The Man of Steel star said, “I was fat.” He also said that he had a not-too-nice nickname, “I was Fat Cavill.”
The newest Superman to hit the screens this summer, June 14 in case you didn’t know, is actually English.
He is from the small isle of Jersey in the English Channel. He is also a veteran performer from Showtime’s 2007 television series, The Tudors, he played Charles Brandon the Duke of Suffolk. Cavill is now playing a character with a different sort of tights.
And he gets to wear a red cape as well.
But according to Cavill, his childhood wasn’t one where he could have easily worn tights. Not without getting made fun of at least. While he was in an English boarding school he, “became an easy target,” he says. “I bawled on the phone to my mom four times a day.”
Then, like most kids who suffer through weight problems he started growing up. He decided upon a life as an actor when he reached 17. He got his first chance when some casting people came to the boarding school looking for students to work on a new movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Henry says that landing a role in the film allowed him to lose weight. Apparently the part called for some particularly robust physical acting on his part and he lost 20 pounds.
Cavill said that after his first movie role, “I wasn’t Fat Cavill anymore.” Henry must take a lot of satisfaction in being able to say that. His Superman might have been a fat kid, but it didn’t take superpowers to shift the weight, just a lot of hard work and determination.
He related how the part of the Man of Steel kept him on his toes and how rigorous training for the role was. Apparently his start in the Count of Monte Cristo film was good experience for his new Superman job.
He said, “We did some of the first shots in Plano, Illinois and they’d get me up at the crack of dawn, and we’d go to work in this tiny gym at the bottom of the very cheap motel we were staying in. We’d go for an hour, an hour and a half, and then we’d film all day in 100-degree temperatures.”
He says he used his experience as “Fat Cavill” to help develop his understanding of Superman and his psyche. Henry says that, “My version of Superman is essentially of a guy who has spent his whole life alone.”
Cavill explained how he transformed his body to play the part of Superman for the Man of Steel. He says that he consumed 5,000 calories a day and worked out daily with a trainer, Mark Twight. He was a bit cagey about his diet and exercise methods.
Cavill said, “I will say I was a lot bigger as Superman. A lot bigger. I’m not saying how much. It’s modesty about the weight — I’ve always been worried about my weight — but I also don’t want to invite that debate: Henry weighs this, so he’s the perfect Superman. Or, Henry doesn’t weigh this, and therefore he’s not believable in the role.”
It is obvious that Henry Cavill’s caginess about his weight is a left over from his days when he was known as “Fat Cavill” and although his assertion that his Superman was a fat kid, he’s come a long way from those bullying days at his English boarding school. His Man of Steel is not a fatty anymore.
By Michael Smith