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Truly, I don't consider myself famous...But if anyone does ask for an autograph, it's a wonderful feeling.
The amount of back squats, the amount of time I spend hobbling around a set because my trainers beasted me with leg work is just uncountable. I may be a crippled Superman, but at least I'll have great-looking legs.
It's the opportunity of a lifetime. Everyone has at some point pretended to be Superman and I get the opportunity to play this enormous icon.
Getting into shape was a different experience to anything I've ever done. Very martial arts-based training; a chap called Roger Yuan trained me.
I avoided watching anything which was someone else's interpretation of the source material. I didn't go back to the movies and watch them. I didn't go back to the TV series and watch them. I didn't want to take that and have that influence my interpretation and my performance of the character. Where the character truly belongs and where the character truly comes from is not from the movies or the TV shows; it's from the comic books. So I went straight to the comic books and had stacks of them and just read and read and read and read and read. I enjoyed so much learning about the character in such a dense manner. The comic books were my source of material; the TV shows and movies were someone else's interpretation and so I left that to them.
I was getting up at 4 in the morning, working for two hours on basic martial arts, and then going to work.
Like anything, it's not the actual fight that's the hard work, it's the prep that goes into it. Part of the training was flexibility...You have to do the stretching beforehand otherwise you would pull stuff and do damage to muscles.
If I start thinking about everyone's needs, then I'm not going to be able to do my job as well as I can. I have to focus on representing the source material to the best of my ability and ignoring everything else. I've just got to stay in my bubble.
I think in this day and age it's all part and parcel. There are people taking photographs of us working all the time. It's just one of those things; you've got to take it in stride. And you know, I put all the prep work into it. I'm not necessarily being shot in the best, most flattering of lights, but I put the hard work in and the performance will come later. People will see the movie, hopefully. It'll help when people see these photos beforehand, from various movies, to sell them more on the character. So it's less of that transition phase from seeing an actor on screen to believing a character and getting wrapped up in the story being told.
I genuinely had to throw my clothes out, since my shoulders are too big and my waist is too small. Everything just doesn't fit like it used to. I have never been this big.
If we were really true to the story, I would be an invulnerable alien. But I'm not, I'm an actor. Superman is an American icon. Whether it's an American role or not, I can't be sure. Superman stands for something very universal. He was certainly raised in America but he himself is not necessarily an American, because he's come from a place very far away. He is very different and therefore all the more beautiful when he tries to do so much for all of us, who are totally different from him.
You get the fear every morning: 'Do I look good enough?' And of course you do, but in your own head, you never look good enough.
The mindset when you change your body physically, and your ability physically, there's more of a self-belief. There is more of a security in yourself. It's quite a unique feeling when you have a moment and you're rested, and you're not exhausted and everything else, you think, 'I can do this stuff; I'm probably in the top 10 of physically fit people in this room,' and that's a very good feeling. Of course, someone like me I always keep myself in check, because it means I'm going to continue to push hard. I never allow myself to spread into an arrogance, because that, I believe, and there are people who say otherwise, will hold me back as opposed to help me advance. When it comes to playing a role like Theseus or the other role (laughs), it does help an awful lot, because the environment around you behaves differently. The people perceive you differently, and that helps you be the character which you're trying to be. We are indeed a product of those around us, because we often behave in response to the way we're treated. When people are looking at you in that sort of way and going, 'Whoa! He looks kind of dangerous' or 'That guy looks like he can protect me,' it gives you that extra bit of something that helps you play a character in a more realistic, effective way.
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Im Better Than You
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