While Kate Bosworth has been in her fair share of major motion pictures, including “Blue Crush” and “Beyond the Sea” with Kevin Spacey, Superman Returns is the first summer blockbuster for the young actress. We caught up with the blue and hazel eyed star at the Australian Museum in Sydney last year. While most of the cast and crew that we met were casually dressed, Bosworth arrived dressed in a trendy cap, jeans, and outfit and she looked quite stunning. Naturally, her attire kicked off the discussion:
Kate Bosworth: I just came from an event.
Q: An Australian event?
Bosworth: I did. I went to the opening of Sass and Bide’s store [in Sydney], it’s a clothing company that’s fantastic. And the girls who run it are wonderful, just wonderful. I went to support them.
Q: They make clothes?
Bosworth: Yes, their jeans.
Q: Can you talk about how you got the job? The thing is because of Kevin Spacey and you’re previous work with him?
Bosworth: I’d say that was a huge a part of it. Yeah, I’d done “Beyond the Sea” with Kevin, and Bryan came to see the film, and I guess he had been looking for a Lois Lane and he said to Kevin, “I’m trying to cast Lois Lane.” And Kevin said, “Well, I just worked with this girl, you should come and take a look at the film and see what you think.” So, I feel that a huge part of why I’m sitting here talking to you is because of Kevin.
Q: And how did that process go?
Bosworth: Well, Bryan went and saw “Beyond the Sea,” I think a few times, and then I auditioned for the role with Brandon. We did a screen test which was fantastic. We did a scene where he plays Clark Kent and then a scene where he was Superman. It was so amazing because I was very curious as well to see how he was. You know, because everyone says, “How’s Superman? How’s Brandon Routh?” And he was just so amazing. I remember standing in a white room, a white audition room with just a little tri-pod camera, and we first did the scene as Clark Kent and he was fantastic, perfectly clumsy and fumbling, and a wonderful Clark Kent, and then we went to the Superman scene and his whole demeanor just changed. But subtly. It wasn’t this huge, grand Superman stature. It was, he just shifted his balance and stood up a bit straighter and held himself more confidently. I just remember getting totally lost in the scene with him, and it was just… I remember leaving the room and saying, “No matter what happens it was a real pleasure to have had this moment with you.” Because it was fantastic.
Q: He said when you left the room they were all kind of speechless.
Bosworth: (Laughs) Oh, yeah? That’s nice to hear. I’ll pay them later. (Laughs)
Q: Do you think your youth works against you acting in roles that are supposed to be older and more seasoned. I mean, you’re what? Twenty-two. Do you think that works against you trying to play a role that’s supposed to be a bit older in general?
Bosworth: That last role I did as Sandra Dee ranged from sixteen to twenty-nine, thirty. And that was where I felt I guess initially challenged in terms of the age. So, when I came on to this film I was a bit more prepared, in terms of that challenge. But I think you know Bryan wanted to cast the film a bit younger than what everyone expected him to do, and that was his choice and I think the film is going to be really amazing. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the stuff yet, but it’s… I was excited an I’m in it, and that’s always a good sign.
Q: This is also the first time that Lois Lane has been portrayed as a mother. How do you handle that? What challenges does that bring? What do you have to bring to the character to portray her as a mother? You know, is she more than just a love interest?
Bosworth: Obviously I don’t have child, but I would imagine that your world completely changes in terms of having a child of your own come into the world and suddenly everything’s not just about you, it’s all about your child. So that is, I think, the main difference in terms of Lois Lane. She’s not as crazy and zany and all over the place because she’s had to focus her attention on this little being and grow-up. And that’s not just in terms of age, but just in terms of herself and how she carries herself, and maturity. And she’s still got that fire and spunk and craziness, but she does have a child to think of first and foremost.
Q: Because this film is kind of a continuation of the Donner films, what do you take away from Margot Kidder’s performance?
