Henry Cavill Talks ‘Justice League,’ Dating, and How His Hardcore Training Has Helped Him Achieve Zen-like Comfort
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Though Henry Cavill is best known for playing the last son of Krypton in director Zack Snyder’s 2013 revamp of the Superman series, Man of Steel, and its follow-up, this year’s megahit Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he works hard to keep his real-life persona grounded here on Earth. In reality, the 33-year-old English actor has forsaken the trappings of a full-time Hollywood lifestyle in favor of a calmer, more friends-and-family-focused existence in London. “I’ve messed everything up if I ever become an egomaniac,” he adds.
Cavill discusses how he keeps his brain straight while supersizing his physique, why he prefers Bond parts over Bale, and why no one should ever shove around his dog. Of course, there’s one very hot topic about Updated Time which he can’t speak. So that’ll be our primary priority. [Spoiler alert: this is a significant spoiler.]
Henry Cavill: I’m afraid I’m not allowed to discuss it. In fact, I’m convinced someone [from the studio] is standing outside my door, waiting for me to say something. Then I’ll be pushed out of the way.
You’re the first Superman from the United Kingdom. What’s it like to play such a well-known American figure?
Superman, on the other hand, is, in my opinion, for everyone. He is, after all, an American, but he isn’t necessarily only for Americans. I believe that everyone knows who Superman is and can identify with him. I believe the feelings I have for Superman are the same as the feelings I would have for Superman if I were an American. It doesn’t matter that I’m a Brit portraying the character because, at the end of the day, it’s an extraterrestrial that flies about and things. It’s a part-time acting gig.
Did you grow up in a DC or Marvel universe?
I did not grow up in either of these places. I used to be a big fan of Superman, Iron Man, and the X-Men when I was a kid. I was completely unaware that there was a distinction. To be honest, I’m not sure there is one right now. They’re all really fantastic, in my opinion. Since landing the part of Superman, I’ve become more invested in the character and the DC world. What DC is doing is fantastic. It’s simply plain entertaining, and it’s everything a comic book should be. It’s motivating, upbeat and full of heart. It’s the type of thing that kids read and want to copy as they grow older, and that’s exactly what it should be.
So, what exactly is Henry Cavill’s Kryptonite?
The individuals I care about. If they were pursued, I believe it would alter every single basic trait of mine. I wouldn’t become weak, but I doubt I’d be very good if that makes sense. I honestly don’t know what I would do if someone kicked my dog when I was walking it, for example. I’m quite sure I’d get myself into a lot of trouble.
Do you have a certain breed of dog?
Kal, my Akita, is my pet. During preproduction for Batman v Superman, I met Kal for the first time. Before I arrived in Arkansas, I was certain it was called “Ar-Kansas.” I stated that in front of a crowd, but no one corrected me until I arrived in “Oh sure, it’s ‘Arkansaw,’ not ‘Ar-Kansas,'” I was told when I asked about Arkansas. I thought to myself, “Thank you, everyone else who’s heard me say it.”
Are your normal “off-season” exercises very different from the ones you perform when you need to bulk up and look like Superman?
I’ll be at a level of fitness throughout the off-season, so I’ll be going to the gym where I train here in London. It’s simply a matter of working hard and pushing myself, but not to the point where I’m sore the next day.
You’re getting rather large these days. Is it true that you keep it at such a low level of intensity?
When you reach a certain level of fitness, there are days when you think to yourself, “You know what? Today, all I want to do is dig a huge hole and leap into it.” Then there are moments when your energy is so high that you think to yourself, “I’m going to injure me today.” Check to see if I’m still bleeding.” And you’re going to bleed! Then the next day, you’ll think to yourself, “Oh, holy moly—but that was great.” It’s as simple as going there, breathing, and releasing endorphins. Perhaps you’d like to focus on a certain muscle group. Perhaps you’d like to slim down. As a result, you may establish little goals for yourself. It’s also critical to have someone who actually understands what they’re talking about, someone who can advise you on diet and what you’re doing with it. as far as education is concerned These are all critical considerations. These are stuff I’m not familiar with. Thankfully, I have Michael Blevins, my personal trainer, here in London. “You know what?” I would say. I’d like to strengthen my hamstrings. They’re sturdy and lovely, but I’d want them to be a little bigger. “What should I do?” “OK, cool,” he says. So, go ahead and do this, this, and this. “Increase your calorie intake…”
You’re quite open about your exercises, frequently sharing online footage of yourself working out. Is this an essential topic to discuss with your fans?
