English actor Henry Cavill is charming, polite and looks like a supermodel with his chiselled cheekbones, dimpled chin and the sleeves of his white cotton shirt rolled up to his elbows to reveal some of the muscles he created to play Superman in the coming blockbuster Man of Steel. The 30-year-old British actor appears to be so earnest and humble, in fact, that you start wondering if anybody could really be this much of a nice guy.
Man of Steel director Zack Snyder (whose credits include 300 and Watchmen) thinks so. "What you see is what you get with Henry," the filmmaker says. "He is a kind guy. The funny thing about him is I think because he comes from a military family and his brothers are in the military, this idea of service – the kind of service Superman must take on – is not foreign to him, so it's not like a thing he has to put on, like, 'In this scene, I care?'
"He's also not a complainer. I had him filming in winter on a heliport in Vancouver with no shirt on and we had to spray him with water for take after take against a freezing wind and he never said a thing. It wasn't until his trainer said, 'Henry will literally fall down before he will say anything, but you've got to give him a break,' that I realised he wasn't a machine."
"I think the world is ready for a new Superman, and what is different about this one is that there's a heavy grounding in reality," Cavill says. "Yes, it's a fantastic story in the sense that there's this alien being with powers far beyond anything we've ever experienced as humankind, but how does he feel about that? How does he feel about having grown up being so different and not knowing what he is and why he is and who he is? And is the world going to be OK with his existence when they find out? People get upset about the tiniest of differences with religion and race; imagine if you are so different that you are impossible to even conceive. That must be a scary prospect."
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