Super Facts About Henry Cavill Only His Biggest Fans Know

Fans of Henry Cavill know that the actor is a force of nature. First of all, he's Superman. It doesn't get much more iconic than that. However, Cavill just as effortlessly slips into many different roles, such as Sherlock Holmes in "Enola Holmes" and the upcoming "Enola Holmes 2" films, Geralt of Rivia in the fantastical series "The Witcher," and Charles Brandon in the period drama "The Tudors," among many others.

But Cavill himself is something of a character, as well. Classically handsome and charming, the British actor was bullied on the playground as a kid and spends a lot of his free time exploring some surprising hobbies these days (more on all of this below). And while he enjoys the perks of his box office successes, the road to fame was paved with odd jobs and career disappointments.

Still, Cavill's onscreen performances have solidified his status as a full-blown star, and in October 2022, he announced on Instagram that he would be reprising his role as Superman after five years. "I definitely feel a kinship towards Superman," he said on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." In celebration of this Superman's return, let's take a look at some facts for Henry Cavill's super fans.

Henry Cavill didn't always have a Superman physique

Henry Cavill just looks like a superhero. With his chiseled jaw, intense blue eyes, and strapping physique, it seems as though he was born to play Superman. But in truth, it took years for Cavill to grow into his more current appearance. 

"I was a chubby kid," the star told Men's Health. "I could've very well gone down the route of just accepting my lot in life and being like, 'I guess I'm not going to do anything.'" His classmates didn't make things any easier, bullying him and bestowing upon him the nickname "Fat Cavill." On "The Graham Norton Show" in 2013, Cavill quipped, "[It] was a very apt nickname considering my name was indeed Cavill and I was indeed fat." He went on to explain, "My dad always said from the age of about 13, I stayed the same weight until I was about 25. I just got taller." 

These days, Cavill stands at 6'1" and credits playing rugby with helping him slim down and doing school plays for helping him gain confidence. The actor also has a great sense of humor about that difficult period in his life, as it's clear he's the one getting the last laugh. Aside from his impressive film and TV career, in 2013, Cavill was voted world's sexiest man in a poll by Glamour magazine (via BBC News).

He grew up with four brothers

Henry Cavill grew up in Saint Helier, Jersey, a British territory in the Channel Islands. The future actor's household was rambunctious, to say the least, as he was the second youngest of five boys. As Henry has explained, he and his brothers played rough, taking things to an extreme level. "We were living on the edge of survival most of the time," he joked on "The Graham Norton Show" in 2021.

He went on to tell an anecdote that exemplified the kinds of hijinks Cavill and his brothers — Piers, Niki, Simon, and Charlie Cavill — used to get up to. Apparently, one day their father came home and noticed the wallpaper had changed. According to Henry, their mother responded, "It's easier to clean the blood off this wallpaper." But the Cavill brothers did have one rule when it came to roughing each other up. "Never any punching in the face," the star said. "That was the rule, no face punches."

The roles Henry Cavill missed out on

Henry Cavill has an enviable showbiz career. He has expertly embodied Superman, Sherlock Holmes, and Geralt of Rivia, among myriad other roles. But Cavill might have had a slightly different career had he landed some of the parts he did not get.

It was rumored that our favorite Man of Steel was almost cast in "Harry Potter," which Cavill confirmed in an interview with ABC News. "It was for Cedric Diggory I auditioned, and Robert [Pattinson] got the role, I believe," Cavill said. Strangely, it would not be the last time Pattinson was chosen over Cavill, as he explained, "[For] 'Twilight,' I never got a script or an offer or auditioned or anything like that, but it's my understanding that the author of the books was keen on me playing the role." Cavill mused that he was maybe too old to play Edward in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, jokingly telling MTV News, "Stephenie had seen me in whatever jobs I had done previously, and I was probably perfect then. But then, the ravages of time had taken their toll."

Cavill was also up for the coveted role of James Bond in 2006's "Casino Royale," but this time the actor was deemed too young for the part. The studio ultimately went with Daniel Craig as their Bond, of course, a choice Cavill applauds. "I probably wasn't ready at the time," Cavill revealed on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast in October 2022. "And I think Daniel did an incredible job over the past movies."

He had normal jobs before his super stardom

For many actors, the road to stardom is long and wrought with obstacles. Very few enjoy overnight success, and most aspiring actors have to take on regular jobs while auditioning for parts. Henry Cavill was no exception.

While working as a restaurant host in West Hollywood in 2005, Cavill took on another gig as a dog walker. In a Yahoo! Entertainment article, journalist Giana Mucci recalled a sweet story about Cavill walking her dog, Buddy, and the bond he and the pup shared. Mucci wrote that while she had secretly nicknamed him "Hot Henry" and knew he was an actor, she was unaware of how close Cavill was to making it big. One day, she called future star to see if he could walk Buddy, only to find out Cavill was out of the country, auditioning for "Casino Royale."