Bosworth: To be totally honest with you, I made a decision to… I saw the Superman films a long time ago, and I haven’t seen them very recently, just because, I think it was a decision between Bryan and I where we wanted it to just be, you know, with the background knowledge of the former films to just sort of start fresh. So for me, it’s written on the page that she’s strong and independent and has a fire in her, but that was certainly something that Margot Kidder brought to the role. You know, the spunk and the quirkiness of Lois Lane, is certainly still there.
Q: How did you prepare for the role?
Bosworth: I don’t know how one prepares for this film. (Laughs) I worked with my coach who I work with, Ivana Chubbuck, who is a genius, and we just spent days and hours and weeks going through the script and just breaking it down. There was not one piece of the script where we kind of just skipped over, every moment was scrutinized and put into the whole big picture. So that was the main thing. She flew out to Australia and worked with me for a couple weeks and that was fantastic. And it’s really just been obviously working with Bryan and going through the script with him and Dan [Harris] and Mike [Doherty], the writers. But the thing I did – this is probably going to sound weird to you – the thing that I did to prepare for the role more was to watch a lot of Katherine Hepburn movies. The reason why I didn’t want to watch a lot of the past Superman films was because I was afraid that I would take too much from that and I thought it would be boring for people to see a replication of somebody’s past work. So I wanted to draw from female actresses that conducted themselves with immense strength and poise and grace; who were strong and independent and yet have a side of fragility to them that makes it very attractive. So it was a lot of Katherine Hepburn movies and Julia Roberts in “Erin Brockovich” was one that I watched. It was those types of characters just to sort of draw on them.
Q: Do you really try to steer toward taking strong female roles?
Bosworth: Yes, absolutely. There’s not many of them. (Laughs) Everyone’s sort of going for the same ones. It’s just fantastic when you do find yourself in a role where you do find yourself with that character. I was fortunate to find myself in that, really in the first big film I did, with a character that was a pretty strong, independent example for young women.
Q: Can you tell us about the difference in working with Kevin, as you have so far on this film, compared with “Beyond the Sea,” which was a completely different character.
Bosworth: It is completely different. (Laughs) And it’s such a trip. Kevin, whenever we’re on the set together and he’s completely bald and dressed as Lex Luthor with this sort of dark demeanor about him, and then there’s me in the brown wig as Lois Lane, and he always looks at me and says, “This just reminds me reminds me of a very weird, surreal, trippy Bobby Darin-Sandra Dee situation.” (Laughs) I’m sorry but we always just laugh about it because it’s so, so funny. It’s so completely, polar opposite. But it’s been such a joy and such a pleasure for me to be able to work with Kevin again so quickly. He’s so important to me in my life. It’s been… to be honest it’s been very fun because I remember when I first worked with Kevin, although he does put his actors at ease, it’s quite intimidating to be working with Kevin Spacey and going toe-to-toe in scenes and I remember just being so nervous. I was just so nervous and wound-up before each scene with him in “Beyond the Sea” and in this one now it sort of… we’ve worked together before and we know each other so well that it’s just really having fun in each scene. And especially since he’s Lex Luthor and he’s so brilliant and just big and brave and hilarious. (Laughs) I have to sometimes just force myself to not laugh because he’s just so funny and he says everything just so perfect. It’s really, it’s a joy for me.
Q: What’s been the most fun thing for you in playing the character of Lois?
