Name: Brandon Routh
Birth Name: Brandon James Routh
Height: 6′ 2½
Birth Date: October 9, 1979
Birth Place: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Education: University of Iowa
Brandon James Routh was on born October 9, 1979) and was a former male fashion model. He grew up in Iowa, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, subsequently appearing on several television series throughout the early 2000s. In 2004, he was cast in the title role in the 2006 film, Superman Returns.
Routh, the third of four children, was born in Des Moines, Iowa to Katie, a teacher, and Ron Routh, a carpenter; both of his parents play music in their spare time and his sister, Sara Routh, is a singer. Routh’s family, which is Methodist, has German, French, English and Native American ancestry. Routh grew up in Norwalk, Iowa, which was located approximately 100 miles south of Woolstock, the hometown of George Reeves, the second actor to play Superman. During his childhood, Routh thought that a full-time acting career was unrealistic, citing his small-town background.In his spare time, he played the trumpet and the piano. Routh attended Norwalk High School, where he played sports and participated in music and theatre. He describes himself as a “momma’s boy” and not “the most popular kid” during his school years.
Routh attended the University of Iowa for a year, aspiring to be a writer. During this time, he starred in several productions at the Norwalk Theater of Performing Arts, and modelled and acted in order to earn his tuition fee. Routh has said that he was always told that he bore a physical resemblance to Christopher Reeve, who had previously portrayed Superman. His former manager signed him on because of the resemblance, telling him that he thought Routh would be cast as Superman if there was another film in the series.
In 1999, Routh left the University and moved to New York and then Los Angeles, where he pursued a full-time acting career, first appearing as an extra in Christina Aguilera’s music video for “What a Girl Wants”. He was cast in his first major role in 1999, in an episode of the short-lived ABC television series, Odd Man Out. In 2000, he had a four-episode part on the third season of MTV’s nighttime soap opera, Undressed. Routh subsequently appeared on the WB’s Gilmore Girls (in a February 2001 episode, Concert Interupptus, playing an attendee of a Bangles concert), and earned steady work on the soap opera One Life to Live, playing Seth Anderson from May 23, 2001 until April 17, 2002.
Routh’s later primetime credits include guest roles on CBS’s Cold Case, NBC’s Will & Grace and Fox’s short-lived series, Oliver Beene. During this time, he worked as a bartender at a popular bowling alley in Hollywood, Lucky Strike Lanes, and shared an apartment with his sister.
Routh, now 25, had previously already auditioned for director McG and was spotted by Singer after he viewed Routh’s videotaped audition. Singer, who since noted Routh as being the embodiment of “our collective memory of Superman”, was impressed by his resemblance to the comic book icon and found the actor’s humble Mid-western roots perfect for the role, as well as his “combination of vulnerability and confidence” that Singer said reminded him of Christopher Reeve. Singer decided to cast Routh after the two met on August 13, 2004, but did not tell Routh until two months later, when Routh’s casting was announced in October of 2004, making him an “instant celebrity”. Filming for Superman Returns began in Australia in February of 2005. The film was released in the U.S. on June 28, 2006. Routh has already signed on to appear in two potential sequels to the film.
Routh has commented that he feared his performance would too closely resemble that of Christopher Reeve, and has said that he hopes he “remind[s] people of Christopher while at the same time making them feel like they’re seeing a totally new Superman”. Reviews of Routh’s performance are generally positive, with Newsweek noting that he “effortlessly lays claim to the iconic role”. On the other hand, film critic Roger Ebert noted that he thinks “Routh lacks charisma as Superman, and I suppose as Clark Kent, he isn’t supposed to have any”.
Routh has been dating Los Angeles-born actress Courtney Ford for two and a half years. The two collaborated on a short film subject, entitled Denial, that played at the Vegas Film festival. They currently live in Los Angeles together.