Whether you agreed with the casting of Henry Cavill as Superman or not, he made the role his own in Man of Steel and he’s not letting go. He’s become so associated with the character that, with new images and news for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice popping up all the time, it can be difficult to see Cavill in any role other than Superman. To dispel that image, he’s starring in this week’s big-screen adaptation of The Man From U.N.C.L.E, playing an American spy in Guy Ritchie’s Cold War action thriller.
While Supes might be Cavill’s most prominent role, it was by no means his first. Many people are already familiar with his long-running role on Showtime’s The Tudors as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, which he credits for introducing him to an American audience. But he’s also had some other even more surprising roles.
Before you head out to see The Man From U.N.C.L.E, you can also reacquaint yourself with many works of Henry Cavill, and show. And to help you with that, here’s our list of 5 Roles You Didn’t Know Were Played By Henry Cavill.
Humphrey in Stardust (2007)
Based on the best-selling book by Neil Gaiman, Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Stardust had a large ensemble cast including Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Robert De Niro. When Tristan Thorn (Cox) promises to bring his beloved Victoria (Sienna Miller) a fallen star, he discovers that the star is actually a beautiful maiden named Yvaine (Danes), who is also sought by three witches and the sons of a dead king. Henry Cavill plays a minor role as Victoria’s boyfriend, Humphrey.
Stardust is a light and humorous take on the source material, which was praised for its adult take on fairy tales, but the movie was still successful with the critics. The movie even earned a Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation and was nominated for several other sci-fi awards.
Albert Mondego in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
It’s easy to forget that Henry Cavill had a fairly pivotal role in the 2002 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. A story of betrayal and revenge, the film follows Edmond Dantes (James Caviezel) after his best friend, Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), frames him for a crime he didn’t commit in order to get a chance with his lady, Mercedes (Dagmara Domiczyk). Henry Cavill plays Fernand Mondego’s son, Albert Mondego, and when Dantes seeks revenge against Mondego, he uses Albert as the key to his father.
The film, directed by Kevin Reynolds, was generally well-received by critics. While it takes some liberties with the source material, the film benefited from strong supporting performances and engaging chemistry between the leads. It was one of the Cavill’s first roles in a major motion picture.
Evan Marshall in Blood Creek (2009)
After a number of well-regarded supporting roles, Henry Cavill scored a leading role in Blood Creek, a horror film exploring occult experimentation that could be traced back to the Third Reich. The movie picks up 71 years after a German family in Virginia hosts a Nazi scholar (Michael Fassbender) who conducts occult experiments and traps them in their home. After Victor Marshall (Dominic Purcell) disappears from a camping trip, his brother, Evan (Cavill) is surprised when Victor reappears with tales of crazy captors, and the two brothers set out for revenge.
The Hunter in Red Riding Hood (2006)
A different type of movie than one would expect from Superman, 2006’s Red Riding Hood was a largely unsuccessful family musical that went straight-to-DVD in the US. While being babysat by their grandmother, two kids are told the story of Little Red Riding Hood as they offer the grandmother suggestions on how to make the story better. The experimental update on the classic tale featured a werewolf, an iPod, and pizza delivery.
Henry Cavill plays The Hunter, who swoops in and saves Red on two separate occasions. The film also stars Joey Fatone – of *NSYNC fame – as the big bad wolf. The script and visuals for the movie were widely panned, as were the creepy undertones between The Hunter and Red.
Theseus in Immortals (2011)
Immortals is a big-budget action movie loosely based on the Greek myth of Theseus. The film was Henry Cavill’s first film to be released in 3D and one of his last roles before landing Superman (the other being The Cold Light of Day). He starred as Theseus, a man chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans), to fight against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who declared war against humanity and intended to release the Titans.
The movie received a mixed critical response. While many critics praised the artistic and highly-stylized action, some felt the story itself wasn’t as exciting as it should have been. Still, it gave audiences a chance to see Cavill in a more physical role, a necessary prerequisite before he could take on Man of Steel.
Those are just some of Henry Cavill’s pre-Superman roles. Have you seen him in any of these films? What’s your favorite non-Superman Cavill role? Let us know in the comments!
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