Bosworth: Most fun? Oh, there’s so many fun things about it. It’s interesting because we’ve shot pretty much chronologically. So we started out in the Daily Planet and that was the first couple months of shooting for me was the Daily Planet. That was fun because it was very rapid-fire dialogue and feisty and in the office and that’s her. That’s where she gets her drive from. That was a lot of fun and very intense as well because when you have to speak very quickly and know what you’re saying and it’s quite rapid-fire, you’re in there and it’s intense. And then that we shifted to sort of the more romantic Superman-Lois Lane bits where we do the flying, and that was incredible. I remember every day, I literally come to work every day and I think, I cannot believe that this is my job, truly. And on this film especially because I’ll sit there and I’ll be on the Daily Planet set and I’ll be sitting at Lois Lane’s desk and there are her little business cards of Lois Lane and I’ll just be thinking ‘Oh my God! This is amazing!’ And that’s the fun bit for me. And then being able to fly with Superman. Although we’re on wires I’ll just sit there with Brandon across from me in this flowing cape and the ‘S’ symbol and think ‘I’m flying with Superman!’ I mean, people get to see that? (Laughs) And then now we’ve moved into the Lex Luthor stuff which is just a ball. It’s been interesting to see the different phases it’s moved from, how it’s shifted and changed, but its continually been fun for me.
Q: You got to meet Noel O’Neil who was the original Lois Lane. Did you get to talk with her and how was that for you?
Bosworth: Oh God, she is an incredible, incredible lady. She has such a youthful spirit, so youthful, and has such a light about her. I don’t know if you’ve ever met her.
Q: Yes, I’m good friends with her.
Bosworth: So you know. Yeah, she’s just incredible. And she’s just this little petite sweet being. I remember saying to her, “What was it like for you being the original Lois Lane?” And she said, “Honey, we didn’t get paid anything.” I was like, alright. And that was one of the first and foremost thought on her mind. (Laughs) And I just thought how amazing is it for her that she’s getting flown from her hometown to Australia on this huge movie set,’ which I’m sure was much different than what it was for her when she was doing the role. I kept wanting to protect her and she doesn’t need it. I kept finding myself sort of fleeting about her wanting to protect her because I felt like, ‘Oh, gosh, she’s just alone in this big movie set.’ I just wanted to be next to her and look after her and she certainly didn’t need it. (Laughs) She’s amazing.
Q: How about the wardrobe in the film? There’s a lot of very graceful wardrobe with a sort of a very vintage look.
Bosworth: Oh, yeah! That was so fantastic. In my mind I had seen this film being shot obviously in this day and age but with a very classic feel to it. I was thinking about the wardrobe and how, again, Katherine Hepburn comes to mind and her wardrobe and her look. I remember thinking as I was walking up the stairs to meet with Louise [Mingenbach], who’s our head costumer, and walking up the stairs to meet with her the first time I was thinking ‘Oh, please, please, please, let us be on the same page with this’. Cause it’s so important, the look of the film, it really just sets the stage, doesn’t it? So I was walking up the stairs and all of the sudden I came to the top and there were just rows and rows of sketches of different costumes for Lois Lane and Lex Luthor and Superman and Clark Kent and Kitty. And it was brilliant. It had a vintage feel. I felt like I was looking at a Look Book from the 1940s, 30’s, of vintage Chanel or vintage Yves Saint Laurent. You know, those types of designers, where it’ just very strong and classic and beautiful. I just remember thinking, ‘Oh, this is going to be amazing.’ And then I got to go through the process of sitting with Louise and picking out fabrics. Originally she pulled a lot of vintage things from LA and I would try on these old outfits and they looked like a paper sack on me. And then we would just fit it and fit it and fit it and it would go from stage to stage and it was amazing to see the outcome because we had started from scratch. I’ve never worked on a film like that before and it was so much fun for me, especially the dress. I don’t know if you guys have seen anyâ€¦ but there’s a big ball-gown sort of scene. I looked to her and I said, “I don’t want it to be the big Girl In A Dress Scene.’ We’ve all seen that and it’s just so typical. I was like, “It’s not Lois. She shouldn’t be in this sort of gown.” I said, “I want it to look like a tuxedo, almost. I want it to have almost a tuxedo feel.” And so the dress I wear in the film is very Art Deco and it has a very strong, almost but not sort of a slight shoulder-pad look, because it’s very strong lines. And it has almost a cumber bun here. I think they’ve done a fantastic job with it and that was a lot of fun as well.
