Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill
Most Dashing Duke
6' 1" (1.85 m)
Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands. His mother, Marianne (Dalgliesh), a housewife, was also born on Jersey, and is of Irish, Scottish and English ancestry. Henry's father, Colin Richard Cavill, a stockbroker, is of English origin (born in Chester, England). Henry is the second youngest son, with four brothers. He was privately educated at St. Michael's Preparatory School in Saint Saviour, Jersey before attending Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, England.
His interest in acting started at an early age with school play renditions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and Sonny LaTierri in "Grease". He also starred and directed Shakespeare's "Hamlet" in the BBC documentary "40 Minutes". It was at age 17 when Henry was discovered by casting directors at school who were looking for a young boy to play Albert Mondego in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). He went on to star in Laguna (2001), appear in BBC's The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001), the television film Goodbye, Mr. Chips (2002), and the television series Midsomer Murders (1997).
When Henry was 20 years old, he gained starring roles in I Capture the Castle (2003), Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), Red Riding Hood (2006) and Tristan + Isolde (2006). He also had a minor role in the fantasy-adventure epic Stardust (2007) alongside Sienna Miller and Ben Barnes. During 2007-2010, Henry had a leading role on the television series The Tudors (2007) as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The series was a success and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2007 and won an Emmy Award in 2008. Entertainment Weekly named him "Most Dashing Duke".
He also starred in Blood Creek (2006) and Woody Allen's comedy film Whatever Works (2009). On January 30, 2011, it was announced that Henry Cavill had been cast as the next Superman in Man of Steel (2013), making him the first non-American actor to play Superman. The movie was directed by Zach Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, and scripted by David S. Goyer. On November 7, 2011, Henry starred in Tarsem Singh's fantasy-adventure epic Immortals (2011) alongside Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto and Luke Evans. On September 7, 2012, Henry starred in the action-thriller Cold Light of Day (2003) alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver.
On June 10, 2013, Man of Steel (2013) kicked off its world premiere in New York City followed by London, Bailiwick of Jersey, Sicily, Madrid, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. The movie became the highest-grossing Superman film to date, and the second-highest-grossing reboot of all time behind The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). Glamour magazine ranked him the #1 "Sexiest Man". In August 2014, Henry became the Ambassador for Durrell Wildlife Park and created a website and social media called #CavillConservation to help raise funds and awareness for his love of animals and conservation. On November 3, 2014, it was announced that Cavill, his brother Charlie, and London-based producer Rex Glensy, have formed their own British production company, Promethean Productions.
On August 7, 2015, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) began its premiere tour with a people's premiere at the famous Somerset House in London, followed by its world premiere in New York City, then Toronto, and Rio de Janeiro. Cavill reprised his role as Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017).
His dream role is to play Alexander the Great.
Likes rugby, but no longer plays due to injuries.
Author Stephanie Meyer based the description of Edward Cullen in her Twilight novels on Henry and even lobbied for him to play the role before Robert Pattinson was cast, but he was considered too old to play a 17-year-old by the time the film was produced.
In 2005, Henry became a young contender for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), and performed in a final screen test. However, the producers believed Henry was too young for the role, and gave it to Daniel Craig. He also under heavy consideration and auditioned for the role of Superman in Superman Returns (2006), but eventually the role was given to Brandon Routh. Due to all this, Empire magazine dubbed Henry Cavill "the most unlucky man in Hollywood" in December 2005.
Says if he had not picked up acting, he would have joined the armed forces to fulfill his "patriotic pride".
Has an interest in Ancient History, especially in Egyptology, Greek, and Ancient Rome.
In being cast as Superman in Man of Steel (2013), he becomes the third British actor to play the lead role in reboot of a successful screen adaptation of an American comic book series. Before him, Christian Bale was cast as Batman, and Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.
Is the first non-American actor to play Superman.
Is a huge fan of video games.
Lost two roles to Robert Pattinson: Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and the role of Edward Cullen in Twilight (2008) which author Stephanie Meyer had described him as "Perfect for".
His favorite movie is the epic drama Gladiator (2000).
His favorite actor is Russell Crowe. He will be playing the son of Crowe's character Jor-El in Man of Steel (2013).
Has a knack for languages. He's already fluent in French, has conversational skills in Italian and German, and can order a beer in Czech.
