During virtually every Immortals interview that he does, Henry Cavill is asked about his role of Superman in Man of Steel. What follows are a couple of excerpts.
When Henry Cavill had been cast as an extra in the Russell Crowe film Proof of Life, he decided to take advantage of the situation by asking the actor who would someday play his Kryptonian father, Jor-El, a question.
“I had been doing school plays and so I walked up to Russell and I asked him, ‘What’s it like to be an actor?’” Cavill revealed to Contact Music. “And he said, ‘Well, you know, it’s great. Sometimes they treat you great, sometimes they don’t. And the money’s pretty good, too.’ And then everyone came running up and I waved and said, ‘Quick, run!’, because they were all looking for autographs. Two days later I got a signed picture of him in Gladiator saying, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’… At the end of that journey of a thousan miles, that first journey, he’s there as well.”
Collider: Did you ever dress up as Superman when you were a kid?
Cavill: Yeah! Yeah, I think all of my brothers did at some stage. I’ve even got photos of my little nephews in Superman outfits. Apparently, they went to school when I first heard the news. One of them was wearing a little Superman outfit and the teacher sort of told them off and then spoke to my sister-in-law after, saying, “I don’t know what’s going on with the boys. I don’t know what you’ve been telling them. They’ve been lying to me, because they’re telling me that their uncle is Superman and frankly it’s ridiculous.” Which brought my sister-in-law out there and she said, “Actually, it’s not ridiculous; he is [Superman]. So you’ve got to let them wear their little outfits. Thank you very much.” [laughs]
Collider: You were linked to a lot of big roles before you landed Superman. I heard that you were sort of up for Twilight or even Batman Begins. From what I understand you were close with a number of different things. How big was your smile when you finally landed Man of Steel?
Cavill: [laughs] My smile was absolutely enormous. I was trying very, very hard to play it cool on the phone with Zack Snyder when he called me. I thought, “Okay, play it cool. Not too cool, obviously. But, play it cool.” As soon as I hung up, I was leaping up and down and running up and down the stairs and roaring and shouting, and then trying to call everyone. No one picked up their phones believe it or not! Apart from my assistant. I eventually got through. I was trying to tell the news to everyone and no one was answering their phones!
Collider: Did you read any of the Superman runs? Did you watch any of the Christopher Reeve movies? What did you try to take in from the previous material that’s been released and possibly incorporate into your version of Clark Kent/the Man of Steel?
Cavill: I avoided watching anything which was someone else’s interpretation of the source material. I didn’t go back to the movies and watch them. I didn’t go back to the TV series and watch them. I didn’t want to take that and have that influence my interpretation and my performance of the character. Where the character truly belongs and where the character truly comes from is not from the movies or the TV shows; it’s from the comic books. So I went straight to the comic books and had stacks of them and just read and read and read and read and read. I enjoyed so much learning about the character in such a dense manner. The comic books were my source of material; the TV shows and movies were someone else’s interpretation and so I left that to them.