Superman can reportedly leap tall buildings in a single bound and is as powerful as a locomotive, but actor Christopher Reeve had to take a few lessons from Darth Vader to convey that stature. Reeve might have been 6'5" when preparing to play the Last Son of Krypton for 1978's Superman, but he only weighed 170lbs, forcing him to enlist the guidance of Vader actor David Prowse, who was a known bodybuilding prior to being in Star Wars.
"I get a call from [Superman director Richard] Donner and he says, 'Can you get down to the studio as quick as you can, we've got a Superman,'" Prowse shared with Heat Vision.
The intense six-week training session paid off, with Reeve gaining an impressive physique in time to put on the iconic blue and red suit.
"He was fantastic. He was a very lovely person," Prowse revealed of his trainee. "We were like brothers, we got along so well together. And during the course of the period I had him, I took him from 170 pounds when we started and he was 212 [pounds] when he went into the suit."
The working out wasn't the only factor that contributed to Reeve's serious bulking up, with his diet also being an integral component. During this training period, Reeve revealed he ate four high protein meals a day, in addition to consuming plenty of vitamins.
"The thing is, on this part particularly, you have to start from the outside and work in," Reeve said while training. "You can do all the interior work you want to do, and it still isn't going to get you to Superman if you don't have the physical strength to go with it."
Reeve was the defining live-action Superman for many generations, representing the character's physical and moral strength.
"The thing is, the stronger I get — and I am still not all that strong, but I'm getting there — the stronger I get, the more it helps my mental attitude toward the part," Reeve shared of his preparation for the role.
Henry Cavill now portrays Superman in the DC Extended Universe, having revealed in the book Justice League: The Official Collector's Edition the powerful feeling of the character's suit.
"Putting the suit on was fantastic. I love wearing that suit," Cavill confessed. "No matter how warm or uncomfortable it gets. It's the Superman suit. There's no feeling like it. It's a truly unique, special thing and I hope I get to do it for many more years. I'm really happy."
The next installment in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, opens in theaters Friday.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]