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Snyder Says Cavill’s ‘No Joke’ in ‘Man of Steel’

Immediately following the June 10 world premiere of “Man of Steel” at Alice Tully Hall, Warner Bros. bussed guests down to Chelsea’s Moynihan Station. There they dined at Skylight, an industrial space transformed by Hollywood elves into a nightclub where composer Hans Zimmer led an ear-shattering, drum-heavy performance of a “Man of Steel” suite.

Before Zack Snyder and his cast flew off to Wednesday’s London premiere, the helmer talked about what made “Borgias” player Henry Cavill ideal for his steely alien: “He had something in his psyche that understands service and he’s earnest. But also we put the really old suit on him, Christopher Reeve’s Superman suit, and the thing is, he wasn’t a joke, right? When he came out, everyone was silent. It was the difference between dressing up like Superman and being him.”

Cavill, who just confirmed that he’ll soon be essaying another iconic role, Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” said he kept his Superman research simple: “I went to the comic books. And that was it. No TV shows, no movies. I pulled a baseline for the character from the comic books and applied that to the framework of the script. Because it’s an origins story I don’t have to know who he has defeated or who he has met. But there’s some particular villains he’s interacted with that showed a particular part of his character, like Doomsday, for instance — the sacrifice he’s willing to make.”

As for how he wrapped his head around a superpower like X-ray vision, Cavill explained, “Well, by the time you see me using it, it’s such a natural thing he can switch it on and off. I suppose it’s like sprinting or walking — it’s a choice you can make. And as an actor it’s just something you have to suspend your disbelief of: ‘Of course I can do X-ray vision. Because I can.’”

“Man of Steel” lets Amy Adams’ Lois Lane be a very pro-active heroine, saving planet Earth alongside Superman. Adams has already given thought to what superpower Lois might want if she had her wish: “I’d guess she would want the same one I’d want, which is to read people’s minds because it would make the reporting a lot easier. She wouldn’t have to dig so deep.”

Costar Kevin Costner recalled talking to Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan about their super-careers and telling them, “‘You’re living in the right age for yourselves: Your skill is meeting up where your skills are going.’” He added, “I wouldn’t know how to do this kind of movie. These guys are like pharaohs. Where they say, ‘Build a pyramid,’ I’d say, ‘Build a campfire.’”

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