Henry Cavill Biography
Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on May 5, 1983 in Jersey, Channel Island. He is the fourth youngest of five brothers. His father, a stockbroker instilled a love of computers and gaming in Henry and his brothers. Colin Cavill would set up computers for each of the boys on the kitchen table and they would play group games to the thrill of his mother Marriane.
He was raised on the island of Jersey and attended St. Michael’s Preparatory School. Henry participated in drama as part of the school experience and enjoyed it. He says that all of his brothers did. At the completion of his time at St. Michael’s Preparatory School Henry was head boy. At the age of 13, he left Jersey, CI to attend Stowe School, a public boarding school in Buckinhamshire, England.
Henry had a difficult time adjusting to life in boarding school. In an interview with the Daily Mail Henry revealed that his nickname at school was “Fat Cavill”. He suffered from Osgood-Schlatter Disease which manifests as a swelling in the knee joints. This is common in adolescents and sufferers usually grow out of it. But in the meantime Henry was not able to exercise. Combine that with a love of chips and sedentary video games and he picked up extra weight. He was very home sick and called home several times a day in tears until his mother told him in his second year that he needed to stop calling.
Henry found refuge in the drama department putting on several productions including Grease and Hamlet. Eventually he grew out of his Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Henry has described himself as being sporty and participated in such sports as cricket, rugby and hockey.
The pivotal moment came in his Stowe school career when he was asked to be an extra in a scene from the movie Proof of Life. In between takes for the scene Henry and his schoolmates were standing around in a semi-circle staring at Russell Crowe. Henry decided it was foolish and decided to ask Russell what it was like to be an actor. Russell told him (paraphrase) sometimes they don’t treat you so great, but the pay is good. At which point the other boys decided to pluck up their courage and ask for autographs. Henry told Russell to run and waved as he left.
A few days later, Henry received a care package from Russell. It included a vegemite, a package of sweets from Jersey, a CD of a band that Russell was currently in, and a Gladiator poster with a handwritten message, “Dear Henry, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Russell.”
This was the motivation that Henry needed to decide on an acting career. His family wasn’t very keen on the idea at first. But then casting directors for the movie, “The Count of Monte Cristo,” came around to Stowe School looking for a young man to cast as Albert Mondego. Henry fit the director’s vision and was cast in the part.
In quick succession he was cast as a main character in Laguna, which has since been renamed Vendetta. I Capture the Castle, based on the novel. He also appeared in several television productions including Inspector Lynley’s Mysteries, and a Mid Summers murder. He also had a brief cameo in the television movie Goodbye Mr. Chips.
During this time Henry started the phase in his career which led him to be labeled as the unluckiest man in Hollywood. He auditioned for Harry Potter twice and was rejected both times. Fans favored him for the role of Cedric Diggory, but it went to Robert Pattinson.
Henry then decided to try his hand at Hollywood. He spent several years working in bars in Jersey and London to save money so he could spend six months at a time in Hollywood going on auditions.
He auditioned for the re-incarnated role of James Bond and it came down to Daniel Craig and Henry. Ultimately, the role went to Daniel Craig. Henry has been quoted as saying that the right man got the job, “Daniel Craig owned Bond.”
He was also Stephanie Meyer’s original vision of Edward Cullen, but by the time the film went into production the producers decided that Henry was too old.
Henry then went on to make a film for children, Red Riding Hood, where he played the Hunter.
Henry thought his big break had come when he screen tested for McG’s Superman: Flyby. However the film fell apart because Warner Brothers wanted to film in Australia and McGee does not fly. McGee was replaced by Bryan Singer. Bryan Singer said recently that he wanted a Superman that was a closer reflection of Christopher Reeves. Bryan Singer then cast Brandon Routh.
Henry says it was during this time of getting so close to major roles and losing out that he seriously considered quitting acting and pursuing a career in the military like his father and two older brothers.
But then in 2006 he was cast as the Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon in the Showtime series The Tudors. The Tudors won an Emmy for their first season and things began to turn around. The Tudors ran for four seasons, completing the story of Charles Brandon and King Henry VIII.
While on hiatus from the Tudors Henry, cast as Humphrey, filmed Stardust with an all star cast. He also filmed Blood Creek (not the original name) with director Joel Shoemacher and fellow co-star Michael Fassbender. He then worked with Woody Allen in Whatever Works along with Evan Rachel Wood.
During 2008 and before the third season of The Tudors began, Henry channeled Dunhill Parfum Ads and television commercials.
He was next cast as Theseus in what came to be known as Immortals, directed by Tarsem Singh. Henry underwent a physical transformation for this role. Dropping to 177lbs and 6% body fat.
His next movie was the Cold Light of Day, once again he was working with an all-star cast with Bruce Willis playing his father and Sigourney Weaver playing his nemesis.
And then the opportunity that Henry had thought he lost came around again. Zack Snyder was rebooting Superman and asked Henry to audition.
Zack said he had Henry try on one of the original costumes worn by Christopher Reeve. When Henry appeared before the group no one laughed and Zack knew he had his man.
Zack hired the very same trainer who had worked with him to transform the cast of 300 into Spartan warriors. Mark Twight and Michael Blevins helped Henry undergo the most drastic physical transformation of his career. Henry was out of shape due to the requirements for his character Will Shaw in the Cold Light of Day. Henry was able to gain 20-25lbs of muscle and reduce his bodyfat to 3% for his now infamous shirtless scenes in Man of Steel. The shoot was an extremely long one. He trained for 5 months before principle photography began and throughout the shoot, which was 8-9 months initially. He then did various re-shoots over 2012 and even into 2013 to make sure that the story was complete. Henry dedicated himself to the role and actually became sick at the end of the shoot and could not continue his training.
Man of Steel opened to mixed reviews from critics and fans. This was a Man of Steel that no one had seen before. Despite that one thing was clear, Henry owned the role of Clark Kent/Kal-el/Superman. The film grossed more than $660 million world wide. No one was shocked when the studio green lit a sequel. The sequel immediately went into pre-production. Henry and Zack also shot a commercial for Hardee’s/Karl’s Jr’s which was comedic.
In the meantime Henry had signed on to act in the re-boot of the 1960’s classic TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Henry had originally auditioned for the role of Ilia Kuryakin, when Tom Cruise was attached to the project. When Tom Cruise left the project and with the success of Man of Steel, Henry was asked to step into the role of Napolean Solo.
Henry shot The Man from U.N.C.L.E during the late summer and fall of 2013, in Italy and the United Kingdom. He also began training in August of 2013 to reprise his role as the Man of Steel. He wrapped shooting The Man from U.N.C.LE at the end of November 2014. He then took a short break before joining Mark Twight in Salt Lake City to continue training over the holidays.
At the completion of his time in Salt Lake City, Henry adopted a Big Bear Akita pup, and reportedly named him Kal-el.
He then traveled to the greater Detroit area where pre-production had been underway for months on Batman v Superman.
In January 2014, Warner Brothers announced that the Batman v Superman release date would be pushed back from July 17, 2015 to May 6, 2016, to the disappointment of many fans.