Playing Superman Isn't Exactly Natural For Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill has starred in some of the biggest franchises in film and television. The actor has enjoyed a stint in the "Mission: Impossible" films and was the first performer to suit up as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's "The Witcher," but before any of that, he played Clark Kent/Superman in "Man of Steel," the 2013 film directed by Zack Snyder. The star would later reprise his role in a pair of follow-up films: 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," in which Cavill's Last Son of Krypton is pitted against Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader, and 2017's "Justice League" (both the movie's theatrical iteration and its four-hour director's cut by Snyder).

Cavill undergoes extensive training for most of his biggest roles, particularly that of Superman — a role that has seen the British thespian endure a months-long, grueling training regime to look the part of Earth's greatest Boy Scout, and multiple times at that. Of course, there's much more to Superman than just the physique. Sure, the character is known for his (extremely) muscular build, but playing an alien, more specifically the last surviving citizen of Krypton, meant Cavill had to embody the sensibility of someone who wasn't human, which is a pretty hard thing for do. In fact, in some ways, it was the challenge Cavill struggled with the most.

'Clark is not a human being'

Speaking to Interview Magazine in 2013, Henry Cavill argued that one cannot act intuitively while playing Superman. Kal-El is a character who, most of the time, is unfazed by anything that happens to him. He can also see in the dark, he flies, and he possesses super-strength — so there's a lot to keep in mind. "... Clark is not a human being, so everything he does actually has to be very considered," Cavill reasoned, adding:

"If you have superpowers and no one can actually cause you any physical harm, then everything has to be very thought-through. You almost have to fake at being human. Clark has gone through his entire life doing that, and he has always had to be mindful of it. For example, because of his strength, he can't just give his mom a big hug, because if he really hugs her hard, then she'll explode, so he has to find ways of conveying love without doing harm."

Even smaller, everyday things that would startle your average, non-super-powered human might fail to do the same to Clark Kent. "A light bulb popping doesn't scare him. He can see in the dark, so when the lights go out, nothing changes for him," Cavill noted. He felt it was important for him to keep all that in mind when playing the character, no matter the scene. "So you had to quite heavily plot and plan stuff because he doesn't react to a lot of things the way most people do because of his powers."

Indeed, Kal-El is constantly aware of his abilities. He's also afraid of people seeing through his Clark Kent persona and the last thing he wants is people suspecting he's a superhero. It's no wonder Cavill had to think it through.