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More specifically, I’m having a proper British pint, a golden, glistening glass whose shimmering depths promise all the glory of that most fleeting of moments: the English summertime. We’re sitting in the sweltering beer garden of a pub in leafy Twickenham – near where England’s national team plays rugby union, the bone-crunching football-with-no-helmets battle royale often described as “a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen” — and 32-year-old Henry Cavill is drinking his second pint of pilsner top (a pilsner with a dash of lemonade) and radiating contentment. “If I suggested to an American journalist that we do an interview over a beer,” says Cavill, “they’d find it very weird.” (Full disclosure: I am also British.) Beer, wooden tables, small dogs.
In terms of fitness, the process is simple: There’s a period of gaining mass, when you consume vast amounts of fats, carbs, and proteins, combined with a heaving lifting regimen; that’s followed by a “cut,” when your calorie intake is drastically lowered and the fat essentially melts away to reveal chiseled muscle.
In 1999, Russell Crowe – who, coincidentally, would play Cavill’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El, in . A few days later, Cavill received a care package containing Australian candy, and Aussie rugby jersey, and a CD by Crowe’s band – plus a photo signed with a message: “Dear Henry, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When they met again a decade later on the set of , Crowe remembered the kid from the English boarding school.
The 16-year-old Cavill appeared as an extra, running round the rugby pitch in Combined Cadet Force gear. “It’s incredible,” says Cavill, apparently still a little dazed.
The show was heavy on the sex scenes, especially featuring Cavill’s character, Charles Brandon, Henry VIII’s trusty wingman.
No longer fat – in fact, in remarkable shape – Cavill had his chain yanked mercilessly by his brothers over these scenes.