Henry Cavill on the second season of The Witcher, the future of Superman, James Bond – The Hollywood Reporter

2021-11-12 11:17:12 By : Mr. Simon Jo

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The British actor with military discipline, gentlemanship, and high tolerance for "extreme punishment" tells about the second season of The Witcher, The Highlander, his Superman and the future of Mission Impossible-and the elusive The spy role director insisted that he was "born to play."

Henry Cavill stood in the Miami hotel room, looking like a real comic book painting.

He is 6 feet 2 inches tall, but looks taller because he is too wide. His muscles pulled an ordinary camel sweater into a bulky superhero costume. The actor said: "I'm surprised how many people recognize me wearing a mask and will send him away (you may recognize this thin line from movies such as "Mission Impossible: Fallout").

However, when we sat down for the first interview of the two interviews, Cavill’s strength quickly contrasted with his gentle demeanor, which his colleagues said was a typical characteristic of the 38-year-old British. Take the way that wizard actor usually starts his day on set: Cavill chooses a crew member, greets them, shakes hands with them and asks how their day is going. Then he will approach the other crew member and do the same thing-and then one after another...

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"Sometimes our ads are like,'Well, we have a huge team, you can't ask everyone,'" said Wizards host Lauren Schmidt Hisrich.

Cavill explained: "A set is usually a rush, we forget basic human etiquette. I want people to know that I respect everything they do, and they are just doing work like me. For me , This is just respect and courtesy."

This is a typical casual answer, and his way of working is by no means random. From Cavill's recent role selection to his work ethic to his social media involvement, his thoughtful strategy reflects that he is a hardcore gamer.

He played Superman in three DC movies (at the box office revenue of more than 2 billion US dollars), launched the "Witcher" series (Netflix's most watched original series before Bridgerton appeared), and in the 2018 "Dish Spy: Fallout" (brought a global box office of up to 800 million U.S. dollars, becoming the highest-grossing movie in the series). All of this makes Cavill the biggest action hero in the world, but he is not yet a household name.

Zach Schneider called Cavill a "monk." Radiation director Christopher McQuarrie had a different view of Cavill: In a small town full of celebrities, "Henry is a classic movie star."

"In the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing in the water that is not there now," McQuarrie said. "Film stars are not so rich now. The reason is very simple. There are two reasons: the industry needs and cultivates stars. Someone is willing to do the work that stars need. Henry belongs to the kind of people who do this work wholeheartedly, and the work is very hard."

Cavill is definitely working harder than ever before. He will play the role of John Wick director Chad Stahlsky's restarted action fantasy Highlander and replay Sherlock in the Netflix sequel "Inola Holmes 2" Sherlock Holmes, and led Kingsman’s all-star lineup of Matthew Vaughan’s spy thriller "Argyll". On December 17, the second season of The Witcher returned (sources said Cavill had just signed a new contract that paid more than $1 million per episode). There is also endless speculation that Cavill may play the most coveted role in action movies-James Bond.

As far as he was concerned, Cavill was confused by all this. "Some things have changed, some things have changed," he said of his busy arrival. "After 21 years of hard work, I have completed three jobs. Maybe it's me, maybe it's my method, maybe my value as a commodity has increased to attach to something like a wizard. Now I can really focus To tell stories and grow from here."

Snyder recalled that moment when he was convinced that the relatively unknown Cavill was suitable to play a superman career in "Man of Steel." It was 2010, and the director was shooting some test shots with the actors to present to the studio. He asked Cavill to try on an original spandex suit from Christopher Reeve's 1980s Superman movies.

"When you see the suit on the ground, it's a little crumpled. It's just spandex. It looks like,'Gosh, that wouldn't be cool,'" Snyder said. "Henry put it in this trailer. There is a version where he said when he came out, "I am Superman! "You would say, "Well, today is Halloween." "But Henry came out, and even the hard-skinned handle we hired for the test was quiet. Everyone had a serious heart attack. His energy was just right. We were like, "Oh, he's Superman." This is what Superman looks like. "

Cavill said he was thinking about something else. "To be honest, my thinking was,'God, I am too fat now to wear this suit,'" Cavill said dryly. "And,'I can't believe I'm really doing this'-there is a sense of excitement, accomplishment and tension."

