Henry Cavill at Shortlist Magazine

written by Annie V.VI

A new interview with Henry and another magazine cover and a gorgeous new photoshoot! Click the image for the rest of the photos

When he found out he was to play Superman in Man Of Steel, he reacted the way any of us would. Now, as the world waits to see him in the suit, Andrew Dickens meets Henry Cavill.

Superman: faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! The latter sentence describes the impact Henry Cavill’s casting as the cowlicked Kryptonian in Man Of Steel had on some cape-loving cinemagoers. This, after all, was a public school-educated Channel Islander with a reputation for getting his 16th-century kit off in The Tudors and a solitary leading role to his name (in Immortals), completing a British hat-trick of major superhero roles alongside Christian Bale’s Batman and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man.

The first sentence, however, does not describe Cavill’s journey to stardom. Often described as ‘the unluckiest man in Hollywood’, until a couple of years ago he was most famous for nearly being James Bond, nearly being Edward Cullen in Twilight – nearly being famous, basically.

He was even nearly wearing the cape in Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns. So, when he finally earned his Spandex, he must have felt like leaping over a very tall building in a single bound.

Most obvious question first: how did you feel when you got the part?

Clearly excited. I mean, it’s one of those things where you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re going, “I don’t believe it. I’m Superman.” And you keep repeating it. It’s so surreal that you need someone from Warner Brothers just to call you and say, “Hey, it’s real.”

How does this differ from past Superman films?

The one major difference from movies and TV shows past, is that this is very much grounded in reality. This is a real world – this is today’s world that just happens to have an invulnerable superpowered alien living in it – and that’s the great thing about it. It’s about a realistic setting with something unrealistic slammed in the middle of it, and how everyone reacts to that.

Did you gauge the response online?

Of course I did. People were saying, “You’re the most looked-at person on IMDB,” and I’m like, “What? You’re kidding me? I’ve got to go and check that out.” I certainly checked fan response throughout the movie to see how they felt, and to let me know if I was on the right track. If I’d had a really bad feeling about the movie, I wouldn’t be checking that stuff, but things felt like they were going well, so I thought it was fine to go and have a little look.

A couple of your compatriots, Christian Bale and Andrew Garfield, have also been cast as big-name superheroes. Did you seek advice?

I didn’t, actually. I did briefly speak to Chris Hemsworth at Comic Con, who played Thor. I just walked up to him and said, “Mate, I wanted to say hi, my name is Henry, I’m playing Superman. What’s it like?” He said “Don’t worry about it. The fans are a lot more supportive than you think. They’re behind you the whole way, so just enjoy it.” He’s a really nice bloke.

You came close to a couple of other roles – James Bond and Edward in Twilight. When you don’t get a role, does it hurt or motivate?

First of all, I want to set the record straight; with the Twilight thing, I think Stephenie Meyer was keen on me playing the role, but I was never approached with a script. The Bond thing is true, but when you get close to big stuff, your name is put in Variety or Empire saying you’re ‘the unluckiest guy in Hollywood’, and it’s actually a huge bonus – it gets you a name, and to land lead roles in Hollywood you need a name. I’m glad I didn’t get Bond, as Daniel Craig is the perfect guy to tell that story, and I don’t think I could’ve done it at that age [Cavill was 22 when he auditioned for Casino Royale]. He nailed it and is continuing to nail it.
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