CinemaJaw sat in on a Q&A with Brandon Routh while he was in town for Chicago Comic Con. He discussed Superman Returns, Man Of Steel, Scott Pilgram, and his legacy.
Q: Have you seen the new Superman movie “Man of Steel” and if so do you agree with the new direction they took?
Brandon Routh: With a new born baby I have not been out of the house much to see movies, but I have heard a lot about the film. It seems to me that they were given a note that more action was wanted. It tried to make up for what “Superman Returns" lacked, but at the same time what “Superman Returns” had perhaps “Man of Steel" lacked. You can’t get 100% success. To reach too far toward one crowd, you miss another audience or age group. It is difficult to be a movie executive.
Q: In Superman Returns what was your favorite scene to work on and what is one you look back on and cringe?
BR: To be honest, the first scene at the Kent household. It was my first day and my first scene was with the lovely Eva Marie Saint. I was very nervous and so that is not my favorite performance, but I think I get much better as the film moves along. As for my favorite, I really enjoyed the few moments I had with Parker Posey because that was a version of Superman, the charismatic charming Superman that I got to play. I did not get to do that with Lois because of the complications of the relationship, although I am fond of those scenes as well. I think that is where Christopher Reeve did such an wonderful job. Those scenes with Margot Kidder, the charming interview scenes on top of her apartment, I really like those a lot.
Q: Was there a lot of pressure for you to live up to the old Christopher Reeve’s Superman?
BR: Yes, absolutely. I think everyone out there who was a fan of those movies was saying “yeah I see this new guy, but he is no Christopher Reeve”. I grew up watching those movies and Chris was my superman, so I knew full well the challenge I had in front of me. I wanted to make sure I did justice to his legacy. That is why I tried to bring as much of his spirit and energy to the role as I could while still doing things to make it my own. If I would have gone in and did a totally different Superman, some people would have like that, mainly people who did not know Christopher Reeve as Superman. Many more people know him in the role, so it was important that I try and bridge the gap.
Q: In the movies you have had super powers playing Superman. In life what would you say your superpower is?
BR: I guess what I want my superpower to be and I do my best to exhort that and it’s real cheesy, but it is to spread love.
Q: You mentioned you like having fun in your roles, which role did you have the most fun playing?
BR: Todd Ingram was just a lot of pure fun. Superman is close, but Superman was stressful as well. Playing Clark was great, I just completely relaxed and let my own clumsiness come out.
Q: Before you auditioned for Scott Pilgrim, did you read the graphic novels?
BR: I did, I had lunch with Edgar Wright before anything and he told me about the role. I was not aware of the books beforehand. He told me the character he was interested in having me play. At that point I went out and got all the books and read them all. I then had an idea of what my character looked like on paper. I had a fun time screen test reading with Edgar and got the part. I enjoyed the comic books very much.
Q: When you look back on your career, what do you want to be remembered for?
BR: Well, I think that I would like to be thought of as one of the guys who have played superman. Certainly I have no problem with that. I love Superman and I love the opportunity to have played him. Some people will only know me for Superman and that is fine, it’s a wonderful and amazing thing. At the same time I now have people who know me from Chuck or Scott Pilgrim. So for Superman and many other things.