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British 'Superman' in "Man of Steel"

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Intense body-building and mastering American English were two of the challenges Briton Henry Cavill had to take on for his lead role in "Man of Steel." 

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Henry Cavill shows off his sculpted physique in this Warner Bros photo.


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British 'Superman' in "Man of Steel"

LOS ANGELES (AFP)

Briton Henry Cavill becomes the latest actor to don Superman's famous red cape as "Man of Steel" hits theaters this week.

The heart-throb actor co-stars with Amy Adams as plucky reporter Lois Lane and Australian Russell Crowe as his other-worldly father Jor-El in the $225 million film.

Co-stars Amy Adams and Henry Cavill. AFP

Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play the couple who raise Superman as Clark Kent after he lands in their backyard in a space pod ejected by his real parents from the dying planet Krypton.

Cavill recalled being a Superman fan as a child growing up on Jersey, in the British Channel Islands.

"I was a kid running round the garden with a tea towel round his neck, beating up his brothers and stuff," he told AFP ahead of the film's release in the United States this week and around the world over the rest of June.

The 30-year-old was once dubbed "the most unlucky man in Hollywood" after losing out to Daniel Craig to become James Bond in 2005, and just failing to be cast in 2006's "Superman Returns".

But he finally got the call from seasoned action/sci-fi director Zach Snyder to play a character famously portrayed by Christopher Reeve in four movies from 1978 to 1987, before he was paralysed in a horse-riding accident.

Preparing for the role involved five months of gruelling physical training and specialised diets to build muscle mass while maintaining a lean physique, fully on display in the movie.

"Throughout the movie we did some fine-tuning, some sculpting, and then one very intense leaning period six weeks during the movie for the shirtless stuff," he said, referring to scenes before he dons the famous Superman suit.

Perfecting the US accent also took weeks of work with a voice coach to transform his English public school vowels into Midwest twang.

His Oscar-nominated co-star Adams, making her first major blockbuster movie, was impressed both with his accent – "it's pretty close to perfect" – and his acting skills.

"He has a physical presence as Superman... but then has this beautiful vulnerability and gentleness to him," she told AFP – while admitting that kissing Superman, near the film's climax, was less fun than some might think.

"People are always so disappointed when they find out the truth (that) kissing scenes are always so technical. But you know, it's all in a day's work, for a working lady," she joked coyly.

Vocabulary:

accent: a way of saying words that shows what country, region, or social class someone comes from - สำเนียง

beating: an act of hitting somebody hard and repeatedly, as a punishment or in a fight - การตีซ้ำๆ, การฟาดซ้ำๆ

cape: a loose piece of clothing without sleeves that hangs from your shoulders - เสื้อคลุมไม่มีแขน

cast: the actors in a film, play or show - คนแสดง

diets: the food and drink usually taken by a person or group - อาหาร

dubbed: given a name - ตั้งฉายา, ตั้งชื่อเล่นให้

gruelling: very difficult and tiring, needing great effort for a long time - ทำให้เหนื่อย

heart-throb: a famous man, usually an actor or a singer, that a lot of women find attractive -

muscle: a piece of body tissue that you contract and relax in order to move a particular part of the body; the tissue that forms the muscles of the body - กล้ามเนื้อ

other-worldly: seeming to belong in a spiritual, imaginary or other world - เกี่ยวกับโลกอื่น

paralysed: unable to move - เป็นอัมพาต

pod: part of a spacecraft or a boat that can be separated from the main part - ห้องที่แยกออกได้จากยานอวกาศหรือเครื่องบิน

portrayed: represented or described someone or something - พรรณา

raise: to bring up a subject for discussion - ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น

recalled: remembered - นึกทบทวน จำได้

release: making known to the public - การเปิดเผย, การปล่อย

reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว

role: an actor's part in a film or play - บทละคร

seasoned: having a lot of experience of a particular activity - มีประสบการณ์มาก

steel: A variety of iron intermediate in composition and properties between wrought iron and cast iron (containing between one half of one per cent and one and a half percent of carbon), and consisting of an alloy of iron with an iron carbide. Steel, unlike wrought iron, can be tempered, and retains magnetism. Its malleability decreases, and fusibility increases, with an increase in carbon. - เหล็ก

towel: a piece of cloth or paper used for drying things, especially your body - ผ้าเช็ดตัว

transform: to change from one form into another - เปลี่ยนไปสู่อีกสิ่งหนึ่ง

twang: the way that someone's voice sounds when they speak through their nose as well as their mouth - เสียงแหลม

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