From Christopher Reeve to Tom Welling, several actors have slipped on the iconic blue spandex and red cape combo to play Superman. In anticipation of the latest reboot hitting the big screen, we unearthed a few facts about Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill.
If he wasn’t an actor…
He’s got two contingency plans. As smart as he is cute, Henry says he would likely have gone to college to study ancient history — specifically Egyptology — had he not become an actor. That, or he’d have joined the military to “fulfill his patriotic pride.”
He still can’t believe…
He landed the coveted role of Clark Kent, aka Superman. The actor has said he is honored to be a part of the return of “the most recognized and revered character of all time” — so much so, he was willing to deal with little inconveniences like, um, having no zipper on his costume. “It’s a Superman suit and as much as it may feel uncomfortable at points, you get over it,” Henry told E! News. “You get to play Superman. You get to be wearing Superman’s suit. Every time you turn around and look in the mirror it’s… you are Superman. Those are special moments.”
He’s the fourth of…
Five boys! His eldest brother, Piers, served in the Army, and his second eldest, Nick, still acts as a Major in the Royal Marines — perhaps this is why Henry has so much patriotic pride. Meanwhile, his third-eldest brother, Simon, is in finance and his baby brother, Charlie, is in marketing. While we can’t confirm or deny that any of the siblings have spouses, it does mean that there could be a single man somewhere in the universe that shares Henry’s incredible genes.
Full name: Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill
Nickname(s): Henners, Hank, H
Birthday: May 5, 1983
Hobbies: rugby, languages
Romantic status: taken
Known for: The Count of Monte Cristo, Red Riding Hood, Tristan & Isolde, The Tudors and Immortals
He stresses about…
His bangin’ body. Before filming his (many) shirtless scenes in the 2011 movie Immortals, Henry needed a ripped physique — or at least he needed to appear to have one. But the dedicated star wasn’t one to take shortcuts. “I had a big sense of pride,” he explains. “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.”
He was Twilight author Stephanie Meyer’s first choice…
To play none other than Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise. Yep, you read that right. Stephanie championed for Henry to earn the role, but he had aged out of the part by the time production began. And it wasn’t the first time he lost out on a role to Robert Pattinson — fans organized a write-in begging to have him cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When his final bid to play James Bond in Casino Royale failed in 2005, Empire magazine dubbed the actor the “Unluckiest Man in Hollywood.”
The movie he’s always up for watching is…
The gritty historical drama Gladiator. The film stars Russell Crowe, who Henry considers one of his favorite actors and who, coincidentally, he also shares the screen with in Man of Steel. In Man of Steel, Russell plays Superman’s father from Krypton, Jor-El.
To play Superman, he ate…
A whopping 5,000 calories a day for six months! Clearly, he burned off the massive caloric intake with a strict diet and workout regimen. But just to give you a mental picture, that’s roughly the equivalent of a stack of waffles with syrup and butter, six slices of bacon, a double cheeseburger, a large order of French fries, two bean burritos, three tacos, two slices of pizza, one whole rotisserie chicken and two cups of mashed potatoes. Whew! We had to unbutton our pants just thinking about it.