Men and women freely recognize that Henry Cavill is an extremely handsome man, some go to the extreme of calling him “beautiful” — quite a compliment for a male. Just ask the Man of Steel’s costume designer, Michael Wilkinson, and his team, and they will tell you how distracting Henry’s “perfection” really was.
When the good looking Brit was cast as the quintessential superhero, Superman, for Zack Snyder’s reboot, many cried (loudly) foul. He is British, Superman is American. We can’t have a stuffy Englishman play the best known American superhero. However, those cries were eventually silenced when the first photos of Henry Cavill in his revamped costume surfaced for all to see.
In general, when this type of casting takes place, not everyone is happy — just look at what happened to Ben Affleck when he was cast as Batman in Man of Steel’s sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In case you missed it, let’s just say fans didn’t take Warner Bros’ decision favorably, even though Affleck is an Academy Award winning director. People are looking for something very specific in the actors that are chosen to play superheroes, especially Batman and Superman.
While Henry Cavill’s casting wasn’t met with as much negativity as Affleck’s, there were still many who just didn’t see the dark-haired, blue-eyed actor — best known for his role as Henry VIII’s pal, Charles Brandon, in The Tudors — as Superman. Boy were all those critics proven wrong.
But Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder knew this would work. Man of Steel would go on to become the biggest June opening in history, and the British actor is now synonymous with Superman.
At the time of Man of Steel’s release, costume designer Michael Wilkinson — who was nominated for an Academy Award for American Hustle — talked to Fashionista about what it was like to work with Henry Cavill and suit him up for Superman. Wilkinson was excited to work with Snyder in a new Superman reboot and wanted to do something special with the costume.
“We wanted to create a costume that was both appealing to a modern audience, and grounded in the mythology of the story. It was important for us to explain why the suit looks like it does–so throughout the film, we showed how the suit fits into Krypton’s traditions and aesthetics.”
To play the part credibly, Henry Cavill underwent an extremely tough training program to buff up, and the results were simply astonishing. The transformation quieted down any critics that thought the Brit wasn’t right for the part. For Wilkinson and his team, working with Cavill was a pleasure, and he had choice words to describe Henry:
“Henry was an absolute dream to work with–he has to be the most patient, calm and professional man on the planet. He never complained, even after fittings that lasted four and a half hours, or working in 100 degree heat in the cornfields of Illinois. I think the toughest thing for my team was not to be distracted by Henry’s perfection–he really is an incredible specimen of humanity!”
Henry Cavill returns to reprise his role as the conflicted Superman in Snyder’s sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It will be interesting to see how the match up between Cavill and Affleck turns out. We are still waiting to spot Henry Cavill in the streets of Detroit.
[Image via Warner Bros.]