Started a tradition in 2012 for giving out commemorative coins as a token of appreciation to people he has worked with. They include Gym Jones who helped Henry get physically fit for Superman, and crew members of Man of Steel (2013), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Henry's last name 'Cavill' is pronounced like the word 'travel'.
Resides in London, United Kingdom and Jersey, Channel Islands.
His older brother, Major Niki Richard Dalgliesh Cavill, received an MBE as a heroic Royal Marine for keeping the vulnerable safe in a hostile environment in Afghanistan.
Has worked with actor Bill Nighy twice, once in I Capture the Castle (2003) and also The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001).
Is a huge fan of comic books although he says he did not get to read them growing up due to his time at boarding school.
His favorite Superman storylines and the ones he used for inspiration are "Death of Superman", "Return of Superman", "Superman: Red Son" and "Earth-One". He is also a huge fan of Grant Morrison's "New 52" work.
His favorite Superman story arc is "New Krypton" by Geoff Johns.
For his role as Clark Kent/Superman in Man of Steel (2013), he followed a strict work-out regimen and consumed 5000 calories a day for six months. He also dyed his hair black.
He did not watch any previous Superman films or television series while making Man of Steel (2013), using the comics solely as a reference for his portrayal of Superman.
He achieved 6% body fat for Immortals (2011) and then went even further for Man of Steel (2013) where he achieved a body fat percentage of 3%, which is what body-builders reach during competitions.
During his childhood he was bullied a lot at school for his chubbiness and known as "Fat Cavill" because he was fat as a kid. He started to turn things around when he landed a role in the movie The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) where he had to lose a lot of weight to get the part. The biggest turning point came when he landed the lead role in Immortals (2011). Cavill went shirtless for half the movie and sported extremely chiseled eight pack abs that vowed the audience. He has never been called "fat" since then.
Played a role with the name Colley twice, and back to back. Soldier Colley in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (2002) and Stephen Colley in I Capture the Castle (2003).
Was engaged to British Showjumper Ellen Whitaker in May 2011, but separated later that same year. They met at the 2009 Olympia International Horse Show in London.
Ranked the #1 "Sexiest Man" by Glamour magazine (2013).
Voted as one of the "World's Sexiest Men" in a poll by Attitude (2013), behind Tom Daley.
While working as an extra in A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cavill asked Russell Crowe for advice about acting, since he had aspirations of pursuing a full-time career as an actor. A few days after their conversation, he received a box of gifts from Crowe that included a signed picture of him in Gladiator (2000) with the words, "Dear Henry: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" written on it. Crowe would later play Henry's father in Man of Steel (2013).
Is the first actor since Christopher Reeve to play the role of Clark Kent/Superman in more than one film.
Good friends with Luke Evans, Jason Momoa, Luca Calvani and Armie Hammer.
Henry's paternal grandparents, Richard Cavill and Gladys Jesse May Smith, were English. Henry's maternal grandfather, Alan Gardner Dalgliesh, was born in Guatemala, of English and Scottish descent, while Henry's maternal grandmother, Mary Kathleen O'Donnell, was Irish.
Bought an American Akita dog in January 2014 from Big Bear Akitas breeders in Arkansas, United States. Henry named him Kal, after his role as Superman. Fans have nicknamed his dog, Super Puppy.
Henry participated in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) training programme during his time as a student at Stowe School.
Traditionally wears a signet "gentleman's" ring featuring his family coat of arms on the small finger of his left hand.
His fans have been called ''The Cavillry''.
Attended the London premiere of Suicide Squad (2016) along with fellow Justice League (2017) cast member Jason Momoa. [August 2016]
In 2002, he appeared in both The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (2002). Both were remakes of earlier films that originally starred Robert Donat in the title roles.
Admitted during an interview with Conan O'Brien that he narrowly missed the call from Zack Snyder, informing him that he had won the coveted role of Superman because he was busy playing World of Warcraft. Cavill said he only noticed Snyder's name on Caller ID at the last second and by the time he put his hand on the phone to pick it up, it was too late, so he called Snyder back immediately, jokingly stating he was busy saving someone's life.
Was director Martin Campbell's choice for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), but he was outvoted by the producers who felt he was too young for the role. The role went to Daniel Craig.
