For better or worse, Henry Cavill is now part of an elite movie fraternity, one of the few men ever to don the cape and play the Man of Steel. But while prepping for his role in Zack Snyder’s Superman flick included a lot of training and a lot of reading, Cavill says it did not include going back and viewing the films of his fellow Supermen.
In an interview to promote Immortals, Cavill also spoke briefly on Man of Steel. Among a few other tidbits—like, for example, the news that he’s actually never met Man of Steel producer Christopher Nolan—he also said that he didn’t want to go back and watch the Superman film work of Christopher Reeve, or even the TV work of people like Dean Cain:
“I avoided watching anything which was someone else’s interpretation of the source material. I didn’t go back to the movies and watch them. I didn’t go back to the TV series and watch them. I didn’t want to take that and have that influence my interpretation and my performance of the character. Where the character truly belongs and where the character truly comes from is not from the movies or the TV shows; it’s from the comic books. So I went straight to the comic books and had stacks of them and just read and read and read and read and read. I enjoyed so much learning about the character in such a dense manner. The comic books were my source of material; the TV shows and movies were someone else’s interpretation and so I left that to them.”
There’s something pretty commendable about that, but now of course that raises the question of what exactly he’s reading. If he told us, would we then know what the movie’s about? Would we know how he’s playing Superman?
But perhaps the more pressing question here is, even if he doesn’t watch the movies, does Cavill watch the cartoons? Those Max Fleischer shorts are classics.