Henry Cav­ill has found world­wide fame through a char­ac­ter who is, lit­er­ally, out of this world.

Men's Fitness - - Features | Henry Cavill -

He rock­eted into the A-list play­ing Su­per­man in the 2013 fran­chise re­boot Man of Steel and its 2016 fol­low-up Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn Of Jus­tice – but de­spite the fame and for­tune the role brought him, he works hard to keep his re­al­life self firmly grounded here on Earth. In fact, the 34-year-old star has shunned the trap­pings of a Hol­ly­wood life­style for a qui­eter, more friends-and-fam­ily-cen­tric life in Lon­don. “If I ever be­come an ego­ma­niac, then I’ve messed it up,” he says.

The Jer­sey-born ac­tor is known for the pow­ered-up work­outs he un­der­goes to get into su­per­hero shape, and re­cently he’s rein­vented him­self as a kind of on­line work­out guru as well, post­ing videos of his ses­sions to so­cial me­dia and en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to learn from his ex­am­ple. He spoke to MF about his rea­son be­hind that, as well as how he keeps him­self strong and mo­ti­vated when not pre­par­ing to play the last son of Kryp­ton (which he does again in this year’s up­com­ing Jus­tice League movie) – and, in­evitably, the pos­si­bil­ity of go­ing from su­per­hero to su­per­spy and be­ing the next James Bond. At the end of Bat­man v Su­per­man, you looked ex­tremely un­likely to re­turn for an­other se­quel – but you’re in Jus­tice League, so… what hap­pened?

I’m afraid I can’t talk about it. In fact, I’m sure there’s some­one [from the stu­dio] wait­ing out­side my house in case they over­hear me say some­thing. Then I’ll be shuf­fled off in­vol­un­tar­ily.

You’re the first Bri­tish ac­tor to play Su­per­man. What’s it like play­ing this iconic Amer­i­can char­ac­ter?

Well, Su­per­man, in my be­lief, is for ev­ery­one. He’s Amer­i­can, but he’s not nec­es­sar­ily just for Amer­i­cans. Peo­ple ev­ery­where can re­late to Su­per­man.

I think I’d feel the same about play­ing Su­per­man if I was Amer­i­can. Play­ing the char­ac­ter as a Brit doesn’t make a dif­fer­ence when it comes to the act­ing thing… ul­ti­mately, it’s an alien who flies around and stuff!

Did you grow up in a DC uni­verse or a Mar­vel one?

I didn’t grow up in ei­ther in par­tic­u­lar. When I was young I was into Su­per­man, I was into Iron Man, I was into the X-Men. I didn’t re­ally know there was a dif­fer­ence. To be hon­est, I’m not too sure if there is now. I think they’re all cool.

Since I got the role of Su­per­man, I’ve been more into the char­ac­ter and delv­ing into the DC uni­verse. I’m lov­ing what DC is do­ing. It’s ev­ery­thing a comic book should be. It’s in­spi­ra­tional, it’s joy­ful, it’s got heart, and it’s just fun. It’s the kind of thing kids read and want to grow up try­ing to em­u­late.

So what’s Henry Cav­ill’s per­sonal Kryp­tonite?

The peo­ple I love. I think if some­one went af­ter them, that would change ev­ery sin­gle core char­ac­ter­is­tic of mine… I wouldn’t be­come weak, but I don’t think I’d be very good.

If I were walk­ing my dog, for ex­am­ple, and some­one were to kick him, I hon­estly don’t know what I would do. I think I’d prob­a­bly get my­self into trou­ble.

What kind of dog do you have?

I have an Akita named Kal – I got him dur­ing pre­pro­duc­tion for

Bat­man v Su­per­man. I got him in Arkansas, which I was sure was pro­nounced “Ar-kansas” be­fore I got there. I said it in front of lots and lots of peo­ple, but no-one cor­rected me un­til I ac­tu­ally got to Arkansas and they said, “Oh yeah, it’s ‘Arkan­saw’”. I thought, “Thanks, ev­ery­one else who’s heard me say that!”

Aside from the dog-walk­ing, are your “off-sea­son” work­outs sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from the ones you do to bulk up and look like the Man of Steel? Dur­ing an off-sea­son pe­riod, I’ll be at a level where I’ve got fit so I’ll go to my gym here in Lon­don and be work­ing, push­ing hard – but not to the point where I’m get­ting up the next day and be­ing re­ally sore.

You’re look­ing pretty big th­ese days. Can you re­ally main­tain that at a mod­er­ate in­ten­sity? Once you get to the level of be­ing fit, there are days when you go, “You know what? To­day I just want to dig a very deep hole and jump into it.” Then some­times your en­ergy is re­ally high and you think, “I’m go­ing to hurt my­self to­day. Let’s see if I still bleed.” And you will bleed! Then you’ll wake up the next day and go, “Oh, holy moly…”

But it’s fun – it’s just go­ing there, breath­ing, get­ting some en­dor­phins flow­ing. Maybe you want to work on some mus­cle groups, maybe you want to get leaner, and so you can set lit­tle tasks for your­self.

