British actor Henry Cavill gained international attention when he donned the suit of Superman for the first time in 2013’s, Man of Steel. By that point, he’d already had a few minor parts in movies such as The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and Stardust (2007), along with a re-occurring role in the historical drama, The Tudors. However, it was his transformation into the legendary DC superhero that really captured the public’s imagination. His subsequent work in the DC Extended Universe has continued to set the nation’s pulse racing, while his upcoming role in fantasy drama The Witcher is sure to do more of the same. For fans who just can’t get enough of the popular actor, here’s 20 things you may not know about Henry Cavill.
20. He’s an Animal- Lover
He may play the Man of Steel, but underneath the suit, Henry Cavill is just a big old softie. As well as acting as spokesman for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, Cavill also runs his own conservation charity, Cavill Conversation, which is dedicated to saving endangered species from the brink of extinction. Cavill demonstrated his commitment to the cause when in 2015, he adopted one of the world’s rarest creatures, a Livingstone’s fruit bat named Ben.
19. He’s the First Brit to Play Superman
Our perception of Superman as half American/ half alien was shattered when Cavill took on the role in 2013. Despite an accent that sounds straight out of the mid-west, Cavill is a Brit to the bone. The actor, who hails from the small Channel Island of Jersey, initially struggled with the American accent: “Doing an American accent is about exercising the muscles in your throat and your mouth”, the actor revealed. “Sometimes it can sound great for a long period of time, sometimes your inflection is wrong. It all depends. As long as you’ve got a professional watching over you… it can be made to seem effortless. But you still get days when it just seems to stick in your mouth”.
18.He’s All About the Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching
Most stars would sooner abandon the business entirely than admit to being in it solely for the paycheck. Cavill, on the other hand, has a more down-to-earth approach, and openly admits to being more concerned with the financial rewards of his projects than their artistic merits. “I’m slightly wary of saying this, because it can be frowned upon, certainly by members of my community and people outside my community,” he told Man of the World. “The money’s fantastic and that’s something which I deem – and again, it is frowned upon – very important.” Cavill isn’t shy about splashing his cash either: – “When I’m making money, I’m spending it on nice stuff,” he revealed. “Whether that be lavish holidays for me and my friends or just seeing something and going in a shop and saying, ‘Yeah, I want that for the house, I’m buying it.’”
17. He’s a Hard-Core Gamer
When he’s not making movies, Cavill likes nothing more than getting down to some serious gaming. His devotion had almost catastrophic effects when he prioritized a game of World of Warcraft over a call from filmmaker, Zack Snyder. The director was calling to offer Cavill the role of Superman, but Cavill decided to give it a miss. “I saw it was him, but the thing is, you can’t save World of Warcraft, you can’t pause it. It’s live,” the actor explained to Conan O’Brien. Fortunately, Snyder called back, and the subsequent conversation proved a game changer.
16. He’s a Serial Loser
Prior to Man of Steel, Cavill was in the running for several career- making roles, but never quite made it past the finishing line. The first gig he missed out on was the character of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a role that ultimately went to Twilight star, Robert Pattinson. In 2005, he was in the running to succeed Pierce Bronson as James Bond. Cavill made it to the final screen test before producers decided he was just too young for the role, ultimately opting for the more experienced Daniel Craig instead. Coincidentally, he also went for the role of Superman in Superman: Flyby but missed out on the part to Brandon Routh. Cavill ‘s string of near misses led Empire magazine to label him the “unluckiest man in Hollywood”.
15. His Childhood Nickname was Fat Cavill
Despite being known for having the face and physique of a Greek god, Cavill wasn’t always quite the Herculean figure we know today. During his years at boarding school, Cavill’s puppy fat earned him the nickname “Fat Cavill”. “I bawled on the phone to my mom four times a day”, the actor revealed to Details magazine. “I became an easy target.” He put his fat days behind him after winning his first acting gig in The Count of Monte Cristo, which saw him lose 21 pounds and begin his transformation into the man we know today.
14. He’s no Dancer
You’d have thought an actor with the physical prowess of Cavill would be a dream on the dance-floor, but apparently not… “When I go somewhere where there’s music playing, I’m not the guy who runs to the dance floor, I find it awkward,” the actor revealed to Cosmopolitan. Thankfully, he seems to have found a solution to his woes: – “After a few drinks, I definitely enjoy a dance. Is it a strength or a weakness? I don’t know, I’ve been told some good things from time to time, but I’m no John Travolta by any means.”
13. He Named his Dog after Superman
In 2014, Cavill and ex-girlfriend, Gina Carano, adopted a black and white Akita pup. Drawing inspiration from his most famous character to date, Cavill christened his new pooch “Kal” after the birth name of Superman. He did, however, draw the line at burdening the little canine with a double- barrel name, and is quick to note his pet is just plain “Kal”. The reason? “He’s an informal dog.”
12. His Man of Steel Body is Based on Hercules
There’s a reason Cavill looks so buff in Lycra: a grueling workout regime developed by trainer, Mark Twight, to give Cavill the body of Steve Reeves from 1958 blockbuster, Hercules. The intense training schedule managed to push the 190lb Cavill to the point where he could bench-press 305lbs with ease… maybe not quite in the same league as Hercules, but not a bad effort all the same.