While it seems Cavill was an excellent dog walker, he was not as talented when it came to bartending. Cavill has admitted as much, once saying (via the South China Morning Post), "I worked in a cocktail bar, just off Trafalgar Square. I was awful. I said I could make them to get the job but then when it came down to it, hadn't a clue." Luckily, he no longer needs to worry about slinging drinks for a living.

Henry Cavill's an avid gamer

Depending on how you feel about video games, Henry Cavill is either super cool or super dorky because the actor is seriously into gaming. In a conversation with Digital Trends in October 2022, Cavill spoke about his gaming rig: "I think at the moment I'm probably going to go with the AMD chip still, but we'll see. I'm also waiting for the AMD cards to come out to see what they're like in comparison to the Nvidia RTX 4090. So time will tell with the specs." For a non-gamer, this sounds like another language entirely! But one Cavill is clearly fluent in.

One game Cavill is very into is "Warhammer." So much so that one of his hobbies is painting figurines from the game's franchise. Cavill spoke on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast about this pastime. "I've definitely had people over at my house and very proudly showed them my miniatures, and they're like, 'Okay ... yeah.' ... And you can just see them thinking, 'God, get me out of here,'" he quipped.

Cavill also admitted to the podcast's host, Josh Horowitz, that he sets aside quite a bit of time to play video games. "A fair amount," he said, before going on to joke, "And when I say a fair amount, that probably means a lot for those who don't care."

The actor's juicy relationship history

Despite the hours Henry Cavill clocks in playing "Warhammer," he manages to find plenty of time for his dating life. In 2009, Cavill began dating professional English show jumping rider Ellen Whitaker. The two seemed destined for the long term and were engaged in 2011. The relationship ultimately fizzled, however, and they split in 2012, per Us Weekly.

Later that year, Cavill was linked to former MMA fighter and "The Mandalorian" actor Gina Carano. The two stayed together on and off for a little over two years, calling it quits for good in December 2014. During his break with Carano, Cavill dated Kaley Cuoco for a mere 10 days in June 2013. The relationship is notable because Cuoco claimed she had never been targeted by the paparazzi until she was paired up with Cavill. "I had no one following me until I met Superman," she told Cosmopolitan.

Next up came one of Cavill's more controversial relationships. In 2016, the then-33-year-old actor began dating Tara King, a student at Bristol University who was 19 years old at the time. "People say, 'Age is just a number.' A lot of times it's not just a number. It's actually a real and true sign of someone's maturity," Cavill said in defense of their age gap relationship while speaking with Elle. "But in this case, she's fantastic." But the relationship barely lasted a year. After dating King, Cavill briefly dated Lucy Cork, a stuntwoman he met while filming "Mission Impossible: Fallout."

His studio exec girlfriend and her Super Sweet past

Henry Cavill has been dating Natalie Viscuso since 2021. The couple made their relationship Instagram official in April of that year, with Cavill sharing a lovey-dovey post. The pic features the couple sitting across from each other with a chessboard between them, and the caption reads, "This is me looking quietly confident shortly before my beautiful and brilliant love Natalie destroys me at chess." Very sweet, but many people took issue with the 13-year age gap between the two. That May, amid the backlash, Cavill took to Instagram once again and defended his personal life in a lengthy post accompanying a pic of himself with Viscuso. "To you out there who are expressing your disdain and showing your displeasure through a surprising variety of ways, it's time to stop," he wrote in part.

Although not an actor, Viscuso does work in the entertainment industry. She is the vice president of TV at Roy Lee's production company Vertigo Entertainment, and a former executive at Legendary Entertainment. But there was a time when Viscuso was in front of the camera herself. She appeared as the star of a 2005 episode of MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen," in which she admittedly came off as just a teeny bit spoiled. In the episode, Viscuso told the viewing audience, "I deserve everything that I have because I've always been just the nice girl, never the rich girl."

In October 2022, Cavill and Viscuso were still going strong, making their red carper debut at the premiere of "Enola Holmes 2."

Henry Cavill does it all for the money

Henry Cavill is no fool. He knows his movies are huge blockbusters, and he's not ashamed to admit that the paycheck that comes along with his box office success is a pretty cool perk of the job. The actor was candid in speaking about what motivates him in a 2016 interview with Man of the World (via Just Jared). "I'm slightly wary of saying this, because it can be frowned upon, certainly by members of my community and people outside my community ... but I'm not just doing this for the art," Cavill admitted. "The money's fantastic."

In the same interview, Cavill was also honest about enjoying the luxury his movie star status affords him. "Spending money on my friends, buying dinner for everyone, drinks for everyone, it's a nice place to be, and I like people to feel cared for. People will be calling me a c**k as they're reading this, but travel's great as long as you're going first class," he stated.

