’re not ready!’ ” Snyder saw something different. “He walked out and no one laughed,” says the director, a geek pop idol for his work on Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen. “Other actors put that suit on and it’s a joke, even if they’re great actors. Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go, ‘Wow. Okay, this is Superman.’ ”
I would have to say that suit would be the most intimidating part of the role. Who wants to be running around in spandex tights with nothing but a cape to hide your dignity?
That’s a man of steel.
They had no doubts about his acting chops, but that final litmus test has it sold. I can’t wait to see how they play this off so that the suit doesn’t feel hokey.
In Returns, we were introduced to a world already familiar with Superman – so the suit was not as distracting, but now we are to experience the origin of the character who will be showing his persona to the world for the first time in that suit. There is a difference to be had there.
I hope they make some subtle changes to the costume, but still keep it in that style at its core.