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Watch The Screen Tests of Lois Lane from 1978’s Superman

Bringing a comic book character to life on the screen is not easy.

Bringing a comic book character to life on the screen is not easy. An actor must create the right alchemy – playing it “big” while staying truthful – and fans of the character have long-held presuppositions of how the persona should look and act. But when done well, like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine or Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, the role can be iconic.

The same goes for the more “mortal” characters in superhero films. Take Lois Lane, for example. Not an easy part. An actor has to be strong, smart, independent but still crazy enough to fall madly in love with an alien from planet Krypton.


The screen tests of various actresses up for the role of Lois in 1977 classic Superman show numerous takes on the iconic character, and several talented actresses interpretations. Highlights include Stockard Channing, hot off the heels of her portrayal of Rizzo in Grease, giving Lois an unflustered confidence; Anne Archer (who would later appear in Fatal Attraction) playing Lois with a flustered intelligence; and Leslie Anne Warren playing Lois with a flustered insanity.

But it’s Margot Kidder who really captures the character, and the spark between her and Christopher Reeve is palpable. Her screen tests are a lesson in good acting, good casting, and that indefinable thing called “chemistry.”

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