In a 2016 retrospective from The Hollywood Reporter, Donner had nothing but kind things to say about working with Kidder. “When I met her in the casting office, she tripped coming in and I just fell in love with her,” says Donner. He saw the spirit she brought to the role from a mile away. There was one day, however, where someone from Kidder’s makeup team informed Donner that her eye had been scratched while putting in her contact lenses. Rather than trying to make it work, Donner suggested that she try working without them:
“That day she was wonderful, because she was wide-eyed, with no depth perception. She walked into a desk — and she was the girl I wanted her to be. She said, ‘But I can’t see!’ There was a law after that: Every morning people had to come to me and make sure she didn’t have her contacts in, and that she would act without her contacts. It just made her wonderful.”
It turned out to work in her favor, as it gave Lois a gentle aloofness when it came to the big Clark Kent disguise staring her right in the face. When Kidder sadly passed away in 2018, Donner only continued to sing her praises. According to her obituary from The Guardian, Kidder ended up having a great relationship with Donner to the point that she publicly stuck up for the “Lethal Weapon” filmmaker during the chaotic production of “Superman II.”
When Kidder and Reeve acted opposite one another under Donner’s direction, magic happened on that screen. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime Hollywood pairings that I’m grateful happened the way it did.
“Superman: The Movie” is currently streaming on HBO Max.