Actor Henry Cavill didn’t want to use padding or CGI tricks to look the part of Theseus in his new movie “Immortals,” or in his upcoming turn as Superman in “Man of Steel” the Zack Snyder reboot.
But getting the look didn’t come easy. He revealed that he did grueling cardio-intense workouts at 4 a.m. every day to get ripped for the epic drama.
The Relativity Media film crushed the weekend box office, earning $32 million in the U.S. and a total of $68 million worldwide for its opening weekend ended Nov. 13.
Check out the Immortals photos; click to enlarge.
“The body got harder and leaner,” Cavill told USA Today. “But the biggest change was the waist getting smaller—a lot smaller.”
Ironically, the 6’1″ Henry was nicknamed “Fat Cavill” as a youngster, but eventually became a skiller rugby player before an injury sidelined his athletic career.
Cavill sculpted his physique down to 6 percent body fat and followed a strict diet to play Greek warrior Theseus.
On the Montreal set of the action drama, Henry trained with a core group of stuntmen for three months for his battle scenes. But the group also kicked back and had fun on the weekends.
“When you train with guys and you’re all eating nothing in order to be lean, there are those weekends,” Cavill, 28, recalls.
“There’s no point in going halfway. You’re going to wake up with a terrible hangover and think, ‘OK, thank God, I got that out of my system.’ ”
Henry, who lost the part of James Bond to Daniel Craig and was Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for Edward Cullen (the part eventually went to Robert Pattinson), takes career rejections in stride.
“In this business, 99 percent of the time you hear ‘no,’ ” he says. “You have to put your head down and just deal. But when you do hear the response you want, it’s a wonderful thing.”
That’s why Cavill put 110 percent effort into winning the part in “Immortals.”
Surprisingly, director Tarsem Singh almost passed on Henry at first because the Tudors star wasn’t in top form.
“He was a little pudgy,” Singh says. “I told him to get in shape while I got the script ready. I needed a swimmer’s physique that was really trim. I needed an eight-pack.”
Cavill, who dramatically transformed his physique over several months, says his grueling workouts taught him some valuable life lessons.
“It’s a great feeling to be in shape and strong,” he says. “I don’t mean that in an arrogant way at all.
“But you go to the gym and train hard every day and you learn how far you can push yourself. That becomes rewarding in itself.”
Immortals, which co-stars “Twilight’s” Kellan Lutz and Freida Pinto, is in theaters now.