It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s HENRY CAVILL!! On January 30, 2011, it was announced that Henry had been cast in the role of Clark Kent/Superman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Turns out, that was the second biggest day at Ones2Watch4 for visits. Everybody wanted to know more about this guy. Snyder called him “the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield,” that he exuded this “crazy-calm confidence”. Just one look and you would agree as well!
Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, the fourth of five boys. He began acting in school plays during prep school. He’s stated that if he had not become an actor, would have joined the army like his brother Piers or possibly the marines like his brother Nik, or done further studies in ancient history or Egyptology.
Unusually, Henry has done mostly films, unlike so many others who come from the stage. Discovered by a casting agent at 17, Henry began his career in 2001 with a role in the movie The Count of Monte Cristo as the son of Jim Caviezels’ former lover followed by smaller roles on television and in movies including Laguna and the coming of age story, I Capture the Castle (2003). Then came the straight to DVD offering, Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), Tristan + Isolde (2006) and a comic turn in Matthew Vaughn’s 2007 fantasy-adventure Stardust. He played an EMT in Joel Schumacher’s 2009 horror flick Blood Creek (also starring O2W4 Michael Fassbender) and played Evan Rachel Wood’s love interest in 2011’s Woody Allen film Whatever Works, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Then there was also that recent turn as Theseus alongside O2W4s Luke Evans and Kellan Lutz, in Tarsem Singh’s mythological, big-budget special effects film, Immortals, now available on DVD. There are pictures everywhere of Henry from the film, half naked, dirty and tied up that leave me speechless!
Sadly Henry is all-too familiar with the heartache of losing the perfect lead role. In their December 2005 issue, Empire magazine dubbed Henry “The Unluckiest Man in Hollywood” for a series of near misses. He was the cause of a write-in effort from fans to see him cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). That role would go to Robert Pattinson. More famously people might remember the name Henry Cavill most as one of author Stephanie Meyer’s first choices for the role of sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. In October of 2005 Meyers called him her “perfect Edward”, but by the time the film went into production Henry was deemed “too old” for the character. The part would eventually go to Pattinson (again!). Our boy has luckily been shielded from the screams of obsessive Twi-hards, myself included, worldwide.
In the “This One Has Really Gotta Hurt” category: Henry was a final contender for the role of James Bond in the 2006 reboot Casino Royale. The producers and director Martin Campbell were seriously torn between him and Daniel Craig. Craig would ultimately land the role because the producers preferred an older Bond. Get this – Henry didn’t have a chance to be in Man of Steel director Zach Snyder’s blood and sandals epic 300 because he was waiting to hear if he got Bond. Ouch! There were also internet reports that Henry was a contender for Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins. He later confirmed he never auditioned for nor was offered the role.
But the strangest twisty turn that Henry’s career has taken has got to be that he was actually attached to play Superman once before. Back in 2002 director McG was slated to reboot the comic series with a J.J. Abram’s penned script called Superman: Flyby. By 2004 Henry was attached to play the hero from Krypton. But due to budgetary and location issues, the project was handed over to Bryan Singer who ended up scraping everything and everyone from before and started fresh. Given the opportunity to actually play this character in a new, bold film has got to feel pretty good to Henry. In the February 25, 2011 EW article he said it was “wonderful to have a second stab at a job – and as a wiser, older and more experienced actor.”
Things turned around in 2007 with Cavill’s most recognized role to date as the sexy, half naked, womanizing Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, in Showtime’s steamy historical drama, The Tudors. The series was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 and won an Emmy in 2008. Entertainment Weekly named him the “Most Dashing Duke” and praised his work on the show for displaying “charm and a killer bod”. Cavill himself credits the show for bolstering his career. Or maybe it was that side frontal in season 1 that helped.
In 2008, Henry became a model/spokesperson for Dunhill fragrances. The television ads feature our boy looking dashing as ever in a suit (although fully clothed).
Before Man of Steel comes out next year, Henry will star alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver in the international thriller The Cold Light of Day.
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