Christopher Reeve Had One Lucky Kid Convinced He Was Actually Seeing Superman

Before Superman started fighting villains to save the world, the superhero was practicing simpler good deeds — like stopping thieves and rescuing pets. With the current trajectory of the DC Extended Universe, we've seen Superman do some pretty incredible (and slightly out-of-character) things: whether it was killing General Zod, momentarily fighting Batman, or helping the Justice League.

Back in the 1970s, when Christopher Reeve took on the mantle of Superman, being a superhero had an undefined meaning. Sure, it meant stopping bad guys, but it also meant helping little girls and their pets ... which was just as heroic. Christopher Reeve experienced some memorable fan interactions while filming his Superman movies, whether it was watching a crowd break into applause when they saw him in full costume or interacting with a young boy while filming a scene. Reeve's Superman had a real heart for helping people ... and the actor did too: he had one lucky kid convinced he was seeing the real Superman going about his day.

Christopher Reeve is Superman

How great would it be to live in a world where you can peek outside your window and watch Superman out and about, flying, looking for his next great mission? For a young child back in the day, Christopher Reeve delivered a real surprise and had him convinced he was watching Superman when the actor was filming his scenes.

In "Still Me," Reeve's 1999 autobiography, which illustrates the actor's experience as the big screen Superman, the star was reminded of a day he was filming the 1978 film, the first of his superhero film franchise. The actor was rehearsing for a scene in New York City's Brooklyn Heights where Superman rescues a little girl's cat from a tree. The sequence required Reeve to rehearse all afternoon: the crane holding him took him past seventh-story windows of an apartment building, where a lucky child got to watch.

At multiple times during the day, Reeve was greeted by the young boy looking outside his window. For the actor, it was a complicated day of filming. For the child, it was a regular day in Metropolis.

Read the story from Reeve in his own words:

"My flight path took me past the seventh-story windows of an apartment building. I was wearing street clothes and the flying harness with my hair done Superman style as I flew over and over again past the same windows. At around five o'clock a kid of about seven pulled up the window in his room and called out, 'Hey, Superman, how ya doing?'"

A normal day in Metropolis

Reeve continued to have multiple interactions with the young fan throughout the day — he also invited Superman home for a spaghetti meal. 

"As I flew past him again, he called out, 'Hey, Superman, my mom says come on in, we're having spaghetti!' I thanked him but said I still had work to do. At about eight I was still rehearsing the shot (one of our problems was that the cat was getting restless), when my young friend opened the window again and said, 'Hey, Superman, take care, I gotta do my homework.' Finally, we started to film the scene. Take after take this kid would look up from his desk and wave as I floated by, trying to catch the elusive white cat. At eleven o'clock we were still shooting. (By this time the cat had been replaced by a dummy.) The window opened one last time. 'So, Superman, I gotta go to bed. I'll see ya!' I guess from his point of view it was just a normal day in Metropolis."

It's very endearing to read how Reeve fondly looked back at his superhero days. The actor's iteration of Superman had much heart and reverence and is still remembered as one of the most authentic onscreen representations of the comic book character we dearly love.