Strong, defined jawline
Macho, heroic, stoic characters
With Twilight (2008), there were all sorts of rumors going around, [but] I was never sent a script, never asked to be in the film... I think Stephenie Meyer wanted me initially when she saw me in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), but by the time the movie went into pre-production I was too old. Batman (Batman Begins (2005)), I may have been spoken about in a room at some stage, but never auditioned or screen-tested. Superman (Superman Returns (2006)), yes, that came very close. And Bond (Casino Royale (2006)) came very close as well.
[on understanding the importance of playing Superman] Very much so, yes. It's important to do the role justice. There are a lot of people relying on me to do this well. I gladly accept that responsibility, and it's a great one to have because it's a wonderful opportunity. I don't let the pressures get to me because that's going to hinder my performance and, therefore, let people down. So I choose to ignore the pressure side of it and focus on doing justice to Superman.
[on how he got his eight pack for Immortals (2011)] You can train and train until you are blue in the face but you've got to diet, you've got to have that leanness because if you are not lean, your abs won't show. Of course, the training has to be put in, but then you've to shed all the fat and keep the fat off. And that's how you get an eight pack.
[on the anxiety he faced before the filming of his shirtless scenes for Immortals (2011) where he was required to show a perfectly ripped eight-pack] It's very stressful waking up Monday morning and saying, "Can I still see that vein in my abs?" You get the fear every morning, "Do I look good enough?" And of course, you do. But in your own head, you never look good enough. I had a big sense of pride. I was like, "No shading. I don't want you to draw abs on me. I don't want you to put dirt in the right places. I just want to do it myself. I want to have the body." It's a pride thing.
I suppose that when I'm building a character, it's usually related to what their family is like and who their parents are, as well as how I grew up - that nurture side.
[on the "Man of Steel" version of Superman] We've given him a very human essence. As much as he's not susceptible to the frailties of the human physical body, he's very much susceptible to the frailties of the human psyche, and that is what really keeps us in touch with someone else, makes us go, "I know your pain", or "Yeah, I've felt that happy before". We've brought that to the character.
[explaining the current fascination with superheroes in the movies] It's the same thing we've always needed, which is that sense of hope. There's always something wrong in the world. It just shifts depending on the generation. And it's always nice to have that fantasy where there's someone who's going to fix everything. It's beating the odds, and that's been the same with mythological characters since the dawn of time, since we could think up gods.
[on the Program he followed to achieve his Superman physique] It was work... a lot of work! I have always loved sports and physical activities, but I have never worked out like this before. To become Clark Kent, I had to be the best friend of Mark Twight, my trainer! The program involved three stages. The first was to gain weight/mass. So I spent weeks eating nearly 5000 calories daily while lifting extremely heavy, to grow bigger. I love eating, so this stage was not difficult for me, even though I can understand that some people end up having enough of drinking protein shakes 1000 calories a glass. At the end of this stage, I looked like a swole bodybuilder, and I felt like I was going to explode. The second stage was to lose fat to sculpt the muscles. I had to do hours and hours of cardio to burn all the fat. And in the last stage, we targeted specific areas of the body. Mark helped me to make my abs bulge out and my muscles more defined. The workout program was designed according to the needs of the film. The only thing I did not like is the rowing machine, a machine that simulates the movement of rowing. It is torture!
[on auditioning for the Superman role in Christopher Reeve's original costume] It was petrifying, mortifying and embarrassing all at the same time. I was coming off a movie where I had to be out of shape, and then I had gone through Christmas, so I was extra out of shape. I just had to throw on the Lycra-like outfit, and that never looks good when it's basically a sort of sausage casing.
Entering the acting world, it's a very lonely life. You all get so close, and then you promise to e-mail and text each other, but you never do. So that idea of being a sort of lone traveler I can definitely associate with.
[on whether his abs were digitally enhanced in Man of Steel (2013)] Oh that's 100 per cent me, believe me. And I am not afraid of saying it because I went through hell to get them.
[on enjoying being Superman despite the hard work it entails] I'm really enjoying it, getting my hands dirty and just immersing myself in the job. I'm just coming off of a 45-day lean because there were various shirtless scenes and representing Superman in that physical way both efficiently and sufficiently for the fans. I'm sure you probably saw [the pictures] online over the past month. To lean and to train and to work 12 hours a day is taxing on the willpower and the body, but the stuff [images and footage] we're getting is fantastic. And I get to wake up every morning and say, "I'm Superman." I'm not complaining.
