Henry Cavill came to WonderCon to promote Immortals, so everyone from the fans in the panel session to the reporters in the press room had their Superman questions ready. He was kind of perfect, saying just enough to acknowledge he’s playing Superman and drop a mention for Immortals without being a douche about it. Here are the topics I caught in a press session with Cavill, which must be totally different from his comments in the public panel or to other reporters on the red carpet.
“Certainly for me, [these are] wonderful opportunities and an honor to play such an iconic role,” Cavill said. “I can’t wait. I really can’t wait. As a young actor, it’s a dream. I think the most difficult thing with Superman is going to be doing a true justice to the role while re-imagining it.”
Immortals is about Greek gods and mythological battles. Cavill plays Theseus. Kinda like how comic books are modern day myths, eh? “Superheroes came from people having difficult times and their needing imaginary superheroes to fix their problems. This is exactly where mythology came from. It’s the same place, people going through hardship and having these imaginary heroes who would defeat the big bad guy. I believe the original Superman is him flying around and picking up Hitler and bringing him back to the UN. It’s the same thing with mythology. Some bastard king who’s killing everyone and raping all the women, then they have this imaginary demigod hero who goes and kills him, and kills his beasty in the labyrinth and all sorts. It’s all the same thing, just in a different era.”
Playing Theseus got Cavill in a Superman-worthy shape. “The biggest challenge on this one was maintaining the physical shape because it was extraordinarily difficult with the hours that we had. As I say, 14 hour days minimum with a half hour lunch and you can’t eat that much, and you’re in every day, there’s no time to sit back and relax and settle and then have your recovery day and then go back in. It was nonstop brutal. That was the toughest thing.”
Now that’s taught him a lesson he’ll use for Superman, if the producers let him. “I think on Superman it will be slightly different because I’ve approached it with the experience of Immortals and I’ve said, ‘Look, guys, I’m going to need recovery time and I’m going to need this, I’m going to need that, if possible, please, please.’”
Recovery time was such an issue on Immortals, Cavill found himself dragging when he was supposed to be the most badass soldier of all time. “One of the most taxing things about being on set was the lack of energy we had because we are eating so little and training so hard all the time and trying to fit in training in a 14 hour day when you have a half an hour lunch and that’s your minute to go okay, I can finally sit down and eat, is really difficult. You can start to feel your mood slips, you get a bit grumpy. Tarsem [Singh] on that 15th hour on a Friday is the guy who picks you up and keeps you going and pulls that extra performance out of you. It’s remarkable and incredible. He sets the standard.”
Just a week ago, Cavill found out who would be playing his Lois Lane. He’s giving props to his whole cast. “I think she’s a great actress and I’m very excited [about] all the actors there. Wow, that lineup already. The opportunity with an actor of my experience, only 10 years, to be a part of that cast and to be leading it is fantastic and I really, really can’t wait to be shaking hands and discussing all the stuff with all of them.”
Otherwise, there’s no connection between Immortals and Superman or Immortals and “The Tudors.” “There’s nothing intentional about my job choices. It’s just what jobs I get offered. I often hear about people saying, ‘Oh yeah, so and so’s choices’ or this and that. I think once you get to a certain level of notoriety and fame where you can open a movie, then yes. You are offered scripts and stories and you get to choose. Certainly at my level, you just get the jobs that you’re offered. If it’s a job that you like, you go for it. But there’s no preplanning. It’s not like I went on ‘Tudors’ and said, ‘Okay, next time I play a hero for my campaign for Superman.” It all happened to happen as it is.”
Cavill refused one request to show off his Kansas accent. “I shall not.” But he did admit Superman was his favorite superhero. “Of course. I’m hardly going to say otherwise anyway.”
See Henry Cavill first in Immortals on Nov. 11, 2011.