Why Superman Can Be Played By A British Actor, According To Henry Cavill

Clark Kent grew up in Kansas before moving to the big city. It makes him a very American character. However, in the DC cinematic universe, he’s played by Henry Cavill who was born in the UK. While there are certainly cultural differences between our two nations, Cavill doesn’t really see Superman as one of them, as he’s become a global icon.

Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are making the promotional rounds in support of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and, in doing so, found themselves being interviewed during the NBA All-Star Weekend. TNT commentator Kenny Smith asked Cavill a very confusing question about how much his being English was influencing his role as the Man of Steel. It seems that Smith’s wife is English, and also knows more about comic books than he does. She had apparently expressed to the former NBA player that she had seen Superman and Batman do things in the trailers for Dawn of Justice that she didn’t feel the characters would normally do. Smith chalked this up to possibly being a cultural difference, as opposed to it just being different choices by the filmmakers. Henry Cavill, for his part was un-phased by the ridiculous question and explained that to him there really isn’t a difference.

Well, Superman… he’s universal. He’s just a guy who loves the human race and wants to do the best thing for everyone. There’s no real differences that I pull from any national sort of belief in Superman. Superman’s just a guy.

One gets the idea that Kenny Smith is under the impression that DC publishes a different set of comic books in the UK as compared to what is released in the US. While we’re sure that there has probably been some uniquely English Superman material over the years, there is no version where the character’s spacecraft crashed in the highlands of Scotland. While "truth, justice, and the American way" has long been the mantra of the character, he has also declared himself a citizen of the world, and as such has always worked to protect the entire planet.

Check out the full interview below, so you can see Henry Cavill keep his cool under this line of questioning.

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While some have had their issues with the portrayal of Superman in Man of Steel, which doesn’t look to be going through any major changes in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, nobody would argue, we hope, that Henry Cavill being British has anything to do with it. Right?

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.