Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill (born 5 May 1983) is a British actor.
He began his career with roles in the feature adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and I Capture the Castle (2003). He later appeared in supporting roles in several television series, including BBC’s The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, ITV’s Midsomer Murders, and Showtime’s The Tudors. He has since appeared in numerous major Hollywood films, such as Tristan & Isolde (2006), Stardust (2007), Blood Creek (2009), and Immortals (2011).
Cavill gained prominence and international recognition for portraying Superman in the DC Extended Universe, starring in Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Justice League (2017). He went on to star in the action spy films The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018). In 2019, he began starring as Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix fantasy drama series The Witcher.
Cavill began his film career with a role in Laguna (2001) and Kevin Reynolds’ adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). He continued with appearances in BBC’s The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2002), the television film Goodbye, Mr. Chips (2002), and the television series Midsomer Murders (2003). In 2003, he had a supporting role in I Capture the Castle, followed by Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), Red Riding Hood (2006) and Tristan & Isolde (2006). He had a minor role in Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Stardust (2007).
From 2007 to 2010, Cavill had a leading role in Showtime’s television series, The Tudors, as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The series was well-received: it was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 and won an Emmy in 2008. Cavill gave the show credit for bolstering his career: “It’s done the most for me to date. Now that there’s an audience somewhere in America that’s aware of who I am, I have more sell-ability, because of The Tudors.” Entertainment Weekly named him the “Most Dashing Duke” and praised his work on The Tudors for displaying “charm, depth and a killer bod”.
Cavill had been set to play Superman in McG’s 2004 film, Superman: Flyby. McG pulled out of the project and direction was taken over by director Bryan Singer, who recast Brandon Routh as the lead in Superman Returns. Cavill was also the cause of a write-in effort from fans to see him cast as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). The role eventually went to Robert Pattinson. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series, was outspokenly in favour of Cavill playing the character of Edward Cullen in the Twilight film, calling him her “perfect Edward”. However, by the time production of the film began, Cavill was too old to play the character, and again the role went to Pattinson.
In 2005, Cavill was a final choice for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. The producers and director Martin Campbell were torn between him and Daniel Craig; reportedly Campbell supported Cavill but the producers preferred an older Bond. Craig ultimately landed the role. Despite reports that he was a contender for Batman in Batman Begins, Cavill confirmed that he never auditioned for, nor was offered, the role. He starred in director Joel Schumacher’s horror film, Blood Creek (2008), and had a supporting role in Woody Allen’s comedy film, Whatever Works (2009).
On 30 January 2011, it was announced that Cavill had been cast in the role of Clark Kent / Superman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Snyder called Cavill “the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield.” Entertainment media applauded Henry Cavill on his road to success. On being chosen for the role, Cavill commented, “In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time, and I am honoured to be a part of his return to the big screen.” Cavill reprised the role of Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a 2016 sequel which featured a crossover with Batman and Wonder Woman. In 2017, Cavill returned as Superman in Justice League. According to his manager Dany Garcia, Cavill is working on a new standalone Superman movie. Shortly after the release of Justice League, Cavill revealed he is under contract to play Superman in one more film.
Cavill has expressed interest in taking over the role of James Bond when Daniel Craig gives it up. He co-starred with Armie Hammer in the film version of spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con in disguise to surprise the cast of Suicide Squad.
In 2018, Cavill co-starred as August Walker in the action spy film Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Also that year, he starred in the psychological thriller Night Hunter (originally titled Nomis). On 4 September 2018, it was announced that Cavill will be portraying the protagonist Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix adaptation of The Witcher. The series premiered on December 20, 2019. The series had its early premiere on Służewiec Racetrack in Warsaw on December 18, 2019.