11. He Loses His Heart Easily
As Glamour magazine’s “Worlds Sexiest Man” of 2013, it’s no surprise Cavill has won the affections of a bevy of beauties over the years. One of his most high-profile relationships to date involved a brief entanglement with Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco in 2013. He’s also been linked to British show-jumper Ellen Whittaker (to whom he was briefly engaged in 2011), TV personality Gina Carano (with whom he shares pet parenting duties), Maisa Gonzalo (who drew Cavill’s chagrin when she leaked photos of her hunting exploits to the press), and most recently, stunt-woman Lucy Cork, with whom he split in 2018. Cavill’s current relationship status is unconfirmed, but it’s believed he’s single and ready to mingle.
10. He’s Good with his Tongue
Not only can Cavill pull off an impressive American accent, he can also wrap his tongue around a multitude of different languages. The talented actor is fluent in French, Spanish and Italian, and can hold his own in both German and Italian. He also understands the famously tricky Czech… although he modestly claims to only know how to order a beer in the language.
9. He’s a History Buff
Before setting his sights on Hollywood, Cavill planned on studying ancient history or Egyptology at university, followed by a career in the army. His interest in the past was piqued by historical writer Christian Jacq, whose series of historical novels captured the young Cavill ‘s imagination. “I really enjoyed them”, the actor revealed. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to study something, why not make it something I really enjoy?’ The idea was to get a degree in ancient history or Egyptology and have the armed forces sponsor me through university. And join the armed forces afterward.” Instead, he decided to abandon his plans and purse a career in acting. The rest, as they say, is history.
8. He’s the Face of Dunhill
In 2008, Cavill became the face of luxury goods brand, Dunhill, and has gone on to star in several advertisements for their fragrance line. The actor joins a prestigious lineup of famous names such as Jude Law and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Sir Matthew Pinsen, who have endorsed the brand’s menswear, leather goods, and accessories over the years.
7. He Owns a Production Company
Not content with a life in front of the camera, Cavill also has ambitions behind the lens. In 2014, the actor set up his own production company in partnership with his brother Charlie and British producer Rex Glensy. Promethean Production’s first project was due to be Stratton, an action-packed thriller based on the series of novels by Duncan Falconer. “Having the opportunity to expand my horizons into film-making is incredibly exciting,” Cavill explained. “Getting to work so closely with my brother in this venture is equally so.” Cavill was lined up to play the lead role of Stratton, but production ground to a halt in 2015 over “creative differences”. The film ultimately went ahead with Dominic Cooper in Cavill’s place.
6. He’s a Fan of The Kansas City Chiefs
Oblivious to the wrath of his British fans, Cavill has traded in his devotion to rugby for the delights of American football. Eagle- eyed fans at the Arrowhead Stadium can often spot him waving his scarf in support of local NFL legends, the Kansas City Chiefs. His decision to give the Chiefs his backing takes inspiration from the backstory of the Man of Steel himself:- “I figured Superman’s from Kansas”, the actor explained. “I was playing Superman at the time. It just kind of made sense to me.”
5. He’s an Award Winner
Cavill started racking up award nods in 2012, when he received his first nomination from NewNowNext in the category “Cause You’re Hot”. The release of Man of Steel in 2013 spawned a slew of nominations, including a Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Actor in an Action Movie, and two Teen Choice Awards. Although he missed out on all three, he did manage to come away with “Best Hero” at the MTV Movie Awards. Despite receiving numerous nominations since, Cavill has only managed to pick up one subsequent award… Razzle’s “Worst Screen Combo”, an accolade he has the dubious honor of sharing with fellow actor, Ben Affleck.
4. He’s worth $20 Million
Despite his relatively short career, 35-year-old Cavill has managed to pull in a substantial fortune. According to CNW, the actor can claim an estimated net worth of $20 million. His highest grossing movie to date is 2016’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, which pulled in a staggering $330,360,194 at the box office and earned Cavill a very respectable $14 million in the process.
3. His Mentor is Russel Crowe
One of our first glimpses of Cavill came in 2000, when he appeared as an extra in the Meg Ryan/ Russel Crowe vehicle, Proof of Life. During filming, Cavill plucked up the courage to ask Crowe’s advice on how to make it as an actor. What Crowe replied is unknown, but Cavill clearly made an impression on the older actor. A few days after filming wrapped, Cavill received a box of gifts from Crowe, along with a signed picture of the actor in Gladiator, annotated with the words “Dear Henry, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. The two would later reunite as father and son in Man of Steel.
2. He’s One of Only Two Actors to Play Superman Twice
Cavill has the distinction of being the only actor besides the legendary Christopher Reeves to don the suit of Superman in more than one film. Reeves’ first appearance as Superman came in 1978’s acclaimed Superman, which was followed by Superman II and Superman III in 1983 and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in 1987. Reeves also appeared posthumously in the 2006 release, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.
1. He Likes to Show His Appreciation
In 2012, Cavill started a tradition of handing out commemorative coins as gestures of appreciation to those he works with. The tradition has so far benefited Mark Twight, the trainer who got Cavill in shape for his role as Superman, and crew members on Man of Steel, The Man from U.N.C.L.E and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Of the gesture, Henry says: – “This is just a little souvenir to keep and remember the satisfyingly hard work and the good times from start to finish.”