Michael Shannon wanted to make 'Man of Steel' villain Zod more human.
The actor - who plays Superman's arch rival in Zack Snyder's reboot of the classic superhero tale - feels his take on the character is more sympathetic than Terence Stamp's incarnation in 1980's 'Superman II' and hopes audiences will agree.
He said: ''As much as I love what Terence Stamp did in that movie, it was kind of opaque. It was impossible to have empathy for him. It was pure malice.
''We wanted to break down that wall a little bit so the audience might think, 'Yeah, I know what he's going through.' ''
Shannon says his character's name - General Zod - is a key to his on-screen alter-ego's personality and he isn't a typical villain.
He added to Empire magazine: ''His name's not Villain Zod or Monster Zod - it's General Zod. In the same way in the States we have General Patraeus. That's what he is. He's the best warrior on Krypton and he takes it seriously. I'm not saying he's a nice guy, but he doesn't exist just to be mean and give Superman a hard time.''
'Man of Steel' sees Henry Cavill adopt the famous red, blue and yellow costume as Superman/Clark Kent, while Amy Adams is set to play his feisty love interest, reporter Lois Lane.