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LOS ANGELES — Long before the new Man of Steel, actor Terence Stamp delivered the screen General Zod of a generation. Stamp portrayed Superman’s Kryptonian arch enemy opposite Christopher Reeve in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980).
“I can’t go out on the street in London without somebody saying, “’It’s Zod!’ It’s fun for me,” said Stamp in a recent interview, adding he’d yet to see Man of Steel, which casts Michael Shannon as Zod.
Thirty-five years since Superman, Stamp returns to theaters in the dramedy Unfinished Song, which opens stateside this weekend after an overseas run with an alternate title, Song for Marion.
Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave play English pensioners Arthur and Marion. He’s a codger; she is full of life, but dying. And yet this is no odd couple. They are something rarely seen in entertainment: Earthbound, elderly soul mates.
Eventually, Marion drags Arthur into an over-60s singing group, which has a repertoire including everything from the smoothest Stevie Wonder to Salt-n-Pepa’s hip-hop classic “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
“[Talk] is all I can do at the moment,” he continued, laughing. “I’m past my sell-by date,” said the 74-year-old Stamp
In a separate interview, co-star Redgrave said that between takes on the set, she loved listening to Stamp’s stories. “What I remember most about Terence was his enthralling discussions about all kinds of experiences ... to do with voice.”
“I worked with Olivier briefly on my second movie (Term of Trial, 1962),” Stamp recalled. “And he said to me, ‘You should always study your voice.’” Stamp then segued into a spot-on Olivier impersonation, continuing, “’Because, as you get older, your looks go, but your voice will become empowered.’”