Did you know there were rules for the actor who played Superman?
1. The Casting
Before he became the Man Of Steel, Cavill had to… well, get the part.
Cavill was nervous because in order to get the part you had to put on Christopher Reeves’ old suit and walk out in front of the producers, and Cavill thought he would look ridiculous.
Here’s what Zach Snyder had to say about it.
“He walked out, and no one laughed. Other actors put that suit on, and it’s a joke, even if they’re great actors. Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go, “Wow.’ Ok. This was Superman.”
2. The Workout
You have to be shredded to play Superman. So before he could get the role, Henry had to visit a really intense gym. Here is an excerpt from their site:
“Gym Jones is not a cozy place. There are no televisions, no machines, no comfortable spot to sit. Effort and pain may not be avoided. Physical and psychological breakdowns occur.”
3. The Mental Prep
It wasn’t just Gym Jones that required mental preparation, but the act of playing the Kryptonian also took a lot of thought.
Cavill didn’t watch any of the movies but instead read all the original comics.
4. The Way He Ate
Getting a Superman ready body isn’t just about working out, abs are in fact made in the kitchen.
At one point, Cavill was eating 5000 calories a day. What did he think of this diet?
Well, he had this to say:
“You’ve got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs… you’ve gotta keep your hunger levels going. The leaning down phase is the hardest because although you’re looking great, you’re always in a bad mood because you’re so hungry.”
5. The Sleep
Henry Cavill not only had to work hard, eat hard, and read hard to play Superman, but he had to sleep hard too.
His trainer recommended he get 9-10 hours a night.
6. The Suit
Deciding on a Superman suit for a new movie isn’t as easy as you’d think.
Apparently, Henry Cavill had to sit there for four hours while they tried on different versions of the suit… and never complained once!
7. No CGI
This was actually a rule Cavill made for himself when he set out to play the Man Of Steel: no CGI would be used to enhance his body.
He wanted it to be all-natural.
8. The Fighting
Whether it was to make Superman’s fighting more realistic or just to be more in shape we’ll never know.
But what we do know is that Henry Cavill took Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in order to prepare for his role.
9. Working Out On Set
Even when he was already Superman, he still had to keep up with his training, although instead of going 7 hours a day he only had to do 2 to 3.
10. He could only eat unhealthy…
When being Superman was done. Once the scenes were done, Henry says this happened:
“Zack Snyder bought me an amazing apple pie and a tub of ice cream. I ordered a pizza as well and didn’t even go home. I just sat in a trailer afterward and ate it. I passed out into a food coma after that.”
11. The Accent
Another rule while playing Superman was that he couldn’t drop the American accent until he was off set.
According to Henry, it takes a warmup and everything, so to drop it would be to lose all your preparation.
12. The Responsibility
One rule while playing the Man Of Steel is how to interact with children when they see you outside of the movies.
Henry Cavill always remembers that they’re not meeting the actor, they’re meeting Superman.
13. He Had To Maintain His Physique
Superman himself said:
“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.”
However, he couldn’t.
He was required by the studio to keep his physique for the movies.
He couldn’t get fat in between the movies unless, of course, they needed a fat Superman.
However, it’s not like he wants to lose his physique.
Even though sometimes it sucks:
“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!”
14. He Needed To Have Hope
Through all the training, all the filming and all the let’s face it, suffering he had to go through, Henry Cavill had to be a bastion of hope to all those around him.
Just like Superman.
15. He Needed To Keep Motivated
You can get down on yourself as an actor, especially when you’re playing a huge role like Superman.
However, luckily, Cavill had one of his greatest inspirations with him on set.
Yes, he wasn’t just Kal-El’s father, he was also Henry Cavill’s motivator throughout the movie… and throughout most of his life.
Years ago, when Henry Cavill was young, he met Russell Crowe (who was already a big actor at the time).
The story goes like this:
Crowe was shooting a movie at Cavill’s school when Superman was about 16 years old.
Henry went up to the superstar, introduced himself and said that he wanted to be an actor.
Cavill must have made an impression on Crowe.
Because two days later, the young man got a package from the Hollywood superstar.
As the story goes, it contained Vegemite, a CD of Crowe’s band, an Aussie rugby jersey…
And a note from Crowe himself.
The note read:
“Dear Henry, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Russell.”
Ever since Cavill has kept the photo on him, and even had it with him during Man of Steel.
16. He needed to push himself
Even when he was working at his most intense, the Man Of Steel needed to push himself to the very limits while working out.
There is one story that was shared by Cavill’s trainer…
At one point, Henry was doing squats.
He was doing way more weight than he was used to and after the fourth rep his muscles straight up collapsed on him.
His trainer told him to dump the weight…
But then something astonishing happened.
“Instead, Cavill did something that Twight—a man not easily impressed—would remember forever. He drove his heels into the ground and pushed, his face twisting into an expression showing supreme effort, his body working harder than at any time during his entire year of training for the role.”
But how did it end?
“And slowly he began to rise out of the hole, grinding his way back up, until he completed the rep. He racked the bar, lifted his head, and opened his eyes… and everything seemed different.”
17. Weight Training
Obviously, if you want to get as ripped as Superman you have to do a wee bit of weight training.
Henry Cavill is no stranger to this, as he could tell you.
How much weight training?
He was doing everything from squats, deadlifts, clean lifts, presses to bench presses. It was a similar exercise regimen to 300, but with a little more added on.
He was training 2-3 hours a day… Just with weights!
18. The Worst Exercise
This is one of the worst workouts that Henry Cavill had to do, and apparently he had to do it a lot to become Kal-El.
The workout is called… The Tailpipe.
Apparently because it makes your lungs feel like they’ve been sucking on a tailpipe.
It’s designed to “smoke calories, torch fat, and leave you exhausted.”
We don’t know the exact details, but we know it’s a 100 rep workout where you take very small breaks.
To be exact: 8 controlled breaths.
It’s a workout where you “fight the urge to gasp, throw yourself around, or change songs on your iPod.”
It’s a two-man workout that involves kettlebells and rowing 250 meters. That just sounds awful.