[on enjoying the experience of being in shape for Immortals (2011)] Training to that level is difficult enough but when you're also 'leaning' [stripping away all fat from the body to get ripped] for 10 months, it's insane. Being in that kind of shape is something everyone should do at least once. It's a great feeling - and I don't mean that in an arrogant way. You go to the gym, train hard and learn how far you can push yourself.
[on how his appearance changed after he had trained to become Superman] The body got harder and leaner. But the biggest change was the waist getting smaller. A lot smaller. I genuinely had to throw my clothes out, since my shoulders are too big and my waist is too small. Everything just doesn't fit like it used to. I have never been this big.
[on how he is able to achieve such great results in the gym] I'm incredible strong-willed and if I decide I'm going to do something then I won't stop until it's done. I'm driven. There are points during training where you could slow down and not beat your previous numbers or keep going and definitely puke. There's a switch in your head where you say 'sod it'... And you do it. I never collapse after a workout. You don't lie there like you are defeated, you stay standing.
[on being asked whether he looks like Superman] When my hair is longer, I wouldn't say as much. But yeah, I guess there's a certain resemblance.
[on why he maintains his buff physique even when not filming Superman] If I'm walking around an unhealthy mess, it might damage people's idea of what Superman is. So there is a responsibility.
[on being disappointed that he had to get out of shape for Cold Light of Day (2003)] I had to get out of shape for the job in between [Immortals and Man of Steel] - The Cold Light of Day. My brief for that was, "Look like a regular person, you look too fit. No push-ups, no sit-ups, just eat pizza and burgers and drink beer." As everything starts to soften up, you're going, "Oh no, all that hard work I just wasted." I'm now in shape again. I got [my muscle definition] back and I plan on not losing it. I don't care what they offer me."
[on the rewards of working out constantly] There is a reward. As much as it hurts and painful as you are going through it, when you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, you go "Okay! This is why I am doing it. That makes sense."
[on feeling stressed before filming his shirtless scenes for Immortals] I felt the pressure at that point. I had to be in a certain kind of shape, it was getting close to punch day, and I only had so long left to recondition the body. I was a bit stressed over that. That's been the most difficult thing, just maintaining that throughout.
[Which film does he think he got in the best shape for] The body types of Superman [Man of Steel] and Theseus [Immortals] are very different. Training related to Theseus is very much a body weight, cardiovascular type training which will give a very lean, and not bulky body. Whereas Superman is very much a weight lifting program with an awful lot of power workouts as well which creates a far larger broader body. I am twenty pounds heavier as Superman, but just as lean as Theseus. It is all down to personal preference in the end.
[on the challenge of the Immortals shoot] Getting in shape was a tough challenge. It was staying in shape, without going on a killing spree, which was the really difficult thing. At 6% body fat, you are working 14 hours days, doing fight choreography, getting half hour lunches, having to stay in shape, having to train when you can and not being able to eat much. It's a real challenge to keep yourself professional and not losing your temper while juggling all the training with it. That was the biggest challenge.
[on filming shirtless almost for the entire film Immortals] It's like wearing a permanent costume really. Before work when you look in the mirror, or even before looking in the mirror you do feel different. A part of the character is more expressive in you. When you're in that kind of shape, I essentially was wearing my costume because I barely had a costume. Yeah, it certainly does help.
[on the "leak" of his shirtless set photos from Man of Steel] It's just one small sequence in the movie but people like to take a lot of photographs of it whenever they get the opportunity. I'm not necessarily being shot in the best, most flattering of lights [in the leaked photos], but I put the hard prep work into it. It'll help when people see these photos beforehand, to sell them more on the character. The best part is people are seeing all the work that's gone into it. I think I won a lot of people over. When you are doing it all for them, its wonderful to have people online going, "This is great, this is amazing, I can't wait. Thank goodness it's him." It's wonderful!
