Interview: Russell Crowe and Diane Lane Talk About Their Parental Roles in ‘Man of Steel’

By June 7, 2013

[Editor’s note: Last Friday, I visited the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank to attend the press junket for their upcoming Superman film Man of Steel. (We’re not allowed to talk about the movie until June 10th, so expect my full review on GeekNation then.) The press conference ran for just under an hour, and because there was so much said about the movie, I’ve decided to break up our coverage into four or five separate posts over the next couple of days.]

The story of Superman has always been, to some degree, a tale about a boy with two families. In the upcoming Man of Steel, writer David Goyer plays up that aspect and makes it a defining theme of the film, with Clark/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) coming to terms with who he is through interactions with both sets of parents.

Russell Crowe and Diane Lane were in attendance at last week’s press conference to discuss their interpretation of Jor-El and Martha Kent, respectively. Both are perfectly cast and are excellent in their roles, and Snyder made an incredibly smart decision when he decided to bring these two into the fold. Crowe, who spent half of the time joking about when the Jor-El Lego figure would hit shelves, got serious for a minute and dropped a bomb on the press gathered to cover the event:

“I have a confession, and I might as well just get it out: I’ve never seen any other Superman movie. I haven’t seen any of the ones with that fella [referring to Marlon Brando] in it, or that new young fella [Brandon Routh], I didn’t seen that either. I don’t have any references in terms of cinematic experience. The only Superman reference I have is the 1950s black and white TV show that was on TV after school when I was a kid. I don’t have anything to draw on. The simple thing for me was that I read the script, thought it was a complex and really cool story in and of itself, and I thought the problems that Jor-El faced in terms of his decisions as a father was a very interesting thing to do, so that’s why I got involved.”

Diane Lane, who brings a motherly warmth to the character of Martha, jumped in to discuss how she and Kevin Costner (who plays Jonathan Kent, and who also did a brilliant job) crafted their approach to the story with Snyder before they started filming:

“The challenge and the backstory that Zack and Kevin [Costner] and I enjoyed discussing which is not part of the script, is imagining what it would be like to temper a young person’s attitude adjustment that’s required in the rearing of children when they have the powers that Clark has. It was fun having those conversations and you can fill in the blanks and maybe there will be some funny ones written for future story plots. But once you fall in love with a being that needs you, you imprint and you want it to represent your belief system. How does that manifest? What is sacred to you? That warrants it being conveyed eventually when you’re not even there to see it. That’s the hope of parenthood.”

Man of Steel opens in theaters on June 14th, 2013, and you can check out Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Michael Shannon talking about their characters right here, Hans Zimmer speaking about the film’s score here, and Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer talking about the pressure of bringing Superman to the big screen right here.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.