'Man of Steel's' Henry Cavill on being a fat kid, Russell Crowe and Superman

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Henry Cavill's career is about to explode, as he takes on the role of Superman in June's "Man of Steel." The British actor talked to Details magazine about all kinds of topics related to the movie, and even opened up about his childhood and another surprising role he was once up for.

As a kid, Cavill struggled with his weight. "I was fat," he says, "I was Fat Cavill." While being the fat kid at boarding school didn't do wonders for Cavill's self-esteem, he was able to take that experience to work out the character of Superman. "My version of Superman is essentially of a guy who has spent his whole life alone."

Even in those earlier days, Cavill knew what he wanted to do for work. Advice came from a surprising place, as he's crossed paths with his "Man of Steel" father, Russell Crowe, before. "He was on campus filming 'Proof of Life' ... Everyone was standing in a semicircle, and I thought, 'We look ridiculous, staring like he's some kind of prize pony,'" Cavill remembers, "So I walked up and said, 'Hi, my name is Henry. I'm thinking of becoming an actor. What's the acting world like?' He said something like, 'Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's not so great. It's fun acting. And they pay well.' Then everyone ran up and asked for autographs, and I turned to Russell and said, 'Run.'"

Days later, Cavill  received a package from Crowe. It contained some snacks, a rugby jersey and a CD of Crowe's band at the time, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. "There was also a signed note," he recalls, "It said, 'Dear Henry, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'"

When the two crossed paths on the "Man of Steel" set, Crowe remembered their meeting, Cavill says. "I told him, 'I was the fat one who didn't ask for your autograph.'"

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"Man of Steel" isn't the first time Cavill has been up for a big role. In fact, it's not even the first time he's been considered to play Superman. He was close to getting the role in "Superman Returns," before Bryan Singer signed on to direct.

He was also a possibility to play the world's most famous spy. "I screen-tested for James Bond when I was 22.  But Daniel [Craig] was above and beyond the best choice."

Now, the eyes of the world are on Cavill as he's about to hit the big screen playing one of the most well-known heroes on the planet. "This character matters so much to so many people," he says, "I want to get that right. I want to do it justice. I want people to believe in the character and have faith in the character and kids to grow up wanting to be Superman."

Even if there are nerves associated with the movie, he's still excited. "I cannot wait for this movie to come out. The studio just showed me the completed cut. I literally asked to watch it twice in a row. I'm so excited. I just want to show it to the world."

"Man of Steel" is in theaters June 14.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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