Henry Cavill didn't know quite what he was about to encounter. The mild-mannered Brit, who'd been cast as Superman in the Warner Bros. reboot of the franchise in January, found himself at WonderCon on an April day in San Francisco, about to meet the fans that may make or break the success of the upcoming film. Was he ready to stand in front of the frothing masses and stake his claim to pop culture history?
"Let's hope so," he told MTV News with a nervous laugh. "I better do a good job."
He's certainly had a long time to prepare. Cavill was cast as the Man of Steel years ago for director McG's planned adaptation. But after that project fell apart, Bryan Singer recast the role and delivered 2006's underwhelming, "Superman Returns."
For Cavill, with the passage of time came a new understanding of what it means to portray the most iconic superhero on the planet. "As much as I wanted it at a younger age, you get to a certain point where you go, 'OK, I'm ready for most things now.' Back then, you believe you're ready for it," he said. "But as soon as it happens, you think that it's a little heavy. I'm glad it's happening now as opposed to any other time."
"There's always pressure," he added. "The question is whether you allow yourself to be affected by it. Ultimately, it's a destructive force if you're going, 'Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,' and you're panicking. [I] just go do my job and hope everyone likes it."
So far, most everyone does. As Cavill looked down at the WonderCon floor he couldn't quite comprehend that he's become a major celebrity in his own right, telling us that if walked out among the fans "probably not much" would happen "at this stage." Considering the reaction that a dude in a Wookiee costume can get, we have a feeling Cavill would have caused a near riot. The fact that he doesn't get that yet is what makes the guy truly endearing.
Getting the call that he'd won the job, Cavill told us, was an "absolutely surreal" moment. "I got the phone call, then ran round the house screaming for 20 minutes, then sat down and thought, 'Wow, I'm Superman. That's insane,' " he continued. "It took me a good long time to get used to the idea. I'm still not used to it. I think until I actually physically don the cape and I'm on set, will it sink in."
Check out everything we've got on "Superman: Man of Steel."