Henry Cavill: ‘Man of Steel,’ Superman legacy, being ‘Fat Cavill’

Henry Cavill is flying into theaters next month as Superman in Zach Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” the latest big-screen adaptation of the comic book superhero.

The actor, 30, who hails from the self-governing island of Jersey in the English Channel, hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings and is surprisingly self-conscious about his potential breakout role. Cavill has appeared in “The Tudors” and in “Immortals,” but playing the latest version of the titular character is likely to make or break his career, possibly catapulting him to super-stardom.

“This character matters so much to so many people,” Cavill says in the June/July issue of Details magazine. “I want to get that right. I want to do it justice. I want people to believe in the character and have faith in the character and kids to grow up wanting to be Superman.”

PHOTOS: 75 images of Superman

But the newly minted hear-throb has a pretty realistic perception of what it means to be an actor since he’s had a hard time establishing himself in Hollywood.


“The hardest part of acting … is not being guaranteed work. Every job could be your last.”

Cavill previously went out for huge roles, including James Bond (lost it to Daniel Craig) and a previous incarnation of Superman (lost it to Brandon Routh).

But this go at Clark Kent has him hyped.

“When I found out I got the part, I was home playing World of Warcraft,” he said. “Zack called, and I thought he was calling to let me down easy. But then it dawned on me that he was giving me the part. I had to play it cool. Be appreciative, respectful, professional. But the second we hung up, I just sprinted up and down my stairs cheering and whooping like a madman. I kept looking in the mirror, going, ‘I don’t believe it. I’m Superman? I’m Superman!’”

FULL COVERAGE: Superman on Hero Complex

“But I cannot wait for this movie to come out. The studio just showed me the completed cut. I literally asked to watch it twice in a row. I’m so excited. I just want to show it to the world.”

Cavill recently told Hero Complex that the latest iteration, which pulls solely from the comics as source material, won’t have the same gritty shroud that the “The Dark Knight” trilogy had. (Christopher Nolan directed and co-wrote the three Batman films and serves as a producer and co-writer for “Man of Steel.”)

“It very much is a story of hope,” he said. “Hope is strength and victory against adversity, or at least the hope of victory against adversity, and that is what Superman represents.”

The film has taken its time to get into theaters. It took only 62 days to shoot but has been in more than 16 months of post-production for producers to cajole the best possible version of the last son of Krypton.

“It’s the most realistic movie I’ve made,” Snyder told Hero Complex. “There’s no tongue in anyone’s cheek. I’m not apologizing for Superman in any way. I’m saying, ‘Superman is a thing that must be taken seriously and embraced and understood.’”

It’s a big weight for one man to carry, but his costar Amy Adams, who plays his lady love Lois Lane in the film, thinks Cavill is more than up for the task.

“Henry’s commitment was legendary,” she said. “He would get up to work out at 3 every morning so he’d look right in the suit all day. His discipline is extraordinary.”

“It takes a second to adjust, because Henry’s just so good-looking,” Adams said. “He’s dashing with just a hint of danger, and it’s kinda great. It’s super-hidden. But you know there’s a steeliness within him that makes the gentlemanly qualities all the more interesting.”

QUIZ: How well do you know the Man of Steel?

All this about a man who admits his childhood nickname was “Fat Cavill.” He finally whipped himself into shape at the age of 17 when he got a role in a filmed adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo.”

To play Superman, he tells the mag that he had to eat 5,000 calories a day to bulk up for the role.
“I will say I was a lot bigger as Superman… A lot bigger. I’m not saying how much. It’s modesty about the weight — I’ve always been worried about my weight — but I also don’t want to invite that debate: Henry weighs this, so he’s the perfect Superman. Or, Henry doesn’t weigh this, and therefore he’s not believable in the role.”

Cavill is currently dating MMA fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano, but he’s pretty mum about their relationship just saying, “she’s amazing.” The pair prefers to hang out close to home in Manhattan Beach.

“I’m not much of a schmoozer … not much of an eventgoer. I’d rather stay close to here. This doesn’t feel like L.A. It doesn’t feel like work.”

“Man of Steel” hits theaters June 14. The full June/July issue of Details is out June 4.


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