Henry Cavill Talks About Playing Superman
11.21.11 by Chris
Only a handful of men who know what it is like to play Superman - George Reeves (the TV series Adventures of Superman), Kirk Alyn (two low-budget 1940 serials), Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Tom Welling (Smallville) and now Henry Cavill.
The British actor, who can currently be seen in Immortals, talked with the L.A. Times' Hero Complex about who is harder to play — Superman or Clark Kent.
Essentially, yes, one is a disguise but the one that’s not a disguise is so unreal that brings difficulties of its own with it. I mean, once the shroud is cast off, yeah, there’s that — but he can fly. [Laughs] Overall, there’s no one that’s easier or less easy than the other. It is a lot of fun having two characters in one role which are so intertwined with each other. It’s the same person, definitely, but it’s the presentation. And that is fun.
The most interesting revelation of the interview is that despite Christopher Nolan serving as "godfather" and producer on Man of Steel, Cavill has yet to meet him (probably because Nolan is busy finishing up The Dark Knight Rises).
I haven’t seen him. He’s a busy man. I haven’t met him yet and I really look forward to meeting him.
In something that comic book fans will surely appreciate, Cavill said he dove into the source material, reading Superman comics, including Red Son, the alternate universe where Superman grows up in Russia instead of the U.S.
Oh, yes, I’ve done my research. I stocked up on source material and buried my head in it for a while . . . I really liked Death of Superman and Return of Superman, those are my favorite ones, and The New 52 is great stuff and Earth One, although I know people think that is a mixed bag. With Red Son, I thought it was interesting as a different perspective. It was out there and I like that. It was essential to my character research, too. When you’ve got two polar opposite viewpoints of the same character, you will see what the authors consider the important baseline trend. I got to see that and see the different ways he would have developed and that was very useful to me. And because we are retelling the story and we are doing our own reinvention and a modernization for the screen, I get the opportunity to add my own interpretation of how he developed. So that was cool to look at Red Son and see what changed, what didn’t change and what that reveals about the baseline of Superman. You can find what is essential to Superman and what is nature vs. nurture by locating that baseline.
Man of Steel was written by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) from a story he conceived with Nolan and is being directed by Zack Snyder. Amy Adams (Lois Lane); Kevin Costner and Diane Lane (Superman's adoptive parents), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer (Superman's Kryptonian parents) also star.