How long ago did The Tudors finish filming? What was your most memorable scene?
HC: Season 3 wrapped last year in October, I believe. There’s quite a nice scene where I talk to the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace in a picturesque valley in Ireland, which is where we shoot. There was one scene where we had the three leaders standing on this fantastic little bridge. That sticks out in my mind as a fantastic image. Otherwise, we have plenty of memorable, funny stuff where we messed up our lines a few times and we ended up getting frustrated in the end. And we’re going to start Tudors season 4, god-willing, in June.
Who messed up their lines the most?
HC: Oh goodness, I think we all do an equal share of that. Generally, we’ll be pretty good, but some days it will have been a long, long time and then there will be continuous errors for whatever reason. Sometimes we start to flub our lines on a regular occasion, or we find something particularly funny and after we’ve had one laugh, just making eye contact is enough to make one lose his train of thought.
Did anyone play pranks on the set, or was the set too serious for that?
HC: I don’t think the set is too serious there at all! We don’t tend to play pranks really because we’re so restricted on time. For one of us to play silly buggers and hold shooting up–that would be frowned upon quite badly, especially if things are running particularly behind time. We tend to keep our pranks private.
Henry Cavill in The Tudors Season 3
How did you relax when you were shooting in Ireland?
HC: In the evenings, it was going out for nice meals or anywhere the mood takes us as a group, and then going out for drinks as well. Bang Cafe in Dublin is a fantastic place to eat, and then there’s a member’s bar/club/restaurant owned by the same company called the Regular’s Bar, which is really nice.
Do you have any favorite actors you look to for inspiration?
HC: It’s a little dangerous looking towards actors for inspiration because you could end up mimicking them, which I don’t think is ideal if you want to carve your own career and make your own impression on audiences. But certainly one of the actors whom I respect, well, one of my favorite actors out there is Russell Crowe.
Do you watch your own performances?
HC: Well, there are positives and negatives to watching your own performances, often because you’re going to look at it from a completely biased perspective, usually extremely critical. So it can be destructive, but watching it so you can get a good read of how you come across on certain things can also be helpful. Things like the Tudors, I always find it a good idea to watch on how they’ve edited the whole thing together, so I have an impression of how a character’s come across and I can continue to follow that line and develop it further as the next season shoots.
Do you have a proudest acting career moment?
HC: Not really, I haven’t thought it out yet to that degree where I have a moment where I’m most proud of. Hopefully in time, I’ll have a scene which comes together so perfectly with other actors and everything involved, you know the score, the lighting, the direction, and it’ll be something I show the grandkids one day and say, “I used to be that guy!” Otherwise, I can’t really say I’ve had one yet.
I’ve heard you like to snowboard. How good are you?
HC: I’m still very much a beginner! I can go down quickly but the quicker I go, the more scared I get, naturally. I think I’m going to wipe out at some point and it’ll probably be on ice and I’ll probably hurt myself badly. It’s that sort of level, where I’m capable, I’m competent, but still at risk of my own health.
Have you injured yourself yet?
HC: Nothing has hospitalized me…I’ve fallen very badly and bruised my coccyx (tailbone) and damaged my ribs at one point. Generally I’ve been very knackered afterwards because of the body aches, but otherwise nothing really extreme.
Do you still have your pet parrot?
HC: No, unfortunately Trouper (Trooper?) passed on a few years ago. It was the favorite name of my father’s African Grey Parrots.
Do you have any new pets?
HC: No, I don’t but I’d really like to get a German Shepard. The problem with getting a dog and having a job like mine is that I’m constantly traveling around the place and you need to give your pets a 100% of your time. So unless I could bring my dog with me to sets around the world, which is not ideal when you have flights because it’s risky for their health, it’s going to be tough.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
HC: No, I don’t.
Which TV shows do you follow? Do you play any computer games?
