In the spring of this year I was serving as executive editor of Movie Magic magazine, and we were working on an issue that largely celebrated Superman's 75th anniversary. As part of it, of course, we were focusing on Man of Steel and for that reason I was given the opportunity to spend a few minutes with actor Henry Cavill to discuss his interpretation of the role of Superman.
At that point there wasn't a lot known about the film, although the final trailer had just been released and there was a tremendous amount of excitement about it. It was within that atmosphere of excitement that I spoke to Cavill, and what follows is a partial transcript of our conversation, which is being offered in support of Man of Steel's release on Blu-ray.
ED GROSS: How difficult has it been coping with all of the fervor out there regarding the movie?
HENRY CAVILL: I can't help but feel anything but excitement, really. It's all genuinely, incredibly exciting. The trailer came out yesterday and I was just excited to see that. Then everyone had a wonderful response to it. There's not a better word than exciting. There's also a slight feeling of being anxious because we're hopeful that the movie does as well as we hope it will. Generally it's all positive. I rub my hands together in glee waiting to show it to the world.
ED GROSS: Putting yourself into his mind set, how would you say that Superman views this world?
HENRY CAVILL: As much as he feels very much separate and literally like an alien, he very much views this world as his home, because it's all he's ever known. As much as there's so much more to what he is, it's still an integral part of his heart and his soul. There is more that can be said, but I wouldn't want to give away too much.
ED GROSS: From your point of view, what does the character represent?
HENRY CAVILL: Superman genuinely represents hope, struggle in the face of adversity as opposed to rolling over and giving up. Really facing up to seemingly insurmountable odds and, hopefully, winning. That's the point: the hope that one will win as opposed to turning one's back on hope and giving up. Or becoming the thing we initially disliked or felt strongly about. That's his place in this world, it's genuinely the representation of hope. You know, no matter how many times I told people this was not dark and gritty, people kept on saying it. I'm so glad that people are starting to see it now in the latest trailer that it's not dark and gritty at all, it's just more realistic than previous incarnations of Superman, but without losing the super powered wonder of what Superman is.
ED GROSS: The whole point is Superman, no matter how dark and gritty the world may be, is supposed to be the beacon of hope at the center of it all.
HENRY CAVILL: Exactly. He's the beacon of hope. He is the shining light. But what makes it interesting is that he's still susceptible to human emotions. So that adds a realism to it and a way of associating and feeling a part of this character, of getting inside his head, which I think was necessary as opposed to this very separate thing. He is both a part of earth and so very much apart from Earth, and that's what makes him fascinating.
ED GROSS: There have been rumors about you getting involved in an adaptation of 50 Shades of Gray. You've always said you feel a certain responsibility playing Superman. Would that prevent you from doing a role that would be so diametrically opposed to him?
HENRY CAVILL: There's very much a responsibility attached to the role of Superman, but as an actor I don't think it should stop me from doing any particular roles that may be great stories. I'm very much a storyteller and enjoy telling stories, and if I think there is a wonderful story to tell, I don't think having played the role of Superman will necessarily stop me from telling that story. The chances are it will be in a vehicle that is very different from what Superman is, so it won't damage any of that character which people draw from Superman, because they'll see two very different things on screen.
ED GROSS: Are you ready to suit up again?
HENRY CAVILL: I would relish the idea of doing it again. I loved playing the character, I loved working with everyone I worked with. If I get the chance to do that again, that's amazing. Yes, please!