[on how playing Theseus in Immortals prepared him for playing Superman] The physical experience prepped me for [Superman's] physical experience. I've learned that when you go to this kind of level, it's no longer about the physical, it's more about the mental. It's about the will power to push yourself into that very dark place. You're standing next to the precipice and you've got that weight on your shoulders and you're only halfway through the workout and you need to push yourself off and just go into that big fuck-off black hole and keep on pushing, and Immortals prepped me for that emotionally and mentally in the physical sense.
[on himself being impressed with how he looked on screen] I have shrunk down to a more normal size now. You should have seen me then. I was considerably bigger. There are a couple of shots of me that I think, "My goodness. I was definitely a large chap."
[on being careful about taking off his shirt in public] Due to the nature of the public eye and the media, it could be a risky move [to be shirtless in public] without being in wicked shape, even taking your shirt off at the beach. You set yourself up for too much criticism and speculation on the Internet. So, I'm keeping all my semi-nudity private for now.
[on shaving his chest for Immortals] It is extremely excruciating but I gotta say waxing has its advantages in that you end up looking more defined.
[on feeling worried about his shirtless scenes] You are sitting there going, "I haven't done enough, I haven't done enough! I need to do more. I am not lean enough. I am not big enough."
[on his first interaction with Mark Twight, his trainer for Superman] He asked, "Would you like to use steroids or HGH (human growth hormone) to get to where you want to go?" I immediately said no. And he said, "Good. Because if you did, I wouldn't train you." To take a shortcut to get to that place is not what Superman represents. That was important to me.
[on his muscles ripping his clothes open] [In the middle of the filming] of Man of Steel, I had a suit tailored for the Immortals premiere. At that stage, I was at my very leanest, it was just after shooting my shirtless scenes [for Man of Steel]. At the very end of the [filming of Man of Steel], I put that suit on again for a photoshoot we were doing and I ripped the seams, the inside seams, just because my thighs were that much bigger.
[on deliberately trying to pick different roles from Superman] I definitely chose this role [The Man from U.N.C.L.E.], to be contrary to Superman. Because when you have a movie of that size [Man of Steel] come out it's human inclination to say 'I now know what that person is', and you have to fight against that as an actor. Not that I am going to go crazy and play a meth-head transsexual guy, but I want the freedom to show the audience that I have range. The first time people saw me on a world scale was Superman and that's not necessarily what I do.
[on whether money is important in the movie business] All those people who say, "Oh no, the money doesn't matter." Yeah, right. They're either mad, or they're lying. I mean, come on. "Oh no, don't pay me anything, it's for the arts." I'm sorry, no. Pay me the money. I'm not doing it for charity. I'm not a nonprofit organization.
[on wanting to be a leading man in Hollywood] I want to be one of those names that producers want to hire because you put bums on seats.
[on what he has to give up while keeping in shape for Superman] Guinness is what I crave, but it is not ideal for six pack abs.
[on the difference between playing the iconic roles of Superman and Napoleon Solo] When I get my shirt off [as Solo], I don't have to be looking completely shredded because [Solo's] just a spy in the 60s in a movie which doesn't take itself too seriously. Taking your shirt off for a movie involves starving yourself, and that's no fun when you are working 15-hour days. I look great, have an eight pack [as Superman], but it was a relief just to focus on the acting [as Solo].
[on not having abs in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)] There's on season and there's off-season. And its enjoyable being off-season [as Napoleon Solo] because when you are on season [as Superman] it's hard work and you are starving. As much as everyone loves the idea of guys have six packs and eight packs, you are starving when you have them. It looks good but its no fun.
[on how he plans to succeed in Hollywood] There are people who are better looking than I am and people who are better actors than I am. I just have to beat them to the chase.
[on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)] It's my favorite movie so far.
[on girls always expecting him to have a Superman physique] There's a blessing in being Superman. You get more attention. But there's also a curse, which is that you'd better fucking look like Superman any time you need to get your kit off. I'm very self-critical and I use that to motivate myself. I would refuse to believe girlfriends who reassured me that my weight is fine. If I look in the mirror, I might say, "You're looking good!" Other days, because I'm off-season and haven't been training, I tell myself, "Look at you, you fat fuck, you're a mess. If you were to meet a bird out in a bar and bring her home, she's expecting Superman. This is not Superman and she's going to be mega-disappointed."
