■ The former Superman, 53, on horror films, Halloween and a potential return to super heroics
What are you up to in British horror film The Seven?
It’s a spooky film about a bunch of kids who stumble upon a dangerous ritual — it involves the supernatural and heaven and hell and young people putting themselves in danger. I’m the leader of the cult of bad guys. It’s always fun to play bad guys.
Your co-stars include Sinitta, Alex Reid and Jess Impiazzi. Did you know who they were?
No. You Brits have your own thing going on. I don’t watch reality shows, although I was on one, The Jump. James Argent was on The Jump so I met a lot of folks from that show about Essex.
Have you stayed in touch with anyone from The Jump?
With everyone — they’re a great bunch. I speak to Brian McFadden and Rebecca Adlington quite a lot — there’s a WhatsApp group of about ten of us. That show was so much fun. It’s a shame it’s not on any more.
That’s because there were lots of serious injuries…
Yes. I didn’t get hurt but I was a more accomplished skier than a lot of the others. There were pro athletes but it’s a different discipline. Singing didn’t help Brian McFadden much.
You’re about to start shooting a film you’ve written and are producing, directing and starring in…
Yes. My son just started university so that’s freed me up. I’m a single father, I raised him on my own. I was careful with the work I took and being away from home. Now that’s changed I can be anywhere and do anything.
Have you got empty nest syndrome?
I miss him terribly. He started university in July. He’s a five-hour flight away and I’ve visited him five times already.
Is he still happy to see you after five visits?
I asked him and he said he loves me visiting. I don’t bother him too much. He’s having a blast and I couldn’t be happier for him.
You’ve appeared in ten films this year. Why are you so prolific?
I know lots of people who make movies, lots of people ask each other for favours in the film and TV world, and I like to say yes. For this film, I flew myself out to be in it. You want your friends to succeed and I like to encourage people entering the business. I’ve done ten films but I wasn’t the lead in all of them. A friend’s doing a western — he knows I can ride a horse and shoot a gun so he’s just asked me to play the villain for three days.
You produced The Seven as well — is that why you paid for your own plane fare?
I know the budget restrictions and I won’t fly economy — not across the pond. There are a lot of egos involved with film-makers and actors but I want to be comfortable and paying the extra cost is worth it.
Do you enjoy being a producer?
It’s fantastic. I like the creative aspect of making movies and telling stories. Now I have time to do it I’ll be directing more as well. It’ll be a fun journey.
Do you celebrate Halloween?
I’ve been part of some epic Halloween parties. A lot of the time people didn’t know it was me as I was in costume. I don’t take it seriously if people wear offensive costumes. It’s supposed to be about having fun.
Have you dressed up as Superman for Halloween?
Absolutely not. But I have been dressed as Superman during Halloween when I was shooting the show so technically I suppose the answer is yes.
Are there plans for you to play the character again?
We’ll have to see. I’d love to see what happened to Lois and Clark, and how their love affair has progressed. I think they’d still be married and have a couple of kids, and I’d like to see how parenting has been for them. Teri Hatcher and I have spoken about it and think it would be a lot of fun because we ended the show on a weird note.
We ended season four with a baby being delivered to us. We didn’t know whose baby it was and that was the cliffhanger. We were about to start season five and Teri was pregnant. She had some problems and wasn’t able to shoot. We talked about shooting early and tried to work around it but the studio pulled the plug.
What are your unfulfilled ambitions?
Lots. For 20 years I’ve been very specific about the work I took as it had to fit in with being a father. I couldn’t leave LA or take the lead in any show so I turned down a tremendous number of opportunities. Raising my son was the most wonderful experience I’ve ever had, and I’m still not done, but now there’s so much more for me to do in terms of my career.
■ The Seven is streaming on Sky Store, Amazon and iTunes now