Superhero movies are up in the air with serious movie buffs as far as the seriousness of the art. Are they in fact art? Or ar they just a ploy by the studio to make a quick buck? For whatever reason, the non-comic movie fans like to look at films like Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Spiderman 3, and say “see? terrible movies!” They do not want to look at The Dark Knight and the increadible Joker played by Heath Leger. They don’t want to look at the classically trained Christopher Reeves playing Superman.
Well actor Tom Hiddleston, who plays villain Loki in this summers “The Avengers“, has something to say about all of this in a recent blog post he made for the Guardian in England. In the post he talks about his personal childhood with superheros saying: “I grew up watching Superman. As a child, when I first learned to dive into a swimming pool, I wasn’t diving, I was flying, like Superman. I used to dream of rescuing a girl I had a crush on (my Lois Lane) from a playground bully (General Zod). Reeve, to my mind, was the first real superhero.”
He goes on to explain that “Actors in any capacity, artists of any stripe, are inspired by their curiosity, by their desire to explore all quarters of life, in light and in dark, and reflect what they find in their work. Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other’s, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility.” This is the reason Christopher Reeves chose to play Superman even though his contemporaries on broadway mocked him.
As far as how superheros are perfect characters to play, he explains that “The Hulk is the perfect metaphor for our fear of anger; its destructive consequences, its consuming fire. There’s not a soul on this earth who hasn’t wanted to “Hulk smash” something in their lives. And when the heat of rage cools, all that we are left with is shame and regret. Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s humble alter ego, is as appalled by his anger as we are. That other superhero Bruce – Wayne – is the superhero-Hamlet: a brooding soul, misunderstood, alone, for ever condemned to avenge the unjust murder of his parents. Captain America is a poster boy for martial heroism in military combat: the natural leader, the war hero. Spider-Man is the eternal adolescent – Peter Parker’s arachnid counterpart is an embodiment of his best-kept secret – his independent thought and power.”