How close did 25-year-old British actor Henry Cavill come to playing Edward Cullen?

"Twilight" fans have long lingered over author Stephenie Meyer's assertion that the actor would have been her "perfect Edward," pre-Robert Pattinson of course. Nowadays, RPattz has become the hottest young star in Hollywood, and Cavill is instead starring in the Woody Allen comedy "Whatever Works," opening July 1. And when we caught up with him recently, the actor revealed that his star-making "casting" never made it far beyond Meyer's lips.

"I've heard this, but I haven't heard from Stephenie," Cavill insisted, saying he's never had any contact with the best-selling writer. "I haven't spoken to her personally, and I haven't spoken to the producers."

Flashback to the early days of the "Twilight" movie, when casting was about to begin and Meyer posted the following thoughts on the movie's lead: "Indisputably the most difficult character to cast, Edward is also the one that I'm most passionately decided upon. The only actor I've ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is Henry Cavill. Henry was Albert, the young son in 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' Can you see it? I know I can!"

After some development delays, Meyer updated her thoughts and said that Cavill had grown too old: "The most disappointing thing for me is losing my perfect Edward. ... I'm not willing to relinquish Henry completely. ... I propose that Henry play Carlisle!"

But regardless of Meyer's suggestions, Twilighters would eventually fall in love with Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Peter Facinelli as his ageless father. "What I've heard, or pieced together from various sources, is that Stephenie had seen me in whatever jobs I had done previously, and I was probably perfect then," grinned Cavill, remembering his near-casting. "But then, the ravages of time had taken their toll."

Laughing, the good-natured actor added: "I hate myself."

Ultimately, Cavill suspected, the three years between Pattinson and himself were the main obstacle that kept him from becoming Edward. "By the time the movie came around, I didn't look right for the character," he explained, adding: "No one even called me or my agent."

But still, Cavill said he holds no ill will and that whenever he finds time between a busy schedule that includes "Whatever Works," "The Tudors" and the upcoming Tarsem Singh flick "War of the Gods," he'd like to watch Pattinson in action. "I haven't seen it yet," he said of the "Twilight" movie. "My brother saw it and said he loved it. I hope to check it out soon."

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