The women of Superman Returns: Kate Bosworth
Look! Up in the air! Superman Returns this month -- and behind every superhero's cape, there's a good woman... and sometimes a bad woman. We had the chance recently to catch up with Kate Bosworth, who plays Superman's love interest Lois Lane, and Parker Posey, who's Lex Luthor's main squeeze -- the nefarious Kitty Koslowski. Here, meet Ms Bosworth, and check out what Ms Posey's up to on page two of this interview!
SK: What was it like to play such a well-known icon?
Kate: Well, I'll just dive into it...when I first was offered the part, I was...it was my first fear...because, really, the icon notion of it is nerve wracking, but I think what was was the most nerve-wracking for me is the investment and passion that the fans have for this film, and I just wanted to do my best, and honor them, and how they view the film.
SK: Did you read anything about the thought of the casting of a blonde for this character?
Kate: (laughs) No, you know I don't ever read that stuff, to be honest, just for the exact reason that I said... my nerves were all in a crazy way, because if I had read all that stuff, then why would you do that, you know? You go and you do your job, you're cast for a reason, you have to trust the people that have cast you and the people that are around you. And in this film you have Bryan Singer, who is such an incredible filmmaker and now a very dear friend of mine, and you know at that point you've gotta trust that and trust yourself, most importantly, because I think that all actors are insecure... I can say I certainly am, and you know you've got to go on and trust yourself. I think if you read all that noise -- although you know you want to honor the fans and do your best -- if you read all that and get all caught up in it I think it probably wouldn't be good for my performance.
SK: You say you're insecure. Why are you insecure? It seems a little dysfunctional.
Kate: Well, I think that that is a very funny question because... it's sort of a presumptuous question, to be honest, because you don't know me, and it's a kind of vague thing to ask, considering you don't -- but I was insecure because I think almost all artists are insecure. I don't ever watch myself and think, "That was great, I hit it out of the park." Never, no... I mean, I've just begun my career, I'm 23, I'm just learning. I feel like I've just come out of the gate.
SK: What are those insecurities then? What specifically do you fear?
Kate: Well, one of the things I love most about this job is that I don't feel like you can ever master it. I think you're always learning, you're always growing. And even when you think you're at the top of your game, there's always something else that you can do and learn. I think that, if I wanted to fall into a niche where I knew I was really good at something, I could do that and I could feel secure there. But I don't want to do that -- I want to do things that challenge me, that I will be scared doing, because I'm not the best at it, but I certainly want to do it to have that experience and to challenge myself and be seen in different ways. I could sit there and be a cookie-cutter certain way and sit there and probably make money from it and do what people expected me to do, but that's not what I want to do, and I think if you don't do what you want to do in life, then what's the point?
SK: Have you seen the final cut of the film, and did you feel it was much different from the shooting script?
Kate: No. I saw the film yesterday for the first time, and it's funny because I really hadn't seen anything, and that was my choice. I never watch dailies. Bryan wanted to show me all the scenes and I said, "No, don't show me anything. I want to see it at the end, when it's all said and done." So it was exciting for me to be able to see it, because I think I was pretty much the only person that was directly involved with the film who had a very fresh pair of eyes. The main reason that I was the most excited about joining this film because it is Superman, and it is so exciting, so great.
Another main reason was Bryan Singer... he has been one of my favorite directors of all time, and the third thing that was most exciting to me was that I was nervous to sign because I hadn't read a script, it was very top secret when everyone was cast, no one had read the script, they came in with two scenes to read. It may or may not be in the film, but it kind of had something to do with Superman, so it was very vague. And then when I was offered the role, I had to go in and sit in a room on the Warner Brothers lot and they locked the door -- and I am not kidding you, I am not exaggerating -- and I sat there by myself with the script I had been offered the part and I just thought, "Oh, what if it's really bad, and now, what am I gonna do?" I was very nervous and I read it, and it was such a tremendous script. What was most important to me was that it was a story, and it wasn't just a whole bunch of things exploding and looking cool and flash. It did have a tremendous heart from the very beginning. I knew that that was very important to Bryan to have that come across in the film, and I really think it does.
SK: Are you involved in sequels?
Kate: I hope so, I mean, yeah! (laughs)
SK: You're signed for all three?
SK: Can you tell us how Brandon struck you the first time you met him? How he turned out to be as an actor?
Kate: I met Brandon for the first time when he had the role already and I came in to screen test. I was very curious to see how he was as a person, but to see how he was going to play the role, because, as I said, I was given two scenes. One was Lois Lane with Clark Kent, and one was Lois Lane with Superman, and so going into the room I was very curious to see how he was going to play both, and excited to see that. And I was, I think like many people I was sort of... skeptical in a way. I think I was going in sort of hyper-critical -- I thought, "How is anyone really going to be able to pull off Superman nowadays?"
I really was curious, and I went in and I started to read with him as Clark Kent first and I thought, "He's really really good, he's playing this really well." And I thought, well, Clark Kent, yeah, but I want to see how he plays Superman, the second one. I was impressed with how he played Clark Kent.
And when we went to the Superman scene, which is the rooftop scene, so a lot of different emotions were going through my character's head, and I remember being in the middle of that scene and just... realizing in a moment that I had become totally lost in just reading with him in a white, bare, sparse room with a tripod video camera and a couple of people sitting around watching. And that's when I realized that he was gonna be tremendous in the film.
SK: Was it tough for you to work so far away from home?
Kate: It was, in the way that I miss my family, my friends, but it was such a time of real independence for me that I loved being in Australia.
SK: What did you do?
Kate: I was 22 when I went over there, and I was living on my own with my dog and I had my own apartment and I had never been on location for so long on my own. When I went away on location before I was younger and I would usually bring my mom or a friend because I was nervous to be on my own, all grown up and this was the first time that I was really embracing... I was playing a mom who was getting married and I was ready to embrace feeling like a grown up. And I had such a good time being there. I had a great time.
SK: Did you grow up knowing about Lois Lane, reading Superman comics? What was your first exposure to Superman?
Kate: I didn't grow up reading comics. My first exposure to Superman was when I was about six or seven. The film had already come out when I was born, I was born in '83. So it was on VHS (laughs) and I watched it with a friend who lived across the street, I was in San Francisco, and a friend of mine lived across the street -- my best girlfriend. And we were very into film, even at that age, it was sort of funny, but we loved watching movies -- sort of my movie buddy. We watched Superman and we were very excited... it's one of those films that you just wanna be in. When you're a young person you fantasize about being Lois and being carried across the city, the same way you want to be Wendy in Peter Pan.
SK: Can you talk about changing your whole look, and how it felt to be a brunette?
Kate: I was a brunette in Wonderland so it wasn't... when you change your hair color, you can be pretty shocked at how you look -- you look completely different. But it certainly helped in creating a character and feeling like a different person, the same as how it would when you put on a completely different wardrobe. It was great, I loved it.
SK: What's next for you?
Kate: It's a film, it's called Seasons of Dust, it's very small, it takes place in 1935.
SK: So you're back to your indie, indie-ish roles?
Kate: Yeah, it's definitely independent. (laughs) It's directed and written by Tim Blake Nelson. He's great.