“The unluckiest man in Hollywood” now has been tapped for two major starring roles.
Not that long ago the British film magazine Empire called British actor Henry Cavill “the unluckiest man in Hollywood.”
Cavill, a native of the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands near France, was almost Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies, but Robert Pattinson got the nod. He had been cast as the new Superman, only to lose the job to Brandon Routh when the project changed directors. He almost won the Edward Cullen part in “Twilight” (Pattinson, again) and had been in the running to be the new James Bond.
“The funny thing is, that the roles I almost had are the ones that kept me going,” he says. “Because almost getting Bond or the previous Superman were a sign, to me, that I should keep on plugging. And I was right. It’s turning into a great year.”
The fortunes of Cavill, 28, changed with “Immortals,” the new 3-D sword and sorcery spectacle. The actor hitherto known as a supporting player on TV’s “The Tudors” shed his shirt to play Theseus, the mythical warrior/founder of Athens, battling to save humanity when Titans (led by Mickey Rourke) take on Zeus and the Olympians of ancient Greece.
“When Tarsem [Singh, the director] and I first met, I did a screen test and he said, ‘OK, let’s take the shirt off. By the way, you know if you get this part, a six-pack won’t be good enough. You’re going to need an eight-pack.’ I was far from having even a six-pack, then. But I took it as a challenge.”
Cavill could let himself go, physically, for a role in the upcoming Bruce Willis movie “The Cold Light of Day.” Then “Man of Steel,” the next Superman incarnation, beckoned. Director Zack Snyder (“300”) put Cavill into the suit and decided he could work with that.
“Back to the gym,” Cavill said with a sigh.
Cavill is finally at that point where doors open and auditions for roles might be a thing of the past. He doesn’t plan to make every character “larger than life,” pursuing more human-sized roles. But he has a dream part in mind, should anybody bother to ask.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Alexander the Great,” he says. “It’ll be years before anybody tries that again. But I’ll keep my legs in shape for when they do!”