HC: I like Dexter a lot. I also really liked Battlestar Galactica. I’m also a big fan of watching the History Channel and National Geographic. As for PC games, I’ve played World of Warcraft a lot in the past, Eve Online is my favorite presently. That’s something I’ve gotten quite sucked into.
What was your biggest splurge since becoming an actor?
HC: I just bought a car, so that will be the biggest one. I got an Aston Martin DBS. It was one of those things that just ended up happening, like, “Right, okay, just treat yourself.”
What was the last concert you went to?
HC: Concerts are good fun and all, but I haven’t been to a concert in years. I’d rather go to a small gig in a very small place, rather than stand at a concert. There’s the obvious problems at a concert – like if you want to get a drink, it takes half an hour to get to the drink stand, half an hour to get a drink, and then half an hour to get back. By then, you’ve finished your drink and you need to go back again! (laughs)
You have a new movie coming out called Whatever Works. What was it like being directed by Woody Allen?
HC: Fantastic! I think we shot in May last year in New York. I had heard a lot of scary rumors beforehand about him. I was naturally a little bit nervous, but I found the opposite to be true. He would communicate his thoughts exactly and very accurately to give actors to work with; he was very enjoyable to work with. And also, his style was very different as well, so I got to step out of my comfort zone and stretch myself a little bit.
He tends to shoot a sort of hyper-realism: instead of people talking like they do in the movies, they’ll talk as in every day life. Such as, when you’re having a conversation with someone, the other person would make listening noises and jump on the end of your sentences and start talking. All that kind of stuff was often done in one or two set-ups. With a four page scene, that can often make you sweat a little bit, because if you mess up your lines once, you could possibly mess up the scene. So it was definitely a different acting experience, and a very enjoyable one.
He often says beforehand, ‘I know there’s a lot of dialogue here, so if you start to forget your lines, just improvise. Just go with it, as long as you’re running along the same line.’ It’s great; he’ll often give you a bit of leeway because the nature of it is supposed to be realistic. I believe that’s what he does brilliantly – sort of a window into real life. So yes, he does allow for freedom.
What’s your character like in the movie?
HC: He’s an English acting student in New York who has fallen head over heels in love with the lead. He pursues her doggedly with the help of her mother, surprisingly enough. It’s not an enormous role by any means.
You had a kissing scene with Evan Rachel Wood?
HC: Goodness, I believe there may have been a kiss? Nothing passionate, there was no tearing of the clothes like there was in Tudors Season 1. It was more of a sweet, romantic attraction.
Henry Caviil's kissing scene with Evan Rachel Wood in Woody Allen's Whatever Works
Is it completely unsexy to film romantic/kissing scenes with everyone watching you, the lights and the cameras?
HC: This is tough to explain. As an actor and when you’re working and doing kissing/romantic scenes, you try and get your feelings there as much as you can so that you can give off the right energy to the audience and into the camera. But at the same time, it is acting. There are other things going through your mind where, normally in those kinds of situations, the only thing that’s on your mind is the person that you’re with.
When you were filming in NYC, where did you like to kick back?
HC: I was staying in the Bryant Park Hotel, and there’s bar underneath the hotel, the Cellar Bar, where I tended to spend a lot of time just because it was right downstairs and very easily accessible.
Can you tell us about your other film, War of the Gods?
HC: It’s been delayed and still sitting in pre-production. Hopefully we’ll start shooting after Tudors finishes. The script is still being re-written but as it stands, the character is a fairly angry man. Angry because he feels like he’s been dealt with unfairly throughout life, and has taken on fairly aggressive qualities. He’s still a good man, and still fairly self-aware, but I think he’s peeved at the world. Peeved is a light word to use, there. To sum it up, [director Tarsem Singh] describes it perfectly. It’ll be [Italian artist] Caravaggio meets Fight Club.
Tudors premieres this Sunday, is there anything else you’d like to say about it?
HC: I’ve seen four episodes so far, and I think it’s the best we’ve done. I really hope everyone enjoys it!