MAN OF STEEL: An Interview With Henry Cavill
Just prior to the release of Immortals and while Man of Steel was in production, Ed Gross sat with actor Henry Cavill for this exclusive interview in which he briefly discusses both and the way that his life is changing. What follows is an excerpt from that interview.
Thanks to Zack Snyder casting him as Superman in the currently-in-production Man of Steel, actor Henry Cavill has become something of a household name, which only helped to enhance his work as Theseus in Tarsem Singh's Immortals. It’s a pretty heady time for Cavill, whose biggest claim to fame up to this point has been a co-starring role in Showtime’s The Tudors as wel l as near misses on such iconic roles as James Bond, Batman and Superman (the McG, pre-Superman Returns version). His life is changing (likely forever) and his every move captured on the Internet by paparazzi and fans, yet as we discovered in this exclusive interview, the 29-year-old Brit seems to be handling it pretty much as one would hope from a guy solidifying his position as one of cinema’s newest portrayer of larger-than-life heroes.
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: I remember when I was on the set of Immortals, you made mention of “rumblings” that things could be happening in your career. Could you have imagined that all of this – with Man of Steel – was the rumbling you were referring to?
HENRY CAVILL: [laughs] I could not have imagined it. No. And I’m very happy that it’s happening.
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: Why wouldn’t you be? At the same time, I wonder how you’re coping with all of the attention. Seriously, how many actors are having Internet debates about the size of their… codpiece?
HENRY CAVILL: Is it hard to deal with? Not really. If I were to take everyone’s comments to heart, then of course I think it would be very hurtful. There’s also wonderful stuff out there, too, so I’d be somewhere between having an enormous ego and a very small, crushed one [laughs]. It’s all part of the entertainment. It’s going to happen and people are going to talk, which is great. If they’re talking, it means they’re being entertained one way or the other, so carry on!
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: I just think it’s got to be hard, given the fact that we’re living in an era where every move is dissected, so I kind of wonder how someone copes with that kind of microscope.
HENRY CAVILL: It is a microscope and you’ve just got to remember that the people who are really important to you in your life, when they’re inspecting you under a microscope and finding flaws, that’s a really bad thing. But for everyone else, they’re fully entitled to their opinions and they can fly away, they can troll on the Internet forums and do whatever they want, and good for them!
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: What is the comparison between what you envisioned for yourself early on in your career and everything that’s happening?
HENRY CAVILL: It’s enormously rewarding and very gratifying and a real boost to my self-belief and trust in myself and my abilities. As a young lad, you think, “I’d love to be an actor and play these wonderful roles and these big characters and entertain,” and all of this. It took 11 years and I was very fortunate that I had all the right opportunities and it’s a wonderful feeling to have things work out as I really hoped they would. It’s great and I couldn’t be happier.
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: But did you really imagine these larger than life characters?
HENRY CAVILL: I had a very bold imagination and still do. I have never set limits on myself, although obviously with these particular roles there was no one thing where I said, “I want to play that, I want to play this.” I just wanted to go for the very big things. From the very beginning I didn’t want to settle for small stuff; I wanted to aim high and go down in a blaze of glory if I didn’t make it and try something else. But it’s paid off so far and I’m enjoying it. Everything’s an experience and a journey and an adventure, and if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point? So far it’s been great. Sure, it’s been terrible at points as well, but I’ve tried to take everything I could from those terrible, difficult moments I’ve had and it’s all part of the journey.
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: On the Immortals set you had commented that getting the opportunity to audition for James Bond, Batman, Superman (the McG version) actually encouraged your choice to be an actor.
HENRY CAVILL: My feeling was that if these people who had been doing this for years noticed something in me and said, “Okay, we’re willing to put him and another guy up for the role and that’s it,” then there’s got to be something there they’re seeing. That was certainly a real confidence booster. Although it wasn’t anything of material value and acting is a very intangible skill, you never know when it’s going to happen or if it’s going to happen. It’s not like doing many repetitions of an exercise where once you’ve done it, you know you can do it. Acting is different. It’s not like that; you don’t know if it’s going to happen as well or as powerfully or as strongly as it’s happened in the past. So when you hear people like that say, “Yes, you’ve got something which is very special” – they may not necessarily say it directly, but in their actions in putting you up next to the last two guys – that in itself is the medal. It’s a Silver Medal, it’s not the Gold, which is getting the role, but it’s still a medal that makes you want to work that much harder and go for the gold.
MEDIA GEEK NETWORK: A kind of touching thing you said is that with so many military people in your family, there was a tendency for you to be looked upon as a “soft” actor and there was something gratifying about being able to show them the kind of work you actually do get to do.
HENRY CAVILL: Well, we’re all proud of each other and would be even if I was working doing something else and I passed an exam to get in there, or got a promotion, they would be just as proud of me. We’re family first, and we’re just exceptionally proud and happy that we’re doing the things we want to do in life. Of course, the benefit is that they’ll probably get more expensive presents at Christmas [laughs].
For the full interview, click HERE.
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