[on getting an erection while filming a sex scene] A girl had to be on top of me, she had spectacular breasts, and I hadn't rearranged my "stuff" into a harmless position. She's basically rubbing herself all over me and, um, it got a bit hard. It's not great when you're in a professional acting environment and somebody gets a boner, is it? I had to apologize profusely afterward.
[on who is cooler between Napoleon Solo and Superman] Napolean Solo is cooler. As far you rate someone by just interacting with them, Napolean would be far more enjoyable to interact with.
[on his dream to be James Bond one day] Bond would be wonderful to play one day. I wouldn't play the same kind of character as Daniel Craig, but hopefully I can do something that will do justice to the legacy. Barbara or Mike [the producers], if you're reading this, give me a call...
[on the prospect of using Tinder] Superman can hardly go on Tinder, can he? Actually it would probably be a lot easier...
[on sex scenes being unsexy to film] You don't think of sex scenes as showing your bum to the nation. It's actually acutely uncomfortable being naked in a roomful of people. The very last thing it is is sexy. The actual physicality is very uncomfortable. All you're doing is smacking your nuts against someone, and nothing is going in.
[on who would he pick between Wonder Woman and Lois] Who is better for a super-powered alien, a human [Lois] or a goddess [Wonder Woman]? The goddess can do all the things which we would think are normal in a relationship, and not have any fear of Superman. But you also need to have that baseline of humanity, which Lois provides. So that's more of a debate than an answer.
[on the effect Superman has had on his love life] When you meet girls, you almost have to prove yourself doubly as a man because they think, "Oh, he's probably a dick." I need to get better at approaching women. But boo-hoo, it's not that bad!
[on whether he would ever consider losing his physique for a role] I'd prefer not to, to be honest.
[on how is he different from Napoleon Solo] I'm not quite as much of a rogue as Solo.
[on what motivates him to keep playing Superman] [To continue to expand on Superman] and the money. There are some actors out there who are all, "Hey, I live in a cardboard box and I'll perform on that cardboard box if I have to." That's pretty much bullshit. Acting pays well. And anyone who says they don't like money is being ridiculous. Money is lovely. Nice things are lovely.
[on his Internet detractors] When you go on the Internet forums, you're peeking behind the curtain. You think, "Why are they being so nasty?" It's weird, because there's no accountability. Someone can quite happily write a diatribe about how much of a dick I am. But if they met me in real life, I know what they'd probably say - "Can I have a picture with you?".
[on being a fan of Outlander and Sam Heughan] Outlander I thought was absolutely spectacular. It's so good I watched it from beginning to end in almost one night. I couldn't stop. Jamie is a Scottish Superman, for sure!
[on developing an action star physique for Hollywood] In The Tudors I'd been in fine shape. But by the time I appeared in Immortals I was [so] sculpted [I looked as if I'd walked off the set of 300]. I didn't go that way for the sake of becoming an action actor. But there's a demand that you look a certain way in Hollywood. Man of Steel was the first time I had to bulk up in the full-on action-movie style, and I enjoyed it enormously. It's torture, but you enjoy the results that work brings. That's what excites me. It's rewarding.
[on the experience of playing Superman the first time as opposed to the second time] It's like shagging someone for the first time. Sometimes it turns out to be amazing. Mostly you're trying to get each other's rhythm going. It's on the next go that you start to expand. That's why I do [Superman]. You can't be pissed off at the idea of playing Superman for the rest of your life. It's a wonderful role. There's a huge potential there for complex storytelling, and I'm looking forward to exploring those avenues. People think Kryptonite can beat him. No. The only thing that can really beat Superman is Superman. His own moral choices. When you have that to start with, the storytelling can really delve into something rich. Come on, it's Superman! You can't think, 'Oh sorry, I'm just the granddaddy of all superheroes. It's such a pain.'
[on his biggest fashion faux-pas] I wore a terracotta double breasted suit recently in Rome, and people had a love-hate relationship with that jacket, but if I like it, then fuck everyone else.
[on the challenges of appearing shirtless on film] There's a period of gaining mass, when you consume vast amounts of fats, carbs, and proteins, combined with a heaving lifting regimen; that's followed by a "cut", when your caloric intake is drastically lowered and the fat essentially melts away to reveal chiseled muscle. The mass build is the fun part. You get to eat a lot, and you're lifting heavy weights. You feel really good because you've got big numbers going on the plates. But you're always aware that you'll have to eat less and start breathing more in order to show the muscles and the striations. It creeps up on you. That's the less-fun part. A lower caloric intake can also affect your moods. I had to be aware of my temper and try not to snap at people on the set. It's only during the final "leaning down" for the day of a shirtless shoot that food cravings begin to kick in.
