2005 Movie News Archives

Brandon holding Olympic Torch

December 18, 2005: Brandon Routh Interviewed in Italy

During his torch relay for the Turin Olympics, Brandon was approached by Italian media outlet Affari Italiani, who caught a quick interview with him (translated here by the author himself Giovanni Bogani, who tells us that this interview was also printed in the Monday edition of the newspaper "Quotidiano Nazionale")...

    Brandon Routh, the new Superman, speaks to Affari : "I practice flying a lot." by Giovanni Bogani.

    FLORENCE - Remember this name: Brandon Routh. Within a few months, it will be a household name. Twenty-five years old, born in a city as anonymous as it is unforgivingly desolate, Des Moines, in the heart of Iowa, Brandon Routh is a big boy at 1.90m [which equates to 6' 3"], with the muscles of a "Baywatch" star, and dark eyes undoubtedly alluring to the girls. And he has an air that is altogether one of innocence, health and believing in fate.

    And he does well to believe in fate. Only one year ago, he attended a Halloween costume competition. And he had dressed up as Superman. There was a prize of one hundred dollars, and he didn't even win. But a year later Warner Bros. asked him to become Superman on the big screen. He will carry on the legacy of Christopher Reeve, the unforgettable Superman of the movies from the 1970's and 1980's, who had seemed unpleasantly inexpressive and indestructible up to the point where he discovered his own Kryptonite, and revealed himself to be human, incredibly so. Up till a horse-riding accident which first paralysed him, and then led him inexorably to his death at the age of fifty-two. From that cursed moment, Christopher Reeve, now devoid of superpowers, bound to a wheelchair and having lost practically all movement save for his eyes, became an activist in the fight to cure muscular distrophy and paralysis. And through his pain, he revealed himself to be much more than a big rubber doll only good for donning the blue tights.

    The day Christopher Reeve died was also Brandon Routh's birthday. Before being hired for this adventure, he had been in a couple of films and had appeared on MTV's "Undressed". In short, nothing much. But then - following the refusal of more famous stars, such as Jude Law or Jim Caviezel, too fearful of being forever identified with the role - here is the turning point of his career, and probably of his life. Today, Brandon Routh is in Florence to carry the Olympic torch; he is one of ten thousand people - common folk, athletes, music stars - to take part in the relay leading up to Turin, sponsored by Samsung.

    We meet him in a hotel, before the race of less than a kilometer, holding aloft the Olympic torch that weighs nearly two kilogrammes, with a flame that never goes out: tests were done in 300 km/h winds. But then, if Superman is to hold it, would you want it to go out?

    Q: So Brandon, when did you find out that you had been chosen as a torchbearer?

    A: "I was in Australia, I was shooting 'Superman Returns': When they told me, I couldn't believe it. It's one of those things that you would never think could happen in your life. But to the contrary, anything can happen in life..."

    Q: Like being picked to portray Superman. So were you ever a fan of the comics?

    A: "When I was a baby, at three months old, my father bought me Superman pyjamas. And I still have a clear memory of those pyjamas. As a boy, I was a huge fan of the comics. Then there was that Halloween evening when for fun I dressed up as Superman. But never and I mean never had I imagined that... [I would be Superman on film]"

    Q: What will be the novelty of this Superman?

    A: "Given that I would have to do a lot of flying, I concentrated on this aspect. I wanted the fact that Superman flies to seem natural. I had a coach for body movement as well as a choreographer. I slowly tried to have fluid, natural motions. As well as the gaze of one who is capable of flight, I don't know if I'm explaining myself."

    Q: Yes. And according to you, how "current" is the character of Superman today? Why can he still be loved after so many years?

    A: "Because he stands for the only values that can assure our survival: truth and justice. In the end Superman is a testimony of the better part of the American way of life. And even for this, he is accepted by the whole world."

    Q: During shooting, you worked a lot in front of a green screen, for special effects. That is, you were alone in the scene. An exercise in solitude...

    A: "Yes, for the most part, yes. I didn't like it too much, having to talk with an empty space where the director would have put all necessary elements. More than anything, I would have liked more scenes with Kevin Spacey, who plays Lex Luthor."

    Q: How was it, working with Spacey?

    A: "He was very nice, very understanding. Working with a monster talent can intimidate you; but if he's as great as Kevin, he can also help you tremendously. With the director, Bryan Singer, we were always on the same page. Sometimes I would have a suggestion to make, or a question to ask, and at the same moment I would hear him make that very suggestion, or ask that very question!"

    Q: Do you have a favourite actor? One with whom you would like to work?

    A: "Morgan Freeman. And Clint Eastwood. I think I'll end up meeting them sooner or later. Probably because they'll bring their children to see the movie, the way it happened with Al Gore. I met him because his son had asked for my autograph..."

    Q: So for your next film, will you choose another special effects blockbuster? Or better: How do you think you'll break free from the shackles of a character as powerful as Superman?

    A: "Good question. I've asked myself that many times. And I've said to myself that I'll have to be very careful in choosing my next project, so that people don't only remember me as Superman. Maybe a small independent film. Maybe a European film. Who are the good directors in Italy today? I don't know anything, my knowledge of Italian cinema stops at Rossellini and Fellini..."

    Q: Your favourite sports?

    A: "Swimming, basketball (my hero, needless to say, was Michael Jordan), snowboarding and soccer."

    Q: Soccer?

    A: "Yes. I used to play it a lot. But it's not easy in LA. Usually the goal nets don't last long..."

Meanwhile, Fiamma Olimpica has posted an online video file showing footage of Brandon Routh carrying the Olympic Torch.

2005 Movie News

Listed below are all the Movie News items archived for 2005 organized into 5 categories:

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