“I haven’t seen any of the other Superman stuff, and once I knew I was going to be playing the character, I intentionally stayed away from it,” Hoechlin said at FAN EXPO Canada. “For me, I didn’t want to see something that I either liked, and then felt the pressure to copy, or something that I liked and felt the pressure to stay away from. I also didn’t want to see something I didn’t like and then feel the same kind of thing.”
He continued: “So I wanted to have the freedom to go in, read the script, know how we saw the character in this universe, and be able to commit to whatever came to mind and felt right without feeling like ‘it’s a little too close to this, or a little too far away from that.’”
Hoechlin, whose Superman next returns alongside cousin Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, explained he intends to watch the Christopher Reeve-led Superman movies “after this set of crossovers.”
“Obviously, I have nothing but the greatest amount of respect for Christopher Reeve and what he did in starting this whole thing, really, and obviously he’s so iconic to so many people,” Hoechlin said.
When a member of the audience yelled out “don’t forget George,” meaning first Superman television actor George Reeves, Hoechlin clarified, “Not starting as in the only person, but Christopher is pretty much the first one that comes to anybody’s mind when you say [Superman].”
“So tremendous amount of respect for that, but I’m excited to go back and look at them now after these crossovers,” Hoechlin continued. “I feel like I’ve done enough of my work with the character that I can now go and watch his [work] and not feel like I’m too tempted to, again, go stay away or go towards that.”
Hoechlin instead “did a ton of research as far as the character goes,” turning to the DC Comics archives and other sources to shape his Superman.
“But as far as watching other people’s interpretations of it or performances of it, that I wanted to stay away from,” Hoechlin said. “Obviously I did as much reading up on it as I could, whether it was Wikipedia, comic fan pages, anything that just had information, family tree, all these things, to really get to know the character. But beyond that, to the point of performance, I wanted to make sure I kind of kept my distance.”
Crisis on Infinite Earths arrives this December on The CW. Follow the author @cameronbonomolo on Twitter.
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