Date of Birth
9 December 1979, Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Brandon James Routh
6' 2½" (1.89 m)
Brandon James Routh (pronounced like "south") was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in nearby Norwalk. He is the son of Catherine (Lear), a teacher, and Ronald Routh, a carpenter. He has English, Scottish, and German ancestry. Brandon attended the University of Iowa and starred in many productions at the Norwalk Theater of Performing Arts. His first professional acting role was in the ABC television series Odd Man Out (1999), and he went on to guest star in the series Gilmore Girls (2000) and Undressed (1999). He came to fame with Superman Returns (2006) and DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2016). In his spare time, Routh enjoys playing soccer and basketball, swimming, biking and reading.
Can play the trumpet and piano.
Went as Clark Kent/Superman for a Halloween party in 2003 and won a costume contest, only to receive the movie role one year later.
Dressed up as Batman for Halloween 2004.
His brother is a police officer in Des Moines.
Attended the University of Iowa
After being cast as Superman for Superman Returns (2006), he sought out a movement coach to help him create the proper body language for the Superman character.
Parents are Ron Routh and Katie Routh.
Unlike fellow Superman actors Christopher Reeve and Tom Welling, he is a huge Superman fan. As a kid, he collected the comics, owned the films, and even wore Superman pajamas.
Frequently says that the only good thing that came of his several years of struggling to find success in Hollywood was meeting his long-time girlfriend, Courtney Ford, in a coffee-shop after another failed audition. They became engaged in August 23, 2006, and married on November 24, 2007.
Attended the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA).
Cites Braveheart (1995) as his all-time favorite film.
Studied Scottish Literature.
Stepbrother-in-law of J.R. Orci.
Son, Leo James Routh, was born on August 10, 2012, weighing in at 8 lbs. and measuring 20.5 inches.
Both Brandon and Julie Davenport attended the National Bartending School in Sherman Oaks, California.
Preparing to film Superman Returns (2006), directed by Bryan Singer. [November 2004]
He is of English, some Scottish and German, and more distant Welsh, Irish, and Dutch, ancestry. His paternal grandparents were Amor Ellis Routh and Velma M. Junkin, and his maternal grandparents were John Junior Lear and Viola Lorraine Brown. All were born in his homestate of Iowa.
He has played the same character (Ray Palmer / The Atom) in five different series: Arrow (2012), The Flash (2014), DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2016), Supergirl (2015) and Batwoman (2019).
Went to high school with Aquaman, Jason Momoa in Norwalk, Iowa.
Auditioned for the role of Clark Kent (Superman) on Smallville (2001) years before landing the title role in Superman Returns (2006).
Is a descendant of William Brewster (c. 1566-1644), a noted Pilgrim, and wife Mary, who came over to Massachusetts, America, as Mayflower passengers. Other descendants are, Jordana Brewster, Isabella Brewster and Paget Brewster, making all four of them distant cousins of one another.
Deep resonant voice
[Talking about his work with a movement coach to capture Superman's physical presence]: "We worked on posture. Spine straight, hips forward, neck in line - just a clean motion moving through the world. [on the bright side] I slouch less."
[Talking about wearing the Superman costume]: "Very confining. But once you get past that - which is sometimes hard - it's also very empowering. First time I put it on, I felt... stronger. Like a different level of who I am. It makes playing the character much easier."
[When asked if he's ready for the changes that will follow in his life upon being cast as Superman]: "I have no idea. But I am prepared to be prepared."
I'm kind of slowly becoming a star. I've kept my sanity. I've learned along the way, all these months that I've been here and slowly doing interviews and the suit picture getting released on the Internet-all this has come very gradual, which has really helped me to get it straight in my head and not go over the top. I know that that's a minuscule amount of exposure that's going to happen. It's going to be all over the place and it's going to become ridiculous at some point. The other thing that I realize is that it's not me so much as the character and the icon of Superman.
People will like me, I think, because I do a good job in the film, but I also realize that the appeal isn't just me. It's the character. It's the film. It's what Superman stands for and brings to the table. Not just me.
[on being asked if he ever thought playing Superman would be bad for his career]: "No. I mean, I was wary of what being Superman meant to my life, the possibilities of what it might mean, but then I think of all the positives and that kind of takes it all away. There are a lot of negatives to not do it, too."
[on making the Superman character darker]: I don't know how much darker you want to make it necessarily. You make the stakes higher, you make the villain darker, I think that's a way to do it. But I don't think Superman himself needs to be darker. He definitely has to struggle, but I don't think Superman should ever be dark and brooding, that's not his nature. And that's not what people want to see.
I'm happy to have anyone as a fan, no matter race, religion, political party, sexual orientation, or sports team affiliation. [Interview, June 24, 2010]
[on being replaced by Henry Cavill as Superman] I would have liked to have done another movie. I love the character, and the fans are great. It has been an amazing family to be a part of. I feel like I still had more to do, and to grow as the character. But Henry [Cavill] is a great actor and has done a nice job. I'm happy for Superman fans that they get another film.