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The British actor has seen starring roles, but never anything like iconic comic-book hero Superman.
Henry Cavill wears blue jeans, flip-flops and a T-shirt while walking through a flock of diners at Fishbar restaurant, but it might as well be a form-fitting bodysuit and a red cape.
Maybe it’s his stride, physique, deep blue eyes and coiffed dark hair, the guy really does look like Superman, even while relaxing at a beach eatery.
“When my hair was longer months ago, you wouldn’t have said as much,” says Cavill, 30. “But at the moment, yeah, I guess there’s a certain resemblance.”
This “certain resemblance” was strong enough that director Zack Snyder nabbed the British actor to play the iconic comic-book character in Man of Steel, the much-awaited Superman reboot that hits screens June 14. It was also enough that Cavill was pursued for 2006’s Superman Returns, though he lost out to Brandon Routh when the project switched directors.
The experience of having come so close just makes snaring the Man of Steel role that much more poignant. It also gave Cavill some valuable training for the path-seeking character he portrays.
“I guess you can say Henry was born to play Superman,” says Snyder, noting the actor’s physical similarities. “But all these life experiences have come together. He’s gone through a journey. In our movie, Clark Kent gets jostled around by life and then becomes Superman. Henry has done the same thing.”
Cavill already has had an impressive career, including roles in 2002’s The Count of Monte Cristo, Showtime’s The Tudors and 2011’s Immortals (which had a No. 1 opening weekend with $32 million).
But he also has shrugged off high-profile setbacks such as losing out to Daniel Craig for the role of James Bond.
“Having had all the ups and downs maybe made me want to work all the harder,” Cavill says. “Yeah, bad things will happen to you. And you’ll get kicked (down) a few times. Stand up.”
But with Man of Steel, “I got lucky enough to have a second shot with different people whose vision I fit into,” he says.