“Let’s make it simple,” says a lot of today’s working out. If you do this and that, you’ll have 60-second abs in no time. My own personal approach to training is to keep studying and implementing what I’ve learned year after year until I find what works and suits me best for my lifestyle. It’s been a long and winding road. There isn’t an easy cure for this. I was really fit, then not so much, then back to being very fit, then not so much. Now that I’m back in shape, I believe I’ve hit a happy medium, which is great since we all like going out for drinks, pizza, meals, and all the other good things in life. as well as not being a crazy gym nut. But I keep in shape enough to feel comfortable taking my shirt off at the beach, knowing that someone will take a picture, and it won’t be “Hey look, big Superman!” in the Daily Mail or anything. “Hey, look, Henry Cavill at the beach,” it’ll simply be, and I won’t feel embarrassed to see it. So I’m trying to convey the message out there through Instagram and other media that it’s a process. I want to emphasize as much as possible that you don’t have to put up with an insane, torturous workout. It’s not necessary to leave everything on the floor every time. I’m hoping that by using social media, I can assist educate people.
Could you envision yourself playing parts in the future that need a complete 180-degree shift, such as Christian Bale in The Machinist, for which you’d have to lose 60 pounds?
I would say no unless the writing was excellent. Yes, I could see myself doing it if it was something I truly cared about and I really wanted to make an impact on an audience because it’s I wanted to get it out there because it’s a subject that’s really important to me. In all other circumstances, no.”Hey, I’m going to play a big fat-man character or an extremely thin role because that’s what all the major actors do these days!” I’m not going to say. I’m not going to take a job that would make people say things like, “Oh, gosh, he can really act because he can drop a lot of weight.”
Is there another profession you might have pursued if things had gone differently?
Thankfully, I’ve gotten my foot in the door far enough that even if someone attempted to slam it shut, I could probably slip in a crack and keep it open. The British Armed Forces were in charge of a thorough backup plan. However, at 33 years old, I believe I am too old to join at this time.
Speaking of the military forces, you’ve already discussed James Bond with us. Is it still possible for you to play him someday?
Absolutely. It’d be fantastic to play Bond, especially a vintage Bond. I wouldn’t play the same type of Bond as Daniel Craig because he’s an incredible Bond, and I don’t think I’d be able to outdo Daniel Craig at being Bond. I’d want to try a new version and have a lot of fun with it. The amazing thing about Bond is that each actor can portray him in such a distinct way.
I’ve noticed that bookies in London are always changing the odds on who has the best chance of becoming the next Bond. Tom Hiddleston appears to be one of the frontrunners. Do you believe it’s because he’s already cast Taylor Swift as his own real-life Bond Girl?
Oh, I’m not familiar with that. The best thing about the entertainment business is that it can provide entertainment whether or not a film is currently in production.
Many people think of you as a modern-day James Bond, a slick, seductive lady-killer who always gets the girl. Accomplish you have any dating or love advice for young guys that you believe they should remember—things you attempt to do in your own life?
Giving counsel to anyone is a difficult task. I’ve always been cautious about offering advice because I believe the greatest counsel is “Don’t provide advice until it’s requested.” But, if a hypothetical reader were to ask for guidance, I would tell them to stop seeking someone who can make them a better version of themselves in a good, happy manner, and instead look for someone who can make them a better version of themselves in a good, happy way. That will make you happier than simply being laid will.