Interestingly enough, in a 2019 interview on "The Rich Eisen Show," Cavill described his home in a way that sounded rather humble. "I don't have a man cave," he explained. "I've got a small mews house in London ... it's like an old stables, and they've been converted into houses over the years, and it's not huge. So, my computer desk is in my very small living room."

He loves nerding out with sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books

Luckily for Henry Cavill, many of his roles are right up his alley, as he is an avid reader of fantasy fiction and sci-fi novels. For example, he's a huge fan of "The Witcher" saga, the series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski, and when he starred as Geralt of Rivia on the TV adaptation, he was known by the rest of the cast as an expert on all things "The Witcher." "We'll be doing a scene, and he'll be like, 'I think we should use this line from page 253 from 'Blood of Elves,'" said Freya Allen, who plays Princess Cirilla of Cintra on the show, in an interview with "Fortress of Solitude."

Cavill has named Raymond E. Feist and Brandon Sanderson among his favorite fantasy authors, and he also loves the Robert Jordan series "Wheel of Time," which he devoured while filming "The Tudors" (via Vanity Fair). And Cavill would disagree that his reading habits are nerdy. Speaking about the fantasy genre, he told Empire, "It is cool. Always has been, always will be. ... And it's only going to get cooler, as long as there are good executions of it."

As for comic books, Cavill didn't get on board with them until he was cast as the Man of Steel, but then he was hooked. He did so much research and carefully chose four specific comics that would influence his Superman: "The Death of Superman," "The Return of Superman," "Superman: Red Son," and "Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite, per Entertainment Weekly.

Henry Cavill met and worked with his idol

Of course, movie stars have their own favorite movies, too. In Henry Cavill's case, that movie is "Gladiator" starring Russell Crowe, an actor Cavill looked up to in his younger years. In fact, Cavill actually got to meet Crowe when he was a 16-year-old student and rugby player. 

Crowe had come to the Stowe School in Buckinghamshire to film scenes for the 2000 movie "Proof of Life." Cavill and several other students were chosen to play extras in the film, and the future DC star was not going to pass up the opportunity to talk to the famous actor. He boldly approached Crowe and said, "Hi, my name's Henry. I want to be an actor. What's it like?" (via British GQ). Crowe was straightforward with him because, as he recalled on an episode of "The Graham Norton Show," "There was just a smile in his eyes, but there was something dead serious behind that smile. So, instead of not answering the questions ... I told him the truth."

When Cavill and Crowe were reunited years later after being cast in 2013's "Man of Steel," Cavill was shy about telling Crowe they'd met before. The latter explained to Graham Norton that after three months of working together, he approached Cavill: "I finally said to him, 'Do I know you from somewhere?'" Cavill reminded Crowe about the conversation they'd had years prior at Stowe School and the advice he'd been given. Crowe recalled Cavill telling him, "You said, 'They pay you pretty well, but they treat you like s**t.'"

His message to his Witcher successor

When it was announced in October 2022 that Henry Cavill would be leaving "The Witcher" after three seasons on the Netflix series, it was also revealed that his role of Geralt of Rivia had been recast, with Liam Hemsworth taking over. Cavill took to Instagram to announce his departure, with some kind words for his successor, as well. "My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4. In my stead, the fantastic Mr Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf," Cavill wrote. The message continued and ended with these words for Hemsworth: "Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find."

For his part, Hemsworth also posted a statement via Instagram, using the same photo as Cavill's post. He wrote in part, "Henry, I've been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I'm truly excited to be stepping into 'The Witcher' world."

It seems these two have a great admiration for one another, and that the character of Geralt of Rivia is in good hands.

Henry Cavill on suiting up as Superman again

Henry Cavill had a pretty solid reason for stepping down from his role on "The Witcher" — after half a decade, he would finally be reprising his role as Superman. As previously mentioned, in October 2022, the actor announced via Instagram that he would be suiting up again as the iconic superhero in a new Warner Bros. DC film following his surprise cameo in "Black Adam." "The character means so much to me. ... I never gave up hope," Cavill said of his exciting return on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast. "It's amazing to be here now talking about it again. There is such a bright future ahead for the character. And I'm so excited to tell a story with an enormously joyful Superman."

For Cavill, the Superman suit itself is a source of inspiration. He spoke with Collider about getting back into the iconic costume and how much it meant to him. "I was given a choice of which suit I wanted to wear, and I went straight for the 'Man of Steel' suit. That one holds the most nostalgia for me, and the most meaning," the actor said. He added, "Many years hoping, planning, striving, doing everything I can to get back into it, and then finally be able to get back into it, it meant a lot and it's something that I won't quickly forget." 

It seems that special suit is indeed quite powerful. We imagine Cavill's fans were likely getting a bit emotional, as well, upon hearing the news of his triumphant Superman return.