"Man of Steel" was a success, and fans strongly requested a direct sequel, but Warner Bros. seemed to be interested in following Marvel's Avengers script and launching multi-role mashup games, such as 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" And the Justice League in 2017, the latter underperformed critically and financially, the studio re-adjusted its executive ranks and made plans.

Like the form, Cavill largely avoided participating in the "Justice League" controversy, such as reports on the abusive behavior of substitute director Jos Weeden on the set, even though he admitted in an interview that the drama editing "cannot afford effect". He now says that Snyder has done "a great job" with his Snyder Cut re-editing.

In May, DC announced the development of a black superman movie, making Cavill's return as a superhero idol even more uncertain. "It's very exciting-Superman is more than just skin tone," Cavill said. "Superman is an ideal. Superman is an extraordinary thing that lives in our hearts. Why not let multiple Supermen play together? Joaquin Phoenix made a wonderful clown movie; then if it has nothing to do with the rest of [Franchise] What to do? They have multiple Superman comic storylines happening at the same time."

However, the lack of follow-up to Iron Man does annoy the actor-it feels like an unfinished business. The movie ended with Superman killing the evil General Zod in violation of the moral code. This is a highly controversial decision among fans, and a follow-up storyline is being set.

"As Superman, I still have a lot of stories to tell, and I absolutely love this opportunity," Cavill said. "Zod's death gave this character a reason to never kill again. Superman fell to the ground and then screamed-I don't think this was originally in the script, but I wanted to show his pain. I did more They had no choice to shoot emotionally; tears were streaming. He just killed the last remaining member of his species. That was the choice he made at that moment, and he would never do that again. There will be after that. Opportunity to grow, to explore the depths of Superman’s soul. He looks like an invulnerable god, but he has a real feeling in his heart. As I always say,'The cloak is still in the closet.'"

When franchise actors enter the geek scene, you usually feel that their enthusiasm is part of their due diligence at work. But Cavill enthusiastically discussed Kal-El's journey in detail-he hasn't played this role in years-you will realize: Oh, this guy is really a game geek. He may look like a masculinity template created by a secret British artificial intelligence program, but he cares about the fantasy world he lives in. Hell, he even named his dog Kal.

Cavill spent his teenage years at the Hogwarts-style Stowe boarding school in the Buckinghamshire pastoral area, where he played football. As the son of a stockbroker father and a mother who taught aromatherapy and massage before serving as a secretary, he plans to join the army like his elder brothers and sisters (he is the fourth of five brothers). "If the performance didn't get me snatched from boarding school at the age of 17, I would very likely join the Royal Marines," he said.

Then, when he was 16 years old, Russell Crowe came to his school to photograph the beautiful mind. Cavill boldly approached the Gladiator star, introduced himself (directly, politely, shaking hands-even at the time) and said he wanted to be an actor, and asked Crowe for advice. Crowe's answer was not particularly meaningful, but then he generously gave Cavill a gift package that included a card with the encouraging message: "A 1,000-mile journey starts with one step."

The following year, Cavill attracted the attention of a casting director who visited his school and won a role in the 2002 "Count of Monte Cristo". His first really important part was in 2007 as a regular guest of Showtime's "Tudor Dynasty" series. A few years later, he won his first big screen in the main release of the fantasy film "Fairy" Leading advantage.

Even in the early days, directors noticed the actor's military temperament. "What I like about Henry is that he is a very serious person, he doesn't take himself seriously," said Vaughan, the director, who first collaborated with Cavill in Stardust in 2007. "He has military discipline and military sense of humor."

He also has the endurance of a soldier.

In 2017, Cavill was suspended from the side of an Airbus BK17 helicopter in New Zealand, standing on an icy skid, his face exploded in the sub-zero wind and fired a SAW machine gun. At this time, the actor has played Superman and starred in someone from his uncle, and is now shooting Fallout with Tom Cruise.

He should have accepted McQuarrie's instructions, but even if his earpiece was as loud as possible, he could hardly understand a word, because the chopper blades were roaring and he had to improve his performance to a great extent.

Cavill, who has tinnitus and tinnitus, will go back to the past time and time again, privately using his childhood military ambitions to think about how elite soldiers can survive in the boot camp. "This is what they call mental endurance-because you think your physical boundary is actually just a mental boundary," Cavill said. "It's very uncomfortable; my body doesn't want to go back to the helicopter, but I just keep doing it."

