Russell Crowe Talks Intense Training For Man Of Steel: ‘I Didn’t Realize I Would Be Wearing Spandex!’

Russell Crowe is no stranger to having to transform his body for a film role, but gearing up to play Superman’s dad, Jor-El, in “Man of Steel” was still an intense experience.

“It was massive,” he told Access Hollywood at the “Man of Steel” junket of his training routine. “It was probably not since ‘Cinderella Man,’ and prior to that, ‘Gladiator,’ I suppose. It was really intense.

“When I signed on… well, one, I didn’t realize that I would be wearing spandex — ‘cause you know that’s Superman’s costume — I didn’t realize that I’d have to fit into it as well,” the actor continued. “But, I also didn’t realize the type of organizer that [director] Zack Snyder is, ‘cause this was really old school prep. This is sort of [‘Lawrence of Arabia’ director] David Lean level preparation, and I really appreciated him. And I was on the movie for three-and-a-half or four months before I even got in front of the camera.”

WATCH IT NOW: Russell Crowe Discusses ‘Massive’ & ‘Intense’ Training For ‘Man Of Steel’

Russell famously turned down playing Wolverine (and suggested his pal Hugh Jackman for the part), but for “Man of Steel,” which involves characters who come from the comic book world, the Australian actor found his hook in playing the father of Superman.

“I’m a dad. I got two boys — 9 and 6, so you know, I could kind of feel it happening while I was reading the script for the first time, where it’s like, ‘OK, this is getting me on a different level.’ Because I wasn’t necessarily inclined to do a cartoon movie,” Russell told Access. “But, I don’t think this is. I think this steps way beyond that.”

WATCH IT NOW: Henry Cavill & Russell Crowe’s Fateful First Meeting

“Man of Steel,” starring British actor Henry Cavill, hits movie theaters on June 14, 2013.

-- Jolie Lash

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