‘Batman V Superman’ Star Henry Cavill Suffered From Obesity And Body Image Problems Before Superman

'Batman V Superman' Movie Henry Cavill

It’s hard to believe Batman v Superman star Henry Cavill was an overweight teenager. Batman v Superman, along with the earlier Man of Steel, reveals a man of physical perfection. How did Henry Cavill get here from there? The process was grueling. Cavill’s transformation was both physical and mental.

What is interesting about Cavill’s journey from the fat kid in school to an actor seen as one of the most fit is how he recognizes the current adoration of his body as fake. Because he didn’t always have all this muscle, he doesn’t necessarily take the female attention it brings him as something positive.

ABC reported how Cavill takes the comments he gets about his body with a grain of salt.

“I mean, if a girl shouts something like, ‘Oi, love, fancy a shag?’ to me as I walk past, I do sometimes wonder how she’d feel if a builder said that to her. Although, of course, I wouldn’t feel physically threatened, as she might.”

If you’re not from England and need a little bit of translation, Cavill is describing getting catcalled, and wondering how those same women would feel if the shoe was on the other foot, like if a construction worker did the same to them.

As Mail Online reported, as a kid at school in England, Cavill was known as a “lemon,” a name for a guy who can’t get women. He was teased relentlessly about his weight, to the point that he called home crying three times a day from boarding school, as he remembers.

But Henry talked with ABC about how this motivates him to always do better, though the trauma taxes him mentally.

“It does help certainly to have that little bit of stigma in the back of your head that you’re never quite good enough, so you keep on working harder.”

The funny thing about the story is that he got his inspiration for acting while at that same school. He managed to encounter Russell Crowe there, while Crowe was filming Proof of Life. Cavill was one of the student extras put in place in the background of the film. Cavill approached Crowe for advice about an acting career, and from there Crowe would pass on the encouragement that would lead to Henry’s later success.

Cavill is currently preparing for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to open later this week. Expectations are super high for the first on screen encounter of comic books’ biggest movie superhero legends. Superman and Batman have been in many movies, but never have they appeared in live action cinema occupying the same universe. The historic encounter is supposed to break movie screens across the world, especially when you consider the combined weight of all that muscle. Both Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill hit the gym hard in preparation, but even the younger Cavill was inspired by Batman actor Ben Affleck’s progress in filling out his batsuit with muscle mass.

Cavill also told ABC how his older co-star inspired him to work harder and look his best.

“When you see Ben on set and everything and he’s in good shape, it makes you want to go back to the gym that morning and work a little harder.”

Cavill lost out on the chance to play Superman in the 2006 movie Superman Returns after the director changed on that film, and also lost out on the chance to play James Bond to Daniel Craig. But he probably isn’t too worried now. Though Daniel Craig indeed personified the latest James Bond well, losing out on that first Superman role didn’t hurt, since Cavill has become the official face of the new era Superman.

[Photo by Mike Coppola/NBC/Getty Images for ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’]