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As Superman’s Lois Lane, late actor Margot Kidder knew what it was like to work up close and personal with original Superman Christopher Reeve. But with Henry Cavill, there was something about the new Superman that had what Reeve didn’t.

Richard Donner hired Margot Kidder as Lois Lane because she was ‘nutty’

Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve looking at each other.
Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve | Ron Galella/Getty Images

Although Kidder starred in a few projects before 1978’s Superman, it was Lois Lane that would raise her profile. But it was a role she almost missed out on. At the time, Kidder lived in Montana but explained that she wanted to further her career in Hollywood. Her then-agent, Rick Nicita, advised that wouldn’t be possible given her location.

“The first thing I said to her was, ‘You can’t live in Montana and maintain a career here. You’re gonna have to fly in for meetings,’ Nicita said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “She said fine. So right away, I pushed real hard and got her a meeting for Superman. Then I called her, and she said, ‘I can’t come in, I have a cutting horse class.’ ‘Cutting horse?!’ I said, ‘No way. You’re flying in. You’ve gotta be here.’”

Kidder would eventually do a screen test for Superman director Richard Donner. Afterward, Donner was convinced he found his Lois Lane.

“I hired her because she was Margot,” Donner explained. “Her personality flows through when she acts – nutty and vivacious – and that’s what I wanted. For instance, without her contacts, she walks into walls. She’s certifiably blind. One day, she put her lenses in backward, and it f***ed up her eyes, so she had to work without them. A lot of people squint when they can’t see, but Margot goes wide-eyed. That look became part of Lois Lane, and I made it a law that Margot couldn’t wear her contacts on the set.”

Margot Kidder believed Henry Cavill was a sexier Superman than Christopher Reeve

Kidder worked with Reeve for his four Superman films after she was hired. Although she since retired from her role as Lois when Man of Steel debuted, she still paid attention to Zack Snyder’s Superman project. Cavill, in particular, caught Kidder’s eye, who she couldn’t help but compare to her late co-star. When discussing Cavill to MTV News, Kidder believed that the Mission Impossible actor had something that Reeve lacked.

“Oh my god, he’s heaven. He’s heaven! He’s got a sexuality! As wonderful as Christopher Reeve was — and he was wonderful and perfect — he was not exactly a big steaming heap of sexuality. And this Cavill really is. I loved him on The Tudors. I couldn’t get enough of him,” Kidder gushed.

Margot Kidder was not a fan of the new Superman


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Kidder may have had high hopes for Cavill, but she wasn’t a fan of how The Witcher star’s Superman was portrayed.

“I think there was a cynical decision on the part of the studios, which are now owned by multi-national conglomerates just like everything else on the planet,” she once said in an interview with Heyuguys. “So they would make these artistic decisions by non-artists – guys would want to hit the millennial demographic because they literally make up about one-quarter of the population.”

But to Kidder, focusing on the millennial demographic hurt the story.

“Probably, my guess is what happened is when they decided to hit the demographic of the millennials in the later films. I think the directors were good, the actors were good but the basic approach wasn’t there,” she added.