[on why he developed an eight-pack physique for Immortals] Tarsem's brief was that he didn't want a "big" guy, he wanted a very ripped, very lean, very Greek statuesque type thing. He said after the very first meeting, "I don't want a six-pack, I want an eight-pack." I was far from having even a six-pack then, [let alone an eight-pack]. But I took it as a challenge. So I went for it.
[on always agreeing to take pictures with fans] People are very polite. They come up and ask (before taking a picture), and that makes a big difference. When people come up and ask, it's like "Okay, yes, of course." Rather than, "Hey could you stop taking a photo of me across the room because there's going to be one bad shot of me and that's the one you're going to put on the Internet? Don't do that."
[on competing at training and physical appearance with co-star Ben Affleck] We were training with different people, so there was no direct comparison. But there's always going to be competition between two men if they want to be superheroes.
[on putting his muscular Superman physique into suits for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.] I definitely had a bit of a problem with the suits. I don't normally keep a suit-blessed shape so the tailors had some struggles but it worked out in the end.
[on the extent to which he can deviate from his current physique] It's not as if I am going to be able to play a POW and then Superman again. My commitment lies with Superman first. Staying in shape is a point of professional necessity now. Working out has become a lifestyle choice for me. I've put on 30 pounds of muscle for this movie but calm it down to 10 pounds between films. To play Superman every two years I maintain a base level of 'extremely fit' before ramping it up to 'ridiculously cut' for filming.
[on playing his rivalry with Ben Affleck on set] Ben Affleck and I didn't compare biceps or see who could do the most sit-ups. We filmed our shirtless scenes separately and we didn't train at the same place either. Having said that, there was a form of rivalry, of competition, between us on the set. This was deliberate. The two characters absolutely can't stand each other in the film, and Ben and I wanted this to come across in every scene.
[his dating top for young men like himself] Stop looking to get laid, and look for someone who can make you the better version of you. That's going to make you happier, more than just getting laid will.
[on being comfortable with not always having his Superman body] I've found a comfortable balance, because we all like to go out for drinks and dinners and all the nice things in life, and not be a complete gym psycho. I stay fit enough to feel comfortable with taking my shirt off at the beach, because someone's going to take a photo, and then it won't all of a sudden be, "Hey look, fat Superman!" in the Daily Mail or something like that. It'll just be, "Hey, look, Henry Cavill at the beach," and I won't be ashamed to see that photo.
[on the importance of having a trainer in the gym] It's very important to have someone who can advise you on diet and what you're doing, as far as training is concerned. Thankfully, I have my trainer, Michael Blevins. If I say, "I want to have bigger hamstrings. They're nice and strong, but I want them to be bigger. What do I do?" He goes, "Okay, cool. Well, do this, this, and this." Once you get to the level of being fit, there are days when you go, "Today, I just want to dig a very deep hole and jump into it." Then sometimes you think, "I'm going to hurt myself today. Let's see if I still bleed." It's just going there, breathing, getting some endorphins flowing. Maybe you want to work on some muscle groups. Maybe you want to get leaner. So you can set tasks for yourself.
[on educating fans through his workout posts] A lot of working out today is, "Let's make it an easy fix." Do this, and do that, and you've got 60-second abs. There's no quick fix. Through my Instagram and my social media, I'm trying to send the message out there that it's a process. I like to get it out there that you don't have to endure a psychotic, agonizing workout. You don't have to leave it all on the floor every time. Hopefully through my social media I can help educate people.
[on his hesitation to lose his great physique for a role] I'm not going to be like, "Hey, I'm going to do a big fat-man role or a really skinny role because that's what all the big actors do these days!" I'm not going to choose work to make people go, "Oh, wow, he can really act because he can lose lots of weight!" If it were something I really cared about and I really wanted to have, like, an effect on an audience because it's subject matter that's very, very important to me, and I wanted to get it out there, then yeah, I could see myself doing it. Otherwise, no.