McQuarrie recalled: "This is an extreme form of corporal punishment. We will return to base camp. His face is really frozen and he can't make facial expressions. I don't know any other actor who would do this— Not only do it, but do it wholeheartedly, never complaining."

Macquarie provided conclusive evidence: A brutal 4-minute bathroom quarrel with August Walker played by Cavill and Ethan Hunt played by Cruise Another well-known actor is added to the third role in the sequence.

The idea is to surprise the audience that Hunter and Walker's goal is played by another actor, and then even more shocked when the character is suddenly killed. The actor was included in the "fighting evaluation", but could not keep up with Cruise and Cavill-this is why Liang Yang, one of the movie's doubles, was selected as the third fight on the scene. "This is a sequence where other actors just opt ​​out when they understand the level of commitment required," McQuarrie said.

However, Cavill brought more than just his physical strength to his fallout role. The look of beard and stubble? Cavill's thoughts. That fist action worthy of a meme? impromptu. Walker's wit? Macquarie rewrote the role to take advantage of Cavill's boring sense of humor, which is by far the actor's most underutilized screen asset (Cavil even got the only bomb in the series). "The end result is that you have a'bad guy' in the movie, he has never lost his attraction to the male lead," McQuarrie said.

Walker was killed in the fallout. McQuarrie said that fans have brought him endless grief on social media, but the team has a way to return familiar faces. Cavill will not appear in the forthcoming seventh film, but it may still appear in the planned eighth film. "I'm currently rewriting "Mission: 8", I can turn a page this afternoon, and any actors in the past can come back," the director teased. "There is no death in the movie, only unavailability."

It seems a strange move to chase a high-investment, long-running TV series when one's film career takes off. But when Netflix announced in 2017 an episode based on Andrzej Sapkowski's "Witcher" book and video game, Cavill lobbied vigorously for the role. He is a fan of Witcher games and always plays them like all console games-in the most difficult mode, restarting the levels over and over again, trying to master them completely. Isn’t the ultimate wizard challenge playing Livia’s Geralt on the show?

"I pursue, pursue, pursue," Cavill said of the role. "A few months after they completed the casting process, my agent called and said,'They asked you to audition - you don't have to do it.' I thought,'I will do it. They said,'Really? Are you sure?' I said,'Of course. This is a wizard.'"

In this series, Rivia is a stoic silver-haired monster hunter wandering in a fantasy world. In the second season, he guides a young princess (Freya Allen) as they travel to the fort where he was trained.

"He knows that he is number one on the phone number list, and that comes with a huge responsibility," the show host Hissrich pointed out. "Many times, that person can turn the show into a hurricane that revolves around them. Henry tries to make things different. He is on time. He always knows his lines. He always knows his choreography, and of course always Know his movements."

After the success of the first season (which included several spin-offs in development), Cavill sent a series of emails to Heathrich that contained ideas on how to take the second season to a new level. "The blockade is an opportunity to look at everything-let's look back," Cavill said. "How do we adjust like this? How do we adapt?"

Cavill especially hoped that Geralt would open up his heart to the audience. "A lot of the notes he sent me were about Geralt's conversations-first of all, can he say more," Heathrich said. "At the end of the first season, everyone laughed and loved Geralt's anger. But what Henry said was that when you read these books, you spend a lot of time in Geralt's mind. So how can we Put it on the page? At the same time, I want to tell Xili the story of him becoming a father image. So these two things combined wonderfully. He opened his heart and said more about his thoughts and heart, Let Hilly trust him."

Then on that day in December, Cavill sprinted through the woods to get a shot.

"I remember Henry stopped and all of us were asking,'Did he trip? Is there a rock?" Heathrich recalled. "I went to his trailer and he said he was in pain."

Cavill tore his hamstring-it was a nightmare for a monk to sign up for a series of action movies. "This is a very, very serious tear, and I am lucky that it did not completely break away from the hamstrings," he said.

The wizard's schedule was shuffled to push Cavill's action scene to the end, but the actor had to continue to work hard to recover, get physical therapy in the morning, and then start shooting at 7 in the morning. Injured," he said. "Because I want to do more for the production-I know how important it is to them to get the job done. Therefore, it has to find a balance between "Yes, let's push, push, push" and "Wow, wait a minute, if I tear it down again, my action career is over." That was my worst moment of the past year-professionally. "

The physical activity Cavill was not prepared to accept was undressing in a show that would otherwise feature nude characters. "It must be special, it must be specific to storytelling," Cavill said. "I would say there is no room for it."

