Entertainment Celebrities

Routh readies 'Crooked Arrows'

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency
Brandon Routh. REUTERS FILE

Brandon Routh. REUTERS FILE

The Artist Formerly Known As Superman, Brandon Routh has long been aware he had indigenous heritage from the Midwest Kickapoo people.

"It's several grandparents back, far enough removed that it wasn't in my life, unfortunately," Routh says over the phone from Boston, where Crooked Arrows, his new Mighty Ducks-ish film about a ragtag team of native lacrosse players was having its premiere.

As for Canada's national sport, his only exposure was, "a unit in PE in 8th Grade where we used plastic sticks. It wasn't real big in Iowa."

So he was intrigued when producer J.Todd Harris -- with whom he'd worked on a previous indie Miss Nobody -- called him up with some straightforward questions.

"He asked whether I had native blood and whether I played Lacrosse. Those were his first questions, and I said 'Yes, a little bit, and no, not really.' And he said 'Okay, well, here's the script.'

"It's a mix of Bad News Bears and Mighty Ducks. Getting to educate myself about this part of my heritage was a plus, and I was eager to play the sport. I grew up playing soccer and was excited to have to learn a new sport for my job."

Increasingly, Routh's one-off portrayal of Superman in Superman Returns is starting to look like a blip in his career.

His bio since has been full of indie films and quirkier major flicks like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (he also had a recurring role as a villain in the recently-cancelled Chuck).

"The challenge is getting people to see the movies I'm doing now. Thanks to Netflix, people see more and more of them. More people are able to see a movie like Flick, a relationship indie drama I did with my wife (Courtney Ford) in '07."

As you read this, Routh and Ford are imminently expecting their first child.

And dad will be paying the bills with his new sitcom, Partners, which debuts on CBS next fall. The series, from the producers of Will & Grace, follows two business partners, one straight and one gay, and their respective romantic partners.

Routh plays the boyfriend of Michael Urie (Ugly Betty).

"It's a pretty easy work schedule," Routh says.

"So I'll have the time to come home and be a dad. In the next few weeks, it's all going to collide -- work time and baby time."