For a long time, Sideshow’s lead sculptor Matthew Black couldn’t stop seeing the face of Christopher Reeve.
“I told my wife that, every time I closed my eyes, I saw the lifecast staring back at me. When I was at home, eating dinner, when I woke up in the morning. I had been looking at it for so long, studying it, and it kept…” He trails off thinking about it. “It kept with me.”
Used in the special effects industry in the creation of prosthetics, props and animatronics, the lifecast Black refers to is of the late star of the Superman films from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s chalky-white, the irrefutable reference of Reeve, right down to his imperfect nose. For months, it took center stage on Matt’s desk, surrounded by books, print-outs, and various reference images of the legendary actor from every angle.
“I could never let anyone else get ahold of that project,” Black laughs, the smoke rising from the burning wax on his desk. “I’ve always loved Christopher Reeve in particular as Superman. As a kid, I carried around a Superman action figure until the paint wore off. I had my Superman pajamas, Superman… everything.”
“Right after his accident, when I was in high school, I wrote him a long ‘Get Well Soon’ letter.” He pauses for a minute, looking across his desk, and smiles. “I’m not sure he had the chance to read it,” he admits, “but I felt better for sending it. He was my hero.”
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