How Kevin Costner And Diane Lane Helped Henry Cavill Find The Emotional Side Of Superman

"Man of Steel" may not be the most universally loved film featuring the titular character, but its modernized version of Superman aptly subverted expectations. Instead of instantly positioning him as a beacon of hope, "Man of Steel" took a more grounded approach. Zack Snyder's iteration dealt with the complications of growing up as a super-powerful alien in a world that would reject him if it knew his true nature. Henry Cavill portrayed Clark Kent with an age-appropriate amount of angst as an inexperienced hero always trying to do the right thing. The character's adoptive parents were wary of encouraging his desire for vigilantism, but the actors behind Jonathan and Martha Kent helped Cavill tap into the emotional side of Superman.

The "Man of Steel" version of Jonathan and Marth Kent, as played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, respectively, added a more personal, albeit selfish perspective when it came to raising Clark. Although Jonathan understood that he was probably meant for greater things, he remained reluctant to teach Clark how to use his abilities to help the world. His death scene reinforced those beliefs, even if Clark disagreed with them. However, it seems Costner and Lane were a bit more receptive to teaching Cavill behind the scenes.

'They're both really good people'

During a discussion with Interview Magazine in 2013 for the release of "Man of Steel," Henry Cavill described just how supportive Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were during their scenes together — especially during that controversial death scene:

"Oh, yes — they're both really good people and enormously giving. Kevin and Diane were both there to do off-camera stuff for some of my scenes. I mean, Kevin was standing 200 meters down the road for a scene where the camera was only on me — the guy really didn't have to do that. But he really helped me because he clearly knows that when you're in a situation where you've having an emotional moment, you want the other actor there."

Out of any scene in "Man of Steel," it certainly makes sense that extra care was taken to pull off the tragic moment when Clark witnesses his father die in a tornado. Costner making sure Cavill was prepared to give that emotional, visceral reaction paid off on-screen, too.

A different kind of tragedy

Unlike previous "Superman" movies, Jonathan Kent does not die of a heart attack or any other natural causes in "Man of Steel." In a bid to keep his son's secret safe, Jonathan selflessly heads toward a tornado to save the Kent family's dog. But he gets injured in the process, and the only thing Clark can do is watch as his father perishes in the natural disaster. Of course, Clark could have easily saved his own father, and it's fair to think that he should have disobeyed Jonathan's wishes. However, the sequence taught him the consequences of not using his abilities for good.

Although Clark landed on the planet long before that moment, it was his father's death that jumpstarted a journey that ended with Earth's savior emerging through the ashes of Metropolis. The fear Jonathan carried ever since finding his child in the Kryptonian pod was well-warranted, but his eagerness to protect Clark was the very thing that made Superman. And that scream Cavill lets out when Jonathan dies elevates the scene to a deeply emotional level. We may never see him sport the red-blue suit again, but at least "Man of Steel" proved Cavill could pull off the role in spades.