Henry Cavill on Man of Steel: I chose not to act as Superman

 

British actor Henry Cavill will be making his grand Hollywood entrance as the latest big screen incarnation of the all-American superhero Superman, in director Zack Snyder's dark and gritty Man of Steel, which opens on Friday.

Cavill, 30, so far best known for 16th century TV drama The Tudors and the 2011 fantasy film Immortals, told press that he leaned on a sturdy method to portray the legendary DC Comics superhero who celebrates his 75th anniversary this month.

"I chose not to act as Superman," the actor said.

"It withdraws from the whole reality of the story. You take the experiences of the guy, his fears of the future, his dreams of the future and you just apply that to everything you do."

Man of Steel tells the origins story of Superman and his alter-ego Clark Kent, who was first animated into life in June 1938 by comic book artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel.

Snyder's story chooses to begin with Superman's birth on the planet Krypton, and as the last hope for his people's survival, his parents send him to Earth to escape an insurrection by General Zod, played by Boardwalk Empire actor Michael Shannon.

The film, which also stars Amy Adams as Daily Planet reporter and love interest Lois Lane, follows Superman growing up as Kent from Smallville, Kansas, and struggling to come to terms with his own super powers.

"There's something special about the character, the way he was raised, that makes him Superman," Cavill said about the character's strong values instilled in him by his farming foster parents Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane).

Man of Steel, which was produced by Christopher Nolan who directed the recent Batman The Dark Knight franchise, leans heavily on action and science-fiction as a box-office draw for studio Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc.

The studio hopes it can re-launch a new series of Superman films after its 2006 offering, Superman Returns and its leading man Brandon Routh, failed to live up to box office expectations.

Comic book franchises have been top draws in recent years with Nolan's three Batman films grossing more than $2 billion worldwide between 2005-2012, according to figures compiled by box-office tracker Boxofficemojo.com.

Walt Disney Co's Marvel studio has also scored box office hits with The Avengers and Iron Man franchises making more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Straight-jawed with broad shoulders, the little-known Cavill strikes a resemblance to late Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who had success as Superman on the big screen, his four Superman films grossing more than $400 million at global box offices between 1978 and 1987.

Actors Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Tom Welling in the CW network's Smallville also built a career playing the hero.

Cavill said he intentionally ignored the influence of past Superman performances tugging at his cape. Instead, he focused on the original comic books as his source material, creating a database of notes on the superhero.

"(The notes) just kind of became a secondary character lurking there and I just drew from that," Cavill said.

"There's not really a word for it or any way to describe playing Superman," he added. "But it's just a feeling and you've got to just channel that into the character in just minute details unconsciously and instinctively."

Another pressure point among Superman's avid and loyal fan base that Cavill had to navigate was whether a Briton could handle playing the Krypton-born and Kansas-bred American hero.

"As long as I can do it convincingly, as long as I can play an American well enough, then I'm OK with that," Cavill said, drawing a comparison to the UK's beloved film franchise on super-spy James Bond.

"I wouldn't mind if an American played Bond, as long as he's good and played the role right," Cavill added.

Reuters

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders