SUPERMAN RUNS THE ROCK!
Superman is more normally associated with a different type of rock, Kryptonite, which saps the superhero of all his powers leaving him weak and helpless. The Rock of Gibraltar offered a new challenge to Clark Kent’s alter ego Superman in the form of 31 year old British actor Henry Cavill, lead role in Superman: Man of Steel, when he took part in the Run the Rock event held in October. So just what was it that brought the man voted Glamour Magazine’s Sexiest Male of 2013 to Gibraltar?
In an exclusive interview after his gruelling uphill sprint, Henry told B2B about his fundraising efforts on behalf of The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF) and chatted about his upcoming films and family life.
Joined by his brother Nik, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, Henry told B2B that he had managed the exhausting five kilometre uphill climb in around a superhuman 10 minutes; however his time from the start in Casemates Square was recorded at a more mortal 32.44. Although he was currently working on the forthcoming Marvel epic Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Henry took time out to run alongside his brother and other competitors as part of the 350th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Marines. Just how prepared was Henry for the Rock Run? “Although I am doing a film at the moment, fitness is relative,” Henry stated. “It depends on what you are training for. If you are training for Superman the movie, you are not training as a large engine to go up a hill; you are training for size and aesthetic.”
Apart from the obvious family connection, B2B wanted to know why Henry was supporting the RMCTF. “I understand the sacrifices people in the armed forces make and know how important and valuable the charitable support we provide is.” Discovered by casting directors when acting at school, when asked if he would have gone into the Marines or one of the other services if life had not taken him down a different path, Henry stated “Yes, absolutely.” Since becoming an Ambassador for the RMCTF earlier in the year, Henry’s fundraising goal of £20,000 has nearly been reached thanks to his fans and work colleagues. “They have been so enormously generous,” he said.
“The best thing about the RMCTF is that it provides four pathways for grants that can help in providing a better quality of life to serving and retired Royal Marines and their families,” he explained. This includes the Recovery Pathway, the Quality of Life Pathway, the Through Life pathway, for those who are actually still serving and also for veterans to help their lives continue, with the fourth being the immediate bereavement grants. Henry will keep supporting the RMCTF but whether he comes back to run the Rock in the future will depend on his filming schedule. “It’s been a wonderful experience and now I know what to expect, I can train for it better.”
Born in Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, this was Henry’s first trip to Gibraltar. “There is a similarity between the two places,” he said. “I definitely have a wonderful connection with the sea and I like to go home to Jersey because it is surrounded by water, just as Gibraltar is.” One of 5 brothers, Henry agreed that their mother must have been superwoman! “Genuinely, she is absolutely amazing,” he laughed. Using an American colloquialism more normally associated with rounding up cattle, Henry said “She wrangled us well!”
Henry admitted that there was a sporting rivalry between the boys. “We are competitive, but it is more about setting standards for the rest of the brothers as opposed to beating the others,” he said. “It’s funny that because we have all walked into different career fields there is no moment where we are directly competing with each other and, if we do, we are not just out to smash the other one, its more about let’s finish together, like Nik did today.” He continued “Nik could have breezed up the hill far faster than I did but he waited for me and ran with me the entire time.”
With previous roles in The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors and 2011’s Immortals, Cavill was selected at the age of 27 for the Superman role and is the only non-American to wear the iconic blue tights and red cape so far. With his chiselled good looks, mesmerising different coloured eyes (one blue, one a distinctive blue/brown) and athletic body, did he have to audition for the role? “Yes, it is very rare just to be picked and told you have got the job,” he said. “You pretty much have to audition at all times these days because there is a lot of money invested by the production company in a single individual, so it is only fair.”
Interestingly, he had previously tried out for the title role of Batman against Christian Bale in producer Christopher Nolan’s 2013 film (This is not true! — HC.org) and was apparently also up against Daniel Craig for the part of James Bond, but lost out because he was deemed to be too young. Henry Cavill is the epitome of a superhero, utterly charming and gracious enough to pose for endless photos with fans, always with a smile on his face, as he attended the various events held in Gibraltar during his visit before flying back to Michigan to resume filming.
If superhero stuff isn’t enough, Henry’s next box office blockbuster will see him take on the big-screen reboot of hit TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in another iconic role, this time recreating the character of Napoleon Solo made famous by Robert Vaughn. “It is very exciting and it is going to be a great movie, a bit different to my other roles there is even a comedic element to it,” Henry said. “We have already finished filming and it’s due to be released in August 2015.”
From Superman to Napoleon Solo, what comes next? “Hollywood is a fickle mistress and you never know what is going to happen,” Henry said. “It is all about doing the best you can, staying true to yourself and maintaining your integrity.”