As you've probably heard over the course of this weekend, Henry Cavill is Zack Snyder's "Superman." But then you might find yourself wondering, who in the world is Henry Cavill? If you've heard his name tossed around, it's probably because of his work on Showtime series "The Tudors," the fact that he was "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's idea of a perfect Edward Cullen, or because he was reportedly one of the lead contenders to play Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins."
Cavill has had a handful of film roles over the course of his 10 year career, but the 27-year-old Brit is best known for his role as Charles Brandon in "The Tudors." He got the role back in 2007 and, barring roles in Joel Schumacher's horror flick "Blood Creek" and a bit role in Woody Allen's "Whatever Works," has not had a breakout film role since. Though Cavill does finally have a leading role in the 2011 film "Immortals," we decided to take a look back at some of his other film roles to get a better grasp of our new Superman.
"The Count of Monte Cristo"
In Cavill's first Hollywood film role, he played the small but significant role of Albert Mondego in the 2002 remake of "The Count of Monte Cristo." For those of you who need a quick refresher on their 19th century French literature, Albert is the son of the love of main character Edmond Dantès's life, Mercédès, and the man who plotted his imprisonment, Fernand. Like we said: small, significant, but not great material for a breakout.
"I Capture the Castle"
At least Cavill had a step up in significance when he landed a role in the 2003 adaptation of "I Capture the Castle." While he didn't manage to sneak into the main love square of the story, he did get cast as Stephen Colley. Colley is enamored with main character Cassandra Mortmain and is the live-in son of her family's cook, so unfortunately there was never much hope for love there. But at least he got more screen time and got to continue his trend of starring in period pieces.
"Tristan + Isolde"
Despite the tagline "Before Romeo & Juliet there was Tristan and Isolde," this film was produced by the period piece obsessed Ridley Scott and thus has much of the gritty realism he is known for. But it's also ultimately a love story. Again Cavill avoided the love triangle at the heart of the film and instead played Melot, the son of Rufus Sewell's character Marke. Marke looked upon James Franco's character Tristan as his better son even though they were not related, and that caused some drama between Tristan and Melot. I guess that's a love triangle in its own right!
"Stardust" is undoubtedly one of the most beloved fantasy films of the past five years, and again, Cavill only had a bit part in the film as some jerk named Humphrey who was preventing another Tristan (this one played by Charlie Cox) from dating Victoria (Sienna Miller), the girl he loved. Fortunately for Tristan, he fell in love with a much less shallow woman-who-is-actually-a-star (Claire Daines), and Humphrey and Victoria got to live unhappily ever after.
Two years after he shot to fame on "The Tudors," Cavill landed his first major lead role in "Blood Creek." The horror film brings together the Viking mythology, the occult and Nazism, and the film is significant in Cavill's career for two very important reasons: first, "Blood Creek" was not a period piece, and second, Cavill finally got to show off his action chops, something which is very important for a great Superman — sorry Brandon Routh!
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