kevin costner clark kent jonathan kent

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes ‘Man of Steel,’ starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen). In the story, a young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

‘Man of Steel’ also stars Amy Adams as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne as her editor-in-chief, Perry White. Starring as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, and Faora, Zod’s evil partner, played by Antje Traue. Also from Superman’s native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s mother, played by Ayelet Zurer, and Superman’s father, Jor-El, portrayed by Russell Crowe. Rounding out the cast are Christopher Meloni as U.S. military man Colonel Hardy, Harry Lennix  as General Swanwick, Michael Kelly as Steve Lombard, and Richard Schiff as Dr. Emil Hamilton. ‘Man of Steel’ hits 2D, 3D and IMAX cinemas on June 14th.

How was it embodying these parents, these two very influential role models in Clark/Superman’s life – and showing that humanity? Did you call upon your own parenting skills, and maybe even your own parents?

Diane Lane: I feel very lucky and blessed to have been just asked to be a part of this movie. And the parenthood part, that was kind of the best dish that I saw in the script. I loved it because of the heart and supplying the back-story to what drives this man that becomes Superman. But to us he’s our child that we cared for and protected all the way through up until he was prepared to reveal his superpowers, you know?

Kevin Costner: I think you do bring your parental instincts to it, and I think that we didn’t try to put too much English on it, we basically saw what it was and we embraced the words and we said them, we didn’t wink at them.

Diane Lane: Thinking about my mother, I remember being a little kid and breaking all my crayons in order to convince my mother to do whatever I wanted her to do. I imagine if I had had the strength to tear down the house, I probably would have. At that point, you think, maybe there’s another way to handle those feelings. In ‘Man of Steel,’ Martha is the one who found the way to help her young son calm down when things are too difficult for him, protecting him from outsiders without having any shame about his gifts. She knows that he’s going to require as much internal strength as he has physical strength when he goes out into the world.

I think ‘Man of Steel’ really portrays the difficulties of being the parents to someone with the immense gifts that Clark has. Especially with the moral obligation and thoughtfulness that they must bring and show to this being….

Diane Lane: Yeah. I think of Martha Kent as really pragmatic. I think she has to be, because when you find this ‘star’ child on your farm (laughs), and you realize all of the capacities that this young being has, there’s a moral obligation to be the best tour guide you can be. That’s how I approach motherhood and I think that’s sort of what it winds up being: you explain the world you were born into the best you can – and there’s a lot of explaining for the Kent’s to provide (laughs). She knows he’s special, and that she’s been given this opportunity, as a mother, for a reason. I think she feels duty and honor-bound to explain the world to him as best she can.

Martha and Jonathan are rather heroic as parents, only in that they had to persevere not only with protecting Clark with his anonymity as far as his powers and all that element of “hush hush”, but without instilling shame in the child. So we would encourage Clark to utilize and honor his gifts at home privately, and ask him to keep that protected from the outside world without having any shame about his gifts. So there’s a lot of explaining to do as a parent, when you’re saying, “Do this. Not that. Here’s why. Trust us. You’ll see later….” (laughs) We do that anyway as parents, but when somebody can hear everything you say and can see through walls you must live and honorable life with no hypocrisy (laughs).

diane lane henry cavill

As Jonathan Kent your paternal responsibilities are greater than most could ever imagine. And the themes of the film, especially with regard to the relationship between your character and Cavill’s character, has very real world implications….

Kevin Costner: Definitely. The nature of a father is to teach and protect. My character tells Clark that he’s a miracle, proof that we are not alone in the universe. It’s a huge burden to bear, but Jonathan believes that his son is on Earth for a reason and, as he says to him, the day will come when he will have to decide whether to stand proud in front of the human race, or not. People often talk about movies as being make-believe. But the truth is, sometimes movies can construct moments that make you ask yourself, ‘What would I do in this situation? What kind of man am I?’”

What qualities do you think Henry Cavill has that make him a great Superman/Clark Kent?

Diane Lane: I think that he has a type of earnestness that you can’t….. maybe you can fake, I don’t know (laughs) – I hope he’s not that good (laughs). But he really does possess that earnestness himself and he brings that with him wherever he goes. I googled him before we did the movie, and then I remembered him from ‘The Tudors,’ which I thought he was wonderful in. But then when I saw him doing interviews, these kinds of things, he’s very present and he cares – he brings all of himself to whatever he does. I think that’s learned, so I think he was raised well, so I give his parents the credit…. in real life too (laughs). Henry is I think the most earnest person I’ve ever been around. I mean, he’s just a really good guy and clear headed.

Kevin Costner: Yeah. Look, sometimes when someone’s far away and they’re hunched over and their hair is grey, you think: old or elderly, right? With Henry, he looks the part. And that’s at first. He has to have all of the things that Diane just described, but at first blush he looks the part and that’s really important. And then it’s not easy…. there’s a bunch of good looking guys in the world, maybe Henry comes in 50th of guys with dark hair and a curl, he’s still a handsome guy but he can act. He can really really act.

And then working with Zack Snyder as your director, he’s so excited about this film….

Diane Lane: (Laughs) He is. He’s got so much heart himself that he brings to what he does. He’s always asking the believable question of the moment, and he really goes to the next level of, “Lets not just do the obvious, lets go a little bit deeper into the uncomfortable aspect of the scene.”

Kevin Costner: Yeah. And I think if someone’s going to reinvent something, they better do it – and not everybody in the world can do that. He’s smart about it and he can do it… I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t do what Zack does and I don’t know a lot of people who could. And Zack, he’s as good a person as he is a director. He brings an awesome set of skills to directing. He’s one of the few guys that when you come to the set he’s just happy, and that doesn’t minimize that he’s a serious person, that he’s not a prepared person. But Zack has a light on, and I think people gravitate towards him because he gives his loyalty and he gets it. He has great enthusiasm and when it comes to the technical side of this movie I was really watching him because I’ve never felt comfortable in the visual effects world… but he just swims in it (laughs). He just eats it and he has his guys around and they’re not afraid. I just really enjoyed my professional observation of him and my own personal reactions with him.

Is it hard for you to get on a set and put away your “director mode”?

Kevin Costner: No, because I’m so glad the pressure is sitting on that guy everyday (laughs). I mean, I think that the one thing you want on your set is good actors, and I know that when I’ve directed I’ve always benefited from good actors. I think Zack defies the conventional wisdom in that in a lot of these sort of movies they don’t invest a lot of time in the acting, and Zack started off and said, “I want actors that I want in these movies.” He really thought about the characters, long and hard.