With this week’s release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opening in theatres around the world this week, The Hollywood Reporter has delved into the archives and uncovered an interview in which Darth Vader talks about his time helping Superman get into shape.
The “Darth Vader” in question is of course actor David Prowse, who was the man inside the Darth Vader costume in the original “Star Wars” films (James Earl Jones provided the voice). The “Superman” he trained was none other than Christopher Reeve, who director Richard Donner described as a “skinny little kid” when he cast him in the role for “Superman: The Movie” in 1977.
As a bodybuilder and weight-training instructor, Prowse received a call from Donner asking him to train Reeve over a six week period to help him bulk up for the role of the Man of Steel.
“He was fantastic. He was a very lovely person,” Prowse said of Reeve. “We were like brothers, we got along so well together. And during the course of the period I had him, I took him from 170 pounds when we started and he was 212 [pounds] when he went into the suit.”
In an interview done while he was training, Reeve said he ate four meals while on a high protein diet and he took vitamins.
“The thing is, on this part particularly, you have to start from the outside and work in,” Reeve said then. “You can do all the interior work you want to do, and it still isn’t going to get you to Superman if you don’t have the physical strength to go with it.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Artwork by Alex Ross