Henry Cavill has seen his star power and popularity grow substantially after becoming Superman. Even after he’s reportedly parted ways with the character, he’s still reaping the benefits of the role. Since debuting in Man of Steel, Cavill has found himself co-starring with the likes of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. He’s also the lead in Netflix’s current hit medieval series The Witcher, and has other projects in the works.
However, if there was one potential drawback to playing a role that brought him so much good fortune, it’s that at one point Superman affected his love life.
How Superman changed Henry Cavill’s love life for the worse
It takes a lot of work to get into Superman shape. Cavill has revealed on more than one occasion that achieving his Superman build is a careful, methodical process. In this sense, it’s more than just going to the gym and pumping iron.
“There is no one Superman workout,” Cavill revealed according to Men’s Journal. “There are lots of different kinds of workouts required for the Superman physique. It’s become a body-sculpting thing. You’re balancing the diet as much as you can, trying to keep the body proportionate.”
Most fans only see Cavill when he’s in Superman shape. Because of this, the Justice League star felt some self-induced pressure when he was dealing with potential love partners. In an interview with The Guardian, Cavill explained how the expectation of being Superman affected his love life.
“There’s a blessing in being Superman. You get more attention. But there’s also a curse, which is that you’d better f******g look like Superman any time you need to get your kit off,” Cavill shared.
The concern comes from Cavill’s own worries over his physique. He also shared how he could occasionally feel insecure about his own body, especially when he’s not training for Superman.
“If I look in the mirror I might say, ‘You’re looking good!’ Other days, like today, because I’m off-season and haven’t been training, I’ll say, ‘Look at you, you fat f***’,” Cavill confided.
He would later comment how he would project these uncertainties to his female partners, jeopardizing potential intimacy with them. He’d sometimes tell himself, “‘Mate, you’re a mess. If you were to meet a bird out in a bar and bring her home, she’s expecting Superman. This is not Superman and she’s going to be mega-disappointed.’”
Henry Cavill was bullied because of his physique
Part of the motivation behind Cavill’s physical workouts is rooted in his childhood. When he was younger, Cavill was bullied for being chubby.
“I was a fat kid so I was an easy target. ‘Fat Cavill’ was the nickname, which was a totally fair nickname, because I was fat,” Cavill told Daily Mail.
The Guardian asserted that one of the reasons Cavill took up acting was because Cavill could become other characters. It provided an outlet for the Superman actor, who has since carved his physique into superhero shape. Still, actors can hardly please everyone. Even after Cavill became the Man of Steel he is today, he encountered a new form of bullying – cyber-bullying.
“You’re peeking behind the curtain. You wonder, ‘What are people saying about me? Oh, that’s nice. Oh, how lovely,’” Cavill revealed. “But then you find one that isn’t. One that says you’re only in a relationship to raise your profile, or to prove you’re not gay. You think, ‘Why are they being so nasty?’ Then you start shaping your behaviour around the comments, and that’s not OK. That’s not healthy.”
Cavill later remarked how strange it is someone can disparage them online. Yet in person, that same someone wouldn’t show that level of animosity.
“But if they met me in real life, I know what they’d probably say,” Cavill said. “‘Can I have a picture with you?’”
Is Henry Cavill done with Superman?
There have been varying reports regarding the actor’s status as Superman. But even though it seems likely that Cavill has hung up his cape for good, he still thinks about the character. So much so he believes there are more journeys for him and Superman ahead.
“There is still a lot of storytelling for me to do as a Superman, and I would absolutely love the opportunity,” Cavill told The Hollywood Reporter. “The killing of Zod gave a reason to the character never to kill again. Superman falling to the ground and screaming afterward – I don’t think that was originally in the script, but I wanted to show the pain he had. “
Cavill then shared that Superman killing Zod would allow a more psychological exploration of the character. And although he’s hung up his cape, it’s not so far away that he can’t put it on again.
“He just killed the last remaining member of his species. That’s the choice he made in that moment, and he’ll never do that again. There’s an opportunity for growth after that, to explore the psyche of Superman as a deep, seemingly invulnerable god-like being but with real feeling on the inside. As I always say, ‘The Cape is still in the closet,’” Cavill disclosed.
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