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BRIEF ENCOUNTER

To greater heights

Kate Bosworth continues her ascent with a top role in `Superman Returns.'

July 02, 2006|Susan King

KATE BOSWORTH'S career is flying high. This summer, she joins the ranks of such actresses as Noel Neill, Margot Kidder and Teri Hatcher who have played intrepid Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, a part that always involves a certain amount of air time in the arms of a superhero.

In Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns," Bosworth's Lois is a single mother, engaged to the editor's nephew and still hurting over Superman's (Brandon Routh) sudden disappearance five years earlier.

It's a plum role, but the 23-year-old actress admits she still doesn't feel "like I'm in a place where I can pick and choose roles. I feel like I am always fighting for things."

She got her start at 14, when she was a champion equestrian and heard about an open call for "The Horse Whisperer." Though she went to the audition simply for the experience, she ended up getting the role of the best friend who dies in an accident.

After putting her career on hold to finish high school, Bosworth has been acting nonstop since 2000 in such films as "Remember the Titans," "Wonderland" and, as Sandra Dee opposite Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea."

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What was it like to fly? Was it just being hooked up to uncomfortable wires for hours and hours or did you enjoy it?

One of the weirdest experiences for me on the film -- Brandon had to do this as well -- was that I had to do a full body cast. And I get really claustrophobic, and it was just wild. The reason why they made them is they needed casts of our bodies for special effects. I had to hold onto a bar because the plaster becomes so heavy it will knock you over. It gets really hot, and you know when you start to panic you get warm anyway? ... It was just so strange.

Then there was a wirework -- after 10 or 11 takes, because technically you had to get it pretty perfect, you are shifting your whole body and trying to get comfortable.

But the overwhelming feeling in terms of the flying stuff was how magical it was. I felt so excited to be with Brandon when he was in the suit and flying.

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Is it true that Kevin Spacey recommended you to Bryan Singer?

I just worked with Kevin on "Beyond the Sea." We had a unique experience on that because it was his dream project for so long -- 11 years -- and we have a special connection. I honestly haven't even talked to him about it, but I heard he was always Bryan's first choice for Lex Luthor, and Kevin said to him, "Do you have someone cast as Lois Lane?" and Bryan said, "No, I don't." Kevin said, "Why don't you come see a screening of the film I just did?"

It is so nice to make relationships with people in this business because it can often seem surreal.

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Why?

I love my job, and I think everyone who is an actor has such a passion for what they do, but there are certain times when the business, the dynamics of it and the negative side, seems to overshadow the joys of it.

But when you make relationships with people that are solid and substantial, it makes it feel more real.

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What are the negative sides of the business? The paparazzi? The lack of privacy?

It is not so much that, I think -- it's you're hot one second and cold another. It is a business where insecurities can be generated really easily. To make connections with people who are on your side, it begins to feel more like you are part of the community.

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You watched Katharine Hepburn films for inspiration in playing Lois Lane because she projects strength and vulnerability.

That's very true. I obviously watched "The Philadelphia Story" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." I also watched "Erin Brockovich" with Julia Roberts, funny enough, because her strength and vulnerability are so wonderful and she had real sleuthing skills.

People often asked if I watched old "Superman" films before I took the part, but I didn't. I saw the first one years ago when I was a kid, but I decided not to watch them for the same reason as when I got Sandra Dee. When I first got Sandra Dee, I thought the best thing to do would be to watch all of her films, but I realized after watching a half-hour of one of them that I was putting an enormous amount of pressure on myself to imitate her. And in this "Superman," what is great about [Lois] is that she's feisty, spunky, strong and fragile -- all at the same time.

She was written so differently in this; I wanted audiences to feel that she's changed.

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Was it difficult to leave your home back east when you were 18 and moved to Los Angeles?

I definitely felt alone. But I have my support group now. I have been in L.A. for about five years, and I think it's literally taken about this long to feel solid here because it's a strange place. There are lot of times where just the city itself is intimidating. I feel much better now.

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Though you say you are not in a position to pick or choose your roles, have you turned any parts down?

There are things I have turned down because I wouldn't do nudity. I don't know if I'll always feel that way. I don't know if at 30 I'll feel fine about it, but [now] I don't think it it's necessary.

-- Susan King

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