10 Fun Facts About Superman Actor Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel" (2013).

Warner Bros Pictures

How much do you really know about Henry Cavill? Henry Cavill is a big-time action star thanks to his role in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But there are still some things to learn about the actor.

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Henry Cavill Was "Unluckiest Man in Hollywood"

Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) from Man of Steel (2013). Warner Bros Pictures

Henry was dubbed as the "Unluckiest Man in Hollywood" for losing on several high profile roles. He almost played the new James Bond, but he lost the role to Daniel Craig. Before playing Superman in Man of Steel he auditioned for the role in Superman: Flyby, but the role went to Brandon Routh instead. Ironically enough, Routh wanted to reprise his Superman role for Man of Steel but he was turned down in favor of Cavill.

Now many consider Henry Cavill one of the luckiest men in Hollywood for his high-profile role in the big budget DC Extended Universe of films. 

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"World of Warcraft" Almost Cost Cavill His Job

World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft

Henry Cavill was a big fan of the online Massive Multi-player game World of Warcraft. He was such a big fan that he missed a very important phone call.

"I'm a big PC gamer and I was playing an online game called 'World of Warcraft,'" Cavill explained to Jay Leno. "I was playing this game and you can't save it. You can't pause or anything and other people are relying on you to play on a team. And it was a highpoint of the game. And so the phone's ringing and I'm ignoring it because I'm not going to bail on these guys. And I look down and it's Zack Snyder calling, so I dive for the phone, and I missed the call from Zack Snyder, the one I'd been waiting for, for Man of Steel."

Of course, he did call Snyder back and the rest is history.

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Cavill Has Four Brothers

Photo of Henry Cavill and Family
Niki Richard Dalgliesh Cavill, Piers Cavill, Henry Cavill, Marianne Cavill, Simon Cavill and Charlie Cavill at the St Helier premiere. Express Magazine

Cavill comes from a big family of boys. His brothers are Niki Richard Dalgliesh, Charlie, Piers, and Simon.

Piers, the eldest, is a former army officer who was awarded an MBE, Nick is a major in the Royal Marines, Simon is working in financial services, and Charlie, the youngest, is in marketing.

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Henry Cavill Adopted a Bat Named Ben

Publicity photo of Henry Cavill at Durrell Wildlife Conservation
Henry Cavill at Durrell Wildlife Conservation. Durrell Wildlife Conservation

Cavill is saving the world as Superman, but in real-life he's committed to saving lives too. He works with the conservation park Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and named the conservation's baby pup "Ben" after costar Ben Affleck who plays another kind of Bat in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is a park working to save the most at-risk animals in the most threatened places around the world. Henry Cavill became Durrell’s very first Ambassador in 2014. The Livingstone’s fruit bat is on the list of "Critically Endangered" animals. They are threatened to the point of possible extinction in the wild. Hopefully, Superman doesn't hunt Batman to extinction in the movie.

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Superman's Body is Based on Hercules

Steve Reeves in Hercules (1958) and Henry Cavill in Man of Steel (2103). Warner Bros Pictures

Henry Cavill and trainer Mark Twight based his 190lb, 3% body fat physique for Man of Steel on bodybuilder/actor Steve Reeves from Hercules (1958). Henry Cavill's grueling 11-month workout comprised four phases: preparation, bulking, leaning out, and maintenance.

Cavill got so strong that he could bench press 305 pounds. Not quite as strong as the mythical god Hercules, but pretty strong.

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Twilight Creator Wanted Cavill to Be a Vampire

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in Twilight (2008).

Summit Entertainment

When Stephanie Meyer, the creator of Young Adult vampire book series Twilight was writing her novel, she was a fan of the “little-known” young actor from Count of Monte (2002) named Henry Cavill. So she mentally cast him as the lead Edward Cullen

When it came time to cast the movie based on the books she said, “Indisputably the most difficult character to cast, Edward is also the one that I’m most passionately decided upon. The only actor I’ve ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is Henry Cavill.”

By the time casting for the movie began in 2008 the studio felt he looked too old to play the character. Robert Pattinson, who was eventually cast, is only three years older than Cavill but looked more like a teenager. Cavill says he was never approached or contacted for the role but was flattered by the comparison. 

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Cavill Can Speak Many Languages

Charles Brandon (Henry Cavill) in The Tudors.

Sony Pictures Television

It's rumored that Henry Cavill can speak nine languages but is only fluent in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian. That's still pretty impressive.

He's always been fascinated by other cultures. "In school, I had an interest in ancient history and Egyptology in particular," Cavill said, "There was a historical fiction writer named Christian Jacq who wrote a series of books, sort of Egyptology-based, and I really enjoyed them. 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."

In the end, he decided to pursue acting.

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Cavill Has a Dog Named After Superman

Henry Cavill Walking His Dog Kal. TMZ

Henry Cavill and his former girlfriend Gina Carano adopted a black-and-white Akita in 2014. Of course, he named the dog after Superman's birth name Kal-El.

But the dog isn't named Kal-El. “My pet's name is Kal,” Cavill told Cosmopolitan, “Not Kal-El, like Superman, just Kal. He's an informal dog."

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Cavill Says He Needs a Few Drinks to Start Dancing

Henry Cavill behind-the-scenes of Man of Steel (2013).

Cavill doesn't consider himself a good dancer. “When I go somewhere where there's music playing, I'm not the guy who runs to the dance floor, I find it awkward,” Cavill told Cosmopolitan, “But 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."

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Henry Cavill Struggles with His American Accent

Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015). Warner Bros Pictures

Henry Cavill is originally from Jersey in the U.K. and has a strong British accent. But Superman is from Kansas, so he has to sound American. Most people watching the movie would never know he's British, but Cavill admitted to Total Film magazine that it's not easy.

"Doing an American accent is about exercising the muscles in your throat and your mouth, Cavill said, "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 saying, 'You did this wrong, you did that wrong' it can be made to seem effortless. But you still get days when it just seems to stick in your mouth."

Even after all his training, he still has a struggle. While filming the spy film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. he tried impersonating Clark Gable from Gone with the Wind, but director Guy Ritchie pulled him aside and told him he sounded like he couldn't do an American accent. "I know you can because I’ve seen in other movies you can," Richie added, "But people who haven’t seen those other movies are going to think you’re a bad actor." So Cavill adopted a different accent. 

"I've been told I can be very good at it," Cavill says, "But I know I've been very bad at it in the past!"