Q: Can you talk about your hair? How about your hair? I expect there would be a lot of work on that to make it just right for Lois. Was dyeing ever a consideration? Were you up for these changes?
Bosworth: I was really up for anything. I said, “You can dye my hair, you can put extensions in, you can style it however you want, but I truly feel that the easiest thing is to get a good wig. It’s just the easiest thing when it comes to projects like this. So, that’s what we did and it’s fantastic. And it’s much easier for me, I’ve got to say, to sit there and get it glued on and ready to go. It’s great. You don’t even need to style it.
Q: How were you able to personalize Lois for yourself, to understand her?
Bosworth: Well, I think we’re very similar in a lot of ways. I think that my parents named me Katherine because it means strong-willed and determined. And I feel like those qualities are definitely one would pick to describe me. And I think that those are definitely characteristics that you would pick to describe Lois. Definitely a passion for what you do. A drive. Feistiness. Loyalty. Love for what you do. I mean there are so many characteristics that we both have.
Q: Talking about Margot Kidder and her role playing Lois Lane, did you look at any other incarnations of Lois over the years?
Bosworth: No. It really was something that was a very conscious decision for me. It was the same as when I was playing Sandra Dee. I remember watching a very small amount of Sandra Dee’s films because I remember beginning to watch one of them and I felt this pressure building up in side of me to do something that someone else had done. And I said that to Kevin. I remember saying, “I don’t know if I can move like her exactly and speak like her exactly and do what she did.” And he said, “Well that would be boring.” You sort of know the heart and soul of the character and then you take it and make it your own and that’s what the defines the character now, what you’re doing. That’s the decision I made to do on this film as well.
Q: When did you first see Brandon in his Superman costume?
Bosworth: (Laughs) The first time I saw Brandon in his Superman suit was the first picture that we had taken of him in the suit. It was outside at Fox Studios on the lawn area. I remember it was a very big deal. It was like you would imagine it to be this sting operation or something (Laughs)… because no photos had been released yet of him in the suit and obviously they didn’t want somebody with video phone taking a picture of him and sending it out to press and having it be sort of ruined, the big climax of showing the suit. So, he had the suit on but he had this black cape on over it. And he was sort of walking around. (Laughs) And it was like of the unveiling of the Mona Lisa or something or the David. It was just… it was amazing. And Bryan had called me down and said, “We want to take a shot of you with Brandon the first time we show the suit.” So I ran down and they took it off for a really quick second and I went “Oh, wow!” I just felt so overwhelmed. It’s amazing when you see such an important, just big character for the first time in the flesh it’s an amazing feeling. You get chills. So we quickly took the picture and then the back cape was on immediately after.
Q: Did you every read any comic books when you were younger, or now, or whenever?
Bosworth: I didn’t really when I was younger. I have now a bit more. I think the funniest thing to me, especially with reading the Superman ones, was how large the chests are of the women. I looked at Bryan and said, “Oh, I can see why you chose me! It’s so obvious!” (Laughs)
Q: What have you read now? Things just to familiarize yourself with Superman?
Bosworth: Yes, it was some of the Superman ones, it was really just the ones that we have on the set because it’s just been so full-on with work. The great thing about, I think, the thing that Bryan is making with this film is that, yes, it’s obviously a based on a comic book, it’s a film that’s a comic book film. But what he was so adamant on in telling me when I first met with him was that we’re making this film but what’s most important is that it has a depth and a heart and a soul and it’s multi-dimensional. So that’s what’s been really incredible. And for me, yes I’m playing Lois Lane, but to me she’s a real person. She’s not just somebody that you read in a comic book or somebody you’ve seen before. It’s somebody who has a child and who has tortured feelings going on inside of her. That I think is what’s most important to Bryan is that you’ll see the flashiness of the film, you’ll see the great explosions and Lex Luthor’s big plan and all of that. But it’s really the heart and soul of the movie that’s going to bring it to another level. That was Bryan’s first priority.
