We’ll never be able to leap buildings in a single bound or move faster than a speeding bullet, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t strive for greatness– just a more realistic form of greatness. The Superman actor in this short bio-doc has the right idea, and doesn’t hold himself to the unrealistic standards of his character; he simply wants to portray Superman to the best of his ability and hopefully, make someone smile along the way. In essence, isn’t this what we all strive for? To portray the best version of ourselves and hopefully make someone a little happier in the process?
He is a friend, and he is an unassuming hero. I also think the fact that he is both awkward and a shy newspaper reporter makes him like everybody else. And yet he has another identity, this larger-than-life superhero. Sometimes we feel like Clark Kent, and sometimes, if we are lucky, we feel like Superman. – Christopher Reeve
But where did this Superman character come from anyway? Upon the demise of his home planet Krypton, this mysterious and chiseled man sought refuge on planet Earth. Feeling both saddened by the loss of his planet and filled with tenderness and a need to protect his new home, Superman was conflicted and lonely. He was the last of his kind navigating a strange new world full of shady dealings and crooked personalities. To fill the void inside of himself, he vied to be the best he could be and became a champion of social causes, swooping in with his red cape whenever there was a problem. His immense responsibility to use his powers to save the world made him feel isolated since no one else shared his burden. Superman has carved himself a permanent place in the American ethos because although he is larger-than-life, he’s very much flawed and isn’t a stranger to those negative emotions that we all experience.
Superman’s backstory reflects the plight of the immigrant who misses his old home and wants to keep his cultural traditions alive, yet also desires to assimilate into his new environment. Although Superman presents an extreme example, he also demonstrates our innate human need to make something of ourselves, to leave a legacy and make a difference.
We all do what we need to do. The Superman actor (whose name we never learn) portrays a compelling character in his daily life and lives by the mantra “ebay comes first” as he navigates a house scattered with Superman paraphernalia. Everyone is different. Some of us, like the Superman actor, may surround ourselves with someone we admire in hopes of absorbing some of their sparkle through osmosis. Others, like ‘Superman’s wife,’ may sink into the background while quietly supporting someone they love. You can’t be everyone’s hero, but you can be at least one person’s.