Crowe had met the 'Man of Steel' back when he was a teenager, playing rugby at a British boarding school.
Henry Cavill might have hung his superhero cape for now but he has cemented himself as this generation's superman. As the DC cinematic universe gears up for a complete reboot under the command of filmmaker James Gunn, Cavill has bid goodbye to his iconic character of Superman. However, there is an interesting and inspiring story behind how he ended up becoming an actor in the first place and his early encounter with "Gladiator" star Russell Crowe who played Cavill's onscreen dad in the 2013 film "Man of Steel."
Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff and Russell Crowe, was released on this day in 2013 (USA) 🎬 pic.twitter.com/Ugi2WI54Xj— SciFi31👽 (@SciFi31) June 14, 2021
Appearing on "The Graham Norton Show" back in 2013 to promote their film, Crowe and Cavill shared a touching story that many fans weren't familiar with. Crowe revealed during his appearance on the talk show that he had indeed met Cavill in 2000 when he went to film his hostage thriller "Proof of Life" at the Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, where Cavill was a student. "There was a rugby match being played in the background and there was one kid on that field who was quite dominant and fluid and so he caught my eye. And in between shots that kid came over and talked to me but all his questions were about acting," Crowe narrated.
A 16-year-old Cavill had no formal acting experience back then except for appearing in his school's productions. Cavill then continued the story on the talk show. "I walked up to him, stuck my hand out and said ‘Hi, my name’s Henry, I am considering becoming an actor, any tips? What’s it like?'" Crowe decided to answer a teenage Cavill truthfully and told him that being an actor "pays you well but sometimes they don't treat you so well." However, this brief encounter left a lasting impression on Cavill and he made up his mind to pursue an acting career.
Actually, yes, it is. Henry Cavill confirmed this himself on the Graham Norton show. Recalling the story that in Henry's words, "When fat Henry Cavill met Russell Crowe". pic.twitter.com/iqlt278W9v— Patrick Swarley Hall 🇺🇦 🇲🇽 (@PatrickHall1701) March 26, 2022
“I figured the greatest thing you could get when you’re in boarding school or something is unexpected mail," Crowe added to their shared memory. He sent "The Witcher" star a box full of Australian sweets, a rugby jersey, some Vegemite, a band CD and a picture of him in his Gladiator costume. "Dear Henry, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Russell," a note in the gift box read. Sure enough, not even Crowe or Cavill could have predicted that they would end up sharing screen almost a decade later.
The $668 million dollar Superman reboot united Crowe and Cavill as Jor-El and Kal-El but Crowe took some time to recognize his co-star. "Twelve years later I’m in a gym in Naperville, Illinois and I’m working out with my son in this movie that I’m doing, he’s on the other side of the gym and I knew I knew him from somewhere, I just didn’t know - I couldn’t place him," the 59-year-old actor told Graham Norton on the show. He recalled asking Cavill if he knew him from somewhere.
This story of Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe meeting when Henry was a teenager is insane pic.twitter.com/WRbkCjvB3S— Nicholas (@NicholasPas5) July 17, 2023
"I didn’t want to walk up to him and put him in that embarrassing situation where he has to lie to me like, ‘Hi, remember me? The kid from 12 years ago, the one kid you met during the shoot one day?’ I just assumed he wouldn’t," Cavill said, per CNN. But Crowe did remember him so he popped a question to test Cavill and asked him, "What did he tell a young Cavill when they had met." Cavill recounted his advice on becoming an actor and Crowe was delighted to see that his co-star had remembered everything word to word.
“We had a good laugh about it,” recalled Cavill, per the outlet. “It’s one of those moments in life where you think what are the chances?” The senior actor sure does deserve some credit for being honest with a teenage Cavill and inspiring him to become one of the biggest bankable stars in Hollywood at the moment.