Based on the first batch of high-level series, The Wizard is more confident in the second season, Geralt's personality is more shining, and the linear narrative is easier to follow, instead of the Dunkirk-style multiple timeline format of the first season. "What makes me most proud is that when you watch this show, it's not a screaming season,'We are shooting in a pandemic, and there are only two people in each scene. Henry will never take action again because he 'S leg was injured,'" Heathrich said. "You can't see anything."

When asked about his best and worst moments, Cavill carefully delineated his interview boundaries by adding "professional..." before the reply-suggesting that some personal moments may be more professional for him than him. The peaks and valleys of your career are more important, but you won't hear about them.

In that case, he is a bit like Superman: his work life is very different from his private life. The actor will pounce on a scene, perform his duties heroically, then retreat to his lonely fortress in South Kensington, while occasionally posting some uncontroversial Instagram posts with topics such as exercise, cooking or literally A poem. When asked about a typical day when he was not working, Cavill's answer could be almost anyone's (walking the dog, meeting his brother or friends for lunch, drinking a few beers...).

"When not working, I tend to ignore the radar," Cavill said. "I am a private person and a family person. The spotlight is beneficial, but it can also be exhausting. I like to stand up without caring about how others think of me or what I show there, and I can be with friends Do this in a private space with your family. We have seen many celebrity incidents and some people lose their temper. I'm sure many of them boil down to the feeling of being exposed."

This sensitivity may partly stem from an interview with GQ Australia in 2018. Cavill was criticized for this and apologized for his comments on how the #MeToo movement made him nervous about approaching women, lest he be accused of being attacked ("I I think that women should be wooed and chased, but maybe my idea is out of date").

But this year, his relationship with the 32-year-old legendary entertainment company executive Natalie Viscuso (the studio that produced Iron Man and Enola Holmes) officially entered Instagram and posted a A romantic photo of two people playing chess. In the rare public expression of slight anger, he also rebuked some fans for criticizing their relationship on social media. ("It's time to stop," he wrote. "It hurts the people I care about the most.... Even your most conservative negative assumptions about my personal and professional life are not true. I am very happy in love and in life. If you are satisfied with me, I will be very grateful.")

During the pandemic, Cavill briefly confessed and revealed more secrets-he drew miniatures of the warhammer model and built a gaming PC. Even these disclosures feel like a prudent choice. Naturally, he is more of a hobby loved by the fantasy fan community.

Occasionally, even an entry problem can trigger Cavill's alarm trigger, such as when asked "What is the decision you regret?" ... you know, professional. At first, the actor avoided-"every decision is great because it brought me here". But then he offered something. "There is a scene at the end of Iron Man," he said. "I'm talking to Martha. I will smile differently. Every time I see it, I'm like,'That's an irritating smile. I just don't like it. Why am I laughing like this? I'm not Smile like this. I will do it differently."

This is an interesting answer. This is also the Cavill version of the classic job interview strategy-when asked "What is your biggest weakness?" The safest answer is a variant of "I am a perfectionist", or in this case: no The smallest things people notice are not good enough.

So I asked another way: what do you want to know at the beginning of your career, and now you already know it?

This time, Cavill asked to think about it. He was silent. He stared at the carpet, looking a bit like a power-off Westworld robot. Every second counts. Is this embarrassing? um, yes. I sat in the hotel room with Superman and absolutely nothing happened. I felt that something went wrong in this interview, even if it didn’t (is there any?), but it was damn uncomfortable. Maybe my punishment was not simple. Ask another wizard question. The tape recorded Cavill's contemplative pause for 42 seconds, but I swear at least two minutes.

"As a person, I am very... the word'naive' is inappropriate, but I am very trusting and open," he said at last. "I hope I can understand business better, be smarter, and realize that everyone has their own things to do. I hope I have a better business mentor since I was a kid."

This means he was taken advantage of. But when pressed for specific details, Cavill was again dignified-of course politely.

Later, I asked several of his colleagues: What does Cavill really like when he does not "play"?

