Henry Cavill is a gentleman. It’s in his actions, his diction, his dress sense and the fact that he’s unfailingly polite. When he arrives at our top-secret photo shoot location, he’s wearing a Royal Marines Charity hoodie, blue jeans and smart brown shoes – and, until now, I’ve never seen anyone look so dapper in jeans and a sweatshirt. Cavill also holds the door open for me on two occasions. It’s the small gestures that add up. This 35-year-old British actor has accomplished a lot, but still remains humble in what’s known to be a fickle industry.
“What is it like being considered a sex symbol?” He’s a bit surprised by the question and responds by saying, “Oh, God. Am I? I don’t know if I’m considered a sex symbol. ‘I don’t know’ is the answer to that question. I think, I mean, cool? If that’s the case, yay? My brothers will have a good laugh about that.”
Cavill has starred in a string of box office hits including his performance as Napoleon Solo in the action spy comedy The Man from U.N.C.L.E., not to mention him suiting up for the role of Clark Kent/Superman in three DC films. This summer, we’ll also catch him on the big screen in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Off-screen, Cavill’s schedule is hectic. Besides co-founding the film, TV and events company Promethean Productions with his brothers Charlie and Ben Blankenship, Cavill is actively involved in charity work as an ambassador for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and The Royal Marines Charity, a British organisation that provides support to serving marines, veterans and their families.
Cavill was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands, where the beach was just a 15-minute walk from the family home. The second-youngest of five boys, his career began when he bagged the role of Albert Mondego in the 2002 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Back then, he was just a lad at England’s Stowe School and it was uncertain whether he’d pursue a full-time acting career. But by the time the movie had wrapped, Cavill had two agents, one in the UK and one in the US.
Starring as the most famous comic-book character in not one but three blockbuster films, Cavill was the lead in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League (the first two are the highest-grossing Superman films of all time). As it turns out, “Supes,” as he affectionately calls him, was also the young Cavill’s favourite superhero.
When he’s not in front of the camera, this down-to-earth celebrity likes to spend his time reading, playing PC games, catching some sun and bonding with his gorgeous dog, Kal, who’s regularly featured on his Instagram. “I enjoy sharing aspects of my personality with the public. I was very nervous about it at first,” he admits. “It took me a long time to get on to social media despite lots of pushing from my agents and my manager. Eventually, I did it and I’m enjoying it now. I’ve found my own voice,” he explains – and judging from his posts and videos, it’s quite a humorous one.
So, what’s next? Watch this space. In the meantime, you can see him as August Walker in the action-packed Mission: Impossible – Fallout with Tom Cruise, the sixth instalment in the series. The trailer shows Cavill and Cruise performing extremely complicated fight sequences that include an array of wild stunts in helicopters, on motorbikes and hanging off cliffs.
“Working with Tom Cruise? Absolutely amazing. Genuinely nice human being and extraordinary professional. He’s just a great actor, a great stunt performer and a great producer, all at the same time. He knows exactly what the camera’s seeing when he’s sitting in front of it, which is a skill I think a lot of people probably have, but it’s something that I’m developing. On this last movie, especially, I had a wonderful collaborative experience with [director] Chris McQuarrie. He shared a lot with me and it’s just very exciting to be in this world now and having been in it for 18 years, but there’s still so much to learn and there’s a long way for me to go.”
As an illustration of Cavill’s level-headedness and refreshing humility, he couldn’t have put it better.
Read the full story in the August 2018 issue of Prestige Hong Kong
Photography Simon Emmett
Creative Direction and Production Alvin Goh
Styling Jo Grzeszczuk
Hair Jacqueline Rathore using Davines
Grooming Ailbhe Lemass using By Terry Make-up and Dr Hauschka Skincare
Photography Assistants Sam Ford, Tom Frimley, James Frew and Mike Jennison
Styling Assistants Alicia Ellis and Jessie Pan