“You’re peeking behind the curtain”: Even Henry Cavill Admits There’s a Dark Side to Being Super-shredded

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The actor played the iconic role in Zack Snyder’s iteration of the DCU.

"You’re peeking behind the curtain": Even Henry Cavill Admits There's a Dark Side to Being Super-shredded


  • Henry Cavill was cast as Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel which was set to kickstart the DCU.
  • Cavill reprised the role multiple times in subsequent sequels but had to depart after DC chief James Gunn decided to reboot the franchise.
  • The actor revealed that while he felt blessed to be playing the role, there were dark sides to playing an iconic character.

Henry Cavill became a global star when he took on the role of Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. He reprised the role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. He also had a cameo in Black Adam and he returned to the role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

The former would be his last appearance as the superhero as he had to depart after James Gunn decided to revamp the DCU. During his time as Superman, Cavill received polarizing responses to his iteration as it was a grittier and edgier version of the legendary character. In an interview, Henry Cavill mentioned the pressures that came with the character.


Henry Cavill As Superman In The DCU

Henry Cavill as Superman
Henry Cavill as Superman

Before he made his debut as Superman in Man of SteelHenry Cavill had come close to playing the iconic superhero when a solo film by director McG was in the works. He was cast in McG’s iteration of Superman but the film fell through and his replacement Bryan Singer ended up casting Brandon Routh as Clark Kent in Superman Returns.

Cavill also lost out on the role of James Bond after he was up against Daniel Craig. At a time when he felt like a jinx, he finally turned his luck when Zack Snyder cast him as Superman in Man of Steel, which would kickstart a shared cinematic universe with other DC characters. Cavill’s performance and the film received polarizing reviews, yet he returned for the sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill

Regarding playing Superman in the DCU, Cavill told The Guardian that he was excited to continue playing the role. He said,

“There’s a huge potential there for complex storytelling, and I’m looking forward to exploring those avenues. Come on, it’s Superman! You can’t be p*ssed off at the idea of playing Superman for the rest of your life.”

Cavill returned to the role again in Justice League and the Zack Snyder version of the film. While he was touted to return after a cameo in Black Adam, he had to finally depart after James Gunn mentioned that he would be revamping the DCU with a younger Superman.


Henry Cavill Talks About The Dark Side Of Playing SupermanWhile Henry Cavill has since been seen as a perfect candidate for the iconic superhero, he revealed that playing the character came with certain perks. He spoke about the negatives of playing an iconic character such as Superman, especially in the world of social media. He revealed that he had a negative body image at times as he felt had to meet the standards of Superman. He said,

“I tell myself, ‘Mate, you’re a mess. If you were to meet a bird out in a bar and bring her home, she’s expecting Superman. This is not Superman and she’s going to be mega-disappointed.’…‘Don’t make a d*ck out of yourself’ is a good rule, whoever you are. Besides, it’s a character.”

Cavill also admitted to sometimes checking up on people’s opinions online and then being affected by it when faced with negative opinions. He mentioned that while playing the character was a blessing, it was also a curse as he would be subjected to intense scrutiny off-screen when he was not playing the character. He said,

“You have your dark moments when you go on the internet forums. You’re peeking behind the curtain. You wonder, ‘What are people saying about me? Oh, that’s nice. Oh, how lovely.’ But then you find one that isn’t…You think, ‘Why are they being so nasty?’ Then you start shaping your behavior around the comments, and that’s not OK. That’s not healthy.”

While Cavill did face intense scrutiny and backlash, he was also widely accepted by fans, especially near the end of his tenure and after David Corenswet was cast as Superman in James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy.

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