"When he is very careful, you will hear something-he is not political, but sensitive," McQuarrie said. "Henry is a gentleman." In an era of highly sensitive and rigorous censorship where any project may be threatened by the slightest controversy, lack of aggression can be said to be the performer's greatest professional superpower.

So far, a coveted IP is elusive for this very British gentleman, and it seems so obvious that the biggest obstacle to it happening is that it may be too obvious. He has physical fitness, charisma, and professional ethics. Macquarie said bluntly: "He will be a great Bond."

Vaughan agreed-so much so that the director chose Cavill as a global spy in his upcoming Apple TV movie "Argyll". This movie is Vaughan's ode to the action thrillers of the 1980s, such as die-hard and deadly weapons. Cavill plays an 80s-style spy (he even has a flat-top hairstyle), but its background is the modern world.

"I need someone who is born to play Bond-Henry is like that-and then treat him harshly before Bond," said Vaughan, who sees Argyll as a potential franchisee. "He blinked and played an otherworldly action hero. This is very different from Kingsman."

Nonetheless, we still have to ask Cavill—perhaps the 100th time he has been interviewed by the media—about his level of interest in the role that Daniel Craig officially gave up in "No Time To Die."

"Look..." Cavill started, then stopped to edit himself. "I hate that people start sentences with'Look...'-it sounds like they are lying." He continued: "I think it would be very exciting to have a conversation with the producer.... Ideally In the world, I never have to refuse anything. Nothing is impossible. It is also an honor to be able to participate in this dialogue."

Cavill is currently filming Netflix's "Enola Holmes 2" with star Millie Bobby Brown, which will be broadcast in 2022 ("Enola goes to the world and has a new relationship with [Sherlock] More interactions because she has established her role; we have a deep understanding of their relationship," he said). Next year he is expected to shoot a new version of the immortal swordsman action fantasy Highlander (sources said the actor received at least $5 million in payday). Cavill said that Stahlsky’s vision is closer to reality than the original movies and shows, and it will be more like a modern tragedy, and the director said there may be only one actor playing this role for several reasons.

"Henry obviously has physical fitness, but if you can't have the empathy of a character who has lived for 500 years at the same time, that doesn't mean much. I need someone who can do both," Stacher During the filming break, Sky said about John Wick: In Chapter 4, he said that part of the inspiration for this series came from Highlander's playful, magical realism tone. "The arc of the character spans hundreds of years. He has become many different personalities, all of which extend the timeline of his emotional growth. Then in our first meeting, my suspicion was confirmed: Henry immediately Thoughts on the burden of immortality, you can see from his eyes that he can transform himself from a young, energetic soul to an old, wise soul. His combination fascinates me. You can The other thing I saw was his sincerity-he really liked the property, he liked what he thought could be done with it, when an actor has that kind of passion, you will get something unique. Finally— —You’ve seen him, you know — in 10 minutes you’re like: “He’s so cool, I want to hang out with this guy.””

He also has the third season of "The Witcher" (Heathrich said this will increase Cavill's boring wit), and the actor is still committed to supporting Heathrich's vision to keep "The Witcher" for at least seven seasons. "Absolutely," Cavill said. "As long as we can continue to tell great stories that pay tribute to the work of [author Andrzej] Sapkowski."

If Superman is in holding mode, will Cavill switch teams and join the Marvel movie? Suppose, which role does he want to play?

"I would never say a Marvel character that has been played by others..."

Yes, yes, we all realize now...

"...Because everyone is doing a great job. However, I have the Internet and I have seen all kinds of rumors about Captain England. It would be fun to make a cool modernized version-just like the way they modernized Captain America. . It’s funny, I do like being British.”

Almost all of his projects, whether real or hypothetical, have one thing in common, that is, they are all action movies. Even after a leg injury that jeopardized his career, Cavill said he was satisfied with the idea of ​​continuing with swordsmanship, jumping and sprinting into his 50s—just like Cruise. Why should you stay still when you can run, fight, and fly? Unless you are willing to play at the most difficult level, why do you show up?

"I am very happy to continue to make movies with action as a narrative form. I don't particularly want to say,'I just want to make a drama now,'" Cavill said. "Despite the injury, I enjoy the best of my life year after year. I want to be pushed so that I can get better. I don't want to sit down."

A version of this story first appeared in the Hollywood Reporter on November 10. Click here to subscribe.

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