Q: How have you found shooting in Australia? Have you been surfing?
Bosworth: (Laughs) I have so loved being in Australia. Australia has been such an incredible, incredible place for me especially since I will have been here for about seven months. It’s a long time to be away from home. I remember being here for the first week and I thought, wow, for some reason I feel like I am home.
Q: Do you have your dog with you?
Bosworth: I have my dog! Yes! She’s gorgeous. She was in thirty days of quarantine, though, which was horrible. I came here three weeks before I had to start anything because I just wanted to be able to visit her. But it’s been amazing, truly amazing. The people are so great, they’re so down-to-earth and unaffected. It was a very welcome change from Los Angeles having been there for a long time. I think there are places that you go and there are certain experience that you go through in that place and it has such a tremendous affect on you and it will always have a piece of your heart, and that’s what Australia has been to me.
Q: Have you been able to get in any surfing?
Bosworth: Oh, right! The surfing! No, are you kidding? Do you think they’d allow me to surf?! I can barely walk on my own here! (Laughs)
Q: Do you every go online to have a look at any of the gossip that’s going on about the movie or your participation?
Bosworth: No. Definitely not! (Laughs) Definitely not! No offense, but as an actor I feel incredibly vulnerable when I think about going on the net because I feel like it’s just… it’s bizarre, because you know yourself and you know that you’re a human being and you know that you put up there on the Internet and people talk about you and they don’t know you. It’s a strange thing. And I’m sure things can be said where you want to say, “That didn’t happen! That’s not me! What are you talking about?!” and I wouldn’t want that going in my head. It would be so frustrating and just pointless that I just wouldn’t even want to go there. (Laughs)
Q: Have you and Brandon been going out at all while you’ve been down here? As friends…
Bosworth: Yeah, we have. The restaurants here are amazing! The food is great. I remember taking him to… (Laughs) Oh, the producers are going to get so angry at me… But because he’s on such a strict diet, because he’s got to be Superman and he’s got to be cut and he’s… I remember because I did Blue Crush and it was so full-on, just constantly having your physical appearance and being built on your mind that.. I looked and him one day and he was eating carrot sticks or something and I was like, “Oh, man, we’ve got to go to Max Brenner. I don’t know if you know Max Brenner but it is the most spectacular chocolate bar in all the world. (Laughs) So he was like, “Alright.” So we sort of, you know, were really low-key and went and got chocolate fondues and the works and he was so happy! (Laughs)
Q: It’s what Lois would do.
Q: And you were able to do this without [the producers] knowing?
Bosworth: Now they’re gonna know! (Laughs) But listen I’ve got like three weeks left to go so you can’t quite replace me. (Laughs) But you know you need that. You’ve got to have those experiences. [Brandon’s] so disciplined and so good about it.
Q: I hope it didn’t show the next day?
Bosworth: No, it couldn’t possibly. But if I got it on the outfit I’d be crucified. It’s been experiences like that that’s been great and it’s been really fun. He’s been lovely.
Q: As you’re playing a newspaper reporter who’s suppose to have everything on the ball, what scoops can you give us?
Bosworth: (Laughs) What scoops can you give me! Are you kidding? I don’t know anything. Oh, everyone looks so well-dressed at the Sass and Bide event tonight. I don’t know. (Laughs)
Q: In the footage that we saw, Lois writes a story “Does the World Need Superman?” What makes her want to question having Superman, when he was a part of her life?
Bosworth: So your question is, why would she write that article? Or, why does she think the world does not need Superman, or why the world does?
Q: Why did she write that article, and what does she think the world doesn’t need Superman?