It’s very, very im­por­tant as well to have some­one who gen­uinely knows what they’re talk­ing about as far as train­ing is con­cerned, who can ad­vise you on diet and what you’re do­ing with it. Th­ese are all im­por­tant things. Th­ese are things that I don’t know. Thank­fully, I have my trainer here in Lon­don, Michael Blevins. If I say, “You know what? I want to have big­ger ham­strings. They’re nice and strong, but I want them to be big­ger. What do I do?” He goes, “OK, cool, well, do this, this and this, up your calo­ries…”

You of­ten post clips of your­self train­ing on­line. Is that an im­por­tant part of your in­ter­ac­tion with fans?

A lot of peo­ple to­day want an easy fix. Do this, and do that, and you’ve got 60-sec­ond abs. My own ap­proach to train­ing is, I’m learn­ing year af­ter year af­ter year and ap­ply­ing it and find­ing what fits and suits me best for my life­style. It’s been a long process. There’s no quick fix.

I was very fit, then I was not very fit, then very fit again, then not very fit. Now that I’m fit again, I think I’ve found a com­fort­able bal­ance, which is en­joy­able be­cause we all like to go out for drinks and have pizza and have din­ners and all the nice things in life, and not be a com­plete gym psy­cho.

But I stay fit enough to feel com­fort­able with tak­ing my shirt off at the beach, be­cause some­one’s go­ing to take a photo, and then it won’t all of a sud­den be, “Hey look, fat Su­per­man!” in the

Daily Mail or some­thing like that. It’ll just be, “Hey, look, Henry Cav­ill at the beach”.

So through my In­sta­gram and my so­cial me­dia, I’m try­ing to send the mes­sage that it’s a process. You don’t have to en­dure a psy­chotic, ag­o­nis­ing work­out. You don’t have to leave it all on the floor ev­ery time. Hope­fully through my so­cial me­dia I can help ed­u­cate peo­ple.

Could you imag­ine tak­ing roles that re­quire the op­po­site trans­for­ma­tion – like Chris­tian Bale in The Ma­chin­ist, for which he dropped al­most 30kg? Un­less the script was very good, I would say no. If it were some­thing I re­ally cared about be­cause its sub­ject mat­ter was very im­por­tant to me, and I wanted to get it out there, then yeah, I could see my­self do­ing it. Oth­er­wise, no. I’m not go­ing to be like, “Hey, I’m go­ing to do a fat-man role or a re­ally skinny role be­cause that’s what all the big ac­tors do th­ese days!” I’m not go­ing to choose work to make peo­ple go, “Oh, wow, he can re­ally act be­cause he can lose lots of weight”.

Is there an­other ca­reer you could’ve en­vi­sioned pur­su­ing had things worked out dif­fer­ently? Thank­fully, at this stage I’ve got my foot in the door enough that if some­one tried to slam it shut, I could prob­a­bly squeeze through a lit­tle bit and keep the door open! The full back-up plan was the armed forces. But I think I’m too old to join now.

Speak­ing of the armed forces, James Bond is a char­ac­ter you’ve spo­ken about to us be­fore. Are you still in­ter­ested in play­ing him one day? Ab­so­lutely. It’d be awe­some to play Bond, a clas­sic Bond

– I wouldn’t play the same kind of Bond as Daniel Craig. That’s an amaz­ing Bond, and I don’t think I’d be the per­son to outdo Daniel Craig at do­ing Daniel Craig’s Bond!

I would love to do a dif­fer­ent ver­sion and just have enor­mous amounts of fun with it. The great thing about Bond is that ev­ery dif­fer­ent ac­tor can play him so dif­fer­ently.

There’s al­ways the el­e­ment of the suave charmer who gets the girl. Do you have any ad­vice along those lines – things that you try to do in your own life? That’s a tough one, giv­ing ad­vice to any­one. I’ve al­ways been very care­ful be­cause I think the best ad­vice in the world is, “Don’t give ad­vice when it’s asked for”.

But if, say, for ex­am­ple, a hy­po­thet­i­cal reader were hy­po­thet­i­cally ask­ing for ad­vice, then I would say stop look­ing to get laid, and look more for some­one who can make you the bet­ter ver­sion of you. That’s go­ing to make you hap­pier, more than just get­ting laid will.

And fi­nally, where are you on that jour­ney? Well, I keep those kinds of things to my­self now…

“We all like to go out for drinks and have pizza and have din­ners and all the nice things in life, and not be a com­plete gym psy­cho”

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