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Audiences of Superman Returns marveled at its unknown star, Brandon Routh, and the ease and confidence with which he delivered a substandard Christopher Reeve impression in his first big screen foray. A memory shared by his mother reveals how the actor's early, girl-shunning discipline and good-times abstention helped guide him to greatness:

The 26-year-old's parents were baffled when the hunky star snubbed the chance to hang out with other kids his age - until they realised how determined he was to make it to Hollywood.

Routh's mother Katie says, "I remember asking him why he didn't go out with the others. He turned to me and said: 'Mom, if you want me to, I'll go out. But they are doing drink and drugs, and I'm not into that.' I never asked him again. He was a very good-looking kid, but he did not date. He knew what he wanted to do and was in control."

The anecdote carries with it a great deal of comfort: We don't know how you like your fillers of iconic, red superboots, but we like them virginal, sober, and square as a slice of American cheese. Too many of our screen "heroes" hang their attributes up with their costumes, heading to the nearest whorelet-littered poker table the instant they hear the AD yell, "That's a wrap!" At least with Routh, parents can leave Returns secure in knowing that the boring guy on screen that their kids appear to have taken little to no interest in is just as flavorless in real life.