Bosworth: Okay, well, I think that she was, you know… he sort of picked up and left for five years, without saying goodbye, which I think would leave a pretty harsh sting on somebody’s part. So I think she was very angry and searching for questions herself, and so she put the question out there: Why does the world need Superman? And I think in her mind, why the world does not need a Superman is that, all of a sudden someone comes down and was this savior to the world, and everyone gets a bit used to that, and being saved. And then he picks up and leaves and they’re left with taking care of themselves, which, I think in her mind, is something that people should learn to do anyway, and not expect to be saved, but to be able to save themselves.
Q: How about working with James Marsden?
Bosworth: How was working with him? Oh, I loved James Marsden! We’ve been so lucky with this cast and with the crew. It has been so amazing. I feel like I’ve just been saying that over and over, but it’s true. And James Marsden is one of the loveliest people you will ever meet. I don’t know if he’s in town right now. He gets back in two days, maybe. I don’t know if you’ll be here still. But I hope you do, because if you have the pleasure to meet him you’ll love him too. He’s such a fine actor, and obviously incredibly handsome. (Laughs) You can’t help but notice. He’s so lovely, because he’s a dad, he’s a husband and he’s a father, and he’s got such a gentle soul. But he’s has the wickedest sense of humor of anybody I’ve ever met, which I love, because we love to spar. He’s fantastic. He’s just great.
Q: You have a history with Kevin. Bryan obviously has a history with Kevin. Is there a difference in the way he relates to Kevin and you relate to Kevin, and how does that dynamic work itself out?
Bosworth: Well, I think… I mean, Bryan has known Kevin for years. I mean, much longer than I’ve known him. So, I’m sure they have a much deeper history. But, the project I was involved with with Kevin, Beyond the Sea, was such a project that was so dear and near to his heart, it was his baby and his passion, and I think when you go through an experience with somebody where it’s their love, you form a bond that’s unlike any other. And so, Kevin and I are so close that way, and we’ll always be close that way. And it’s fun because Kevin was the director on that film, so I got to know him in terms of, you know, him helming a film; him looking at the shot and directing me and having that relationship as well as being an actor relationship; they’re two completely different ones. And I think it’s probably interesting for Kevin that the next project he’s on, the former one he was directing, and now he’s an actor, and I’m sure it’s a transition for him. It’s got to be. And I think he and Bryan, on this film, are obviously so close, and they’ve got such a history, but they’re real collaborators as well. Kevin will run back and they’ll watch the playback and they’ll talk about the shot, and they’ll talk about the scene, then he’ll run back. And it’s great. It’s amazing to see. I feel like there’s such a great space for creative freedom on this film that I think is probably pretty rare on a film this size. And that’s really due to Bryan and the other cast members. It’s a wonderful place to go to work each day.
Q: Can you tell us how you found out you’d won the role, and your reaction?
Bosworth: Oh my goodness. (Laughs) I had auditioned for the part, and I think about two or three days later, it was very close to Christmas when I auditioned for the role, it was probably around December 15th, and I was going to Brazil for Christmas and New Year, and I was literally in the car on the way to the airport. And I got a call and it was my manager. She knew I was going to Brazil and she knew that my flight was in a matter of hours, and she said, “Kate.” And I just knew. And the tone of her voice. I just knew. I just gasped and said, “Yes.” And she said, “You’re going to be Lois Lane.” And I just screamed! (Laughs) Probably freaked-out the person who was driving me. And it was just amazing. I remember it was just overwhelming. It was like every emotion was running through my body, and it was just otherworldly. And I just thought (happily), “Oh my God, I’m going to be Lois Lane!” And then immediately I went to (scared), “Oh my God I’m going to be Lois Lane.” It was all these different ranges of emotion flying through in utter seconds. It was incredible. Definitely one I’ll never forget.
Q: Thank you.
Bosworth: Thank you, guys. It was really a pleasure meeting you.
Read Part 7 of our visit, an interview with executive producer Chris Lee.
Superman Returns opens in conventional theaters, IMAX and IMAX 3D on June 30.
Source: Scott Chitwood