Why Playing Sherlock Holmes Is Much More Freeing Than Superman Or The Witcher, According To Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill in Enola Holmes

British actor Henry Cavill has become a household name over the past few years, in no small part due to his role as Superman in the DC Extended Universe. Man of Steel was the first installment of the property, and Cavill's performance as the last son of Krypton has been praised. Recently Cavill took on some more iconic roles in Netflix projects as protagonist Geralt in The Witcher and Sherlock in Enola Holmes. The latter movie arrived on the streaming service just last week, and Cavill has explained why playing the iconic detective was more "freeing" than Superman and Geralt.

Henry Cavill's career has been booming over the past few years, but the 37 year-old actor has also been tasked with playing some truly beloved characters. Each of these roles likely comes with its own pressure, although Cavill admits that playing Sherlock in Enola Holmes was a different experience. He recently spoke to the pressure of Geralt and Superman, saying:

It’s funny, I try not to focus on the pressure aspect I make it more of a personal mission for myself rather than a pressure aspect. Whether that be Superman, whether that be The Witcher, whether that be Sherlock Holmes, I’m not feeling the external pressure. It’s more about me –certainly with Superman and The Witcher – those are characters I grew up with and I love and I really, really want to represent in the most source-accurate way possible. That for me was a massive thing and still is a massive thing.

In many ways Henry Cavill's career has included a slew of dream roles. But because his roles are so beloved by the public, Cavill feels the added pressure to nail it on set. This pressure includes his own expectations, as the actor was a fan of both Geralt and Superman ahead of adapting them into live-action on film.

Henry Cavill's comments to Collider help to show what it's really like to work on projects like Batman v Superman or The Witcher. While the actor makes it look easy on screen, he's still a regular guy who can be nervous over working on such high profile sets. But by contrast, Cavill admits he didn't feel that same pressure during Enola Holmes. Namely because he wasn't a huge Sherlock fan. As he explained,

When it comes to Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t reading the books of Sherlock Holmes necessarily. So I managed to absolve myself of this duty which I put on myself which is being a law loyalist; it’s always about the details. I’m the most annoying guy on set, because I’m saying, ‘Excuse me, you do realize this should be happening and they wouldn’t do that and you haven’t read this then that means this would be impossible. Everyone’s just going, ‘Henry just shut up and do the thing.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t wanna do the thing. He wouldn’t do it this way but he can do this.’ With Sherlock, because I absolved myself of being that psychopathic law loyalist… we could craft a Sherlock that was supportive of Enola of a character.

While Sherlock Holmes is a character that has had more years entertaining audiences than even Superman, Henry Cavill himself wasn't someone who grew up reading the iconic detective's adventures. As such, the actor didn't have to worry about being pitch perfect or ultra-accurate. And in that way he was able to play while filming Netflix's Enola Holmes.

Henry Cavill's performance as Sherlock is just one of the aspects of Enola Holmes that has been praised since its release on Netflix. Cavill plays a supporting role in the streaming adventure, as he attempts to track down Millie Bobby Brown's title character. The movie faired well critically, and has been trending on Netflix since its release.

As for Geralt and Superman, all eyes are on what will come next for Henry Cavill's other two iconic roles. The Witcher will get a second season on Netflix, although the show recently did some re-casting due to the delay in filming. Cavill has also been open about wanting to return to the DCEU, but there's no telling when.

Enola Holmes is currently streaming on Netflix. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.