We all know how Hollywood actors often go above and beyond to make their roles feel authentic. Whether it is through significant emotional or physical transformations, playing a particular taxing character requires bravery and dedication. Even seasoned actors can experience vulnerability when it comes to giving it their all on screen. One such star is Henry Cavill, the dashing Superman himself, who was nervous before filming his shirtless scenes for Immortals (2011), where he had to show off a perfectly ripped eight-pack.
The movie, formerly known as Dawn of War and War of the Gods before being formally named Immortals, starred Cavill as Theseus, a mortal selected by Zeus to battle evil. Other actors who starred in the $226.9 million flick included Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, John Hurt, Luke Evans, Joseph Morgan, Daniel Sharman, and Mickey Rourke.
The Struggle Behind Henry Cavill’s Shirtless Scenes in Immortals
Despite his well-built physique, Henry Cavill, now 40, struggled to live up to the physical demands of playing Theseus in Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s Immortals. He woke up every “Monday” morning worried that he might not live up to the idealized version of a man that his role in the film demanded.
He discussed his anxiety before filming the shirtless scenes in Immortals, where he had to show off his incredibly toned abs. IMDb quoted him as saying:
“It’s very stressful waking up Monday morning and saying, ‘Can I still see that vein in my abs?’ You get the fear every morning, ‘Do I look good enough?’ And of course, you do. But in your own head, you never look good enough. I had a big sense of pride. I was like, ‘No shading. I don’t want you to draw abs on me. I don’t want you to put dirt in the right places. I just want to do it myself. I want to have the body.’ It’s a pride thing.”
The British actor, who played Superman in the DC Extended Universe (2013–2023), has an intense demeanor. When he discussed his “challenge” while filming Immortals, it was clear that he had a thorough understanding of the intricate choreography for the film’s epic confrontation. Cavill shared with TODAY:
“I was literally learning it minutes before doing it. That was fun and a great challenge, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I get pissed off at myself if I don’t get it exactly right.”
Henry Cavill Discussed His Views on Mental Health
Henry Cavill, the Man of Steel actor, is known for training for hours to prepare for his physically demanding roles. However, the 40-year-old admitted to PEOPLE that he did not fall in love with the gym until much later in life:
“When I was in school I played sports. I wasn’t the most spectacular physical specimen back then, but I definitely had drive.”
His first significant physical role in Immortals was made possible by that drive. He went on saying:
“I was doing a lot of martial arts and bodyweight exercises because it was apt for the character. And the first time I really moved into lifting weights properly was for Man of Steel.”
From then on, Cavill revealed, his journey toward fitness took shape:
“It’s evolved and developed in its own way depending on the characters that I’ve played or what I’ve had access to — the facilities, where I’ve wanted to go with my body and what I’ve wanted to do.”
For that reason, he started focusing on the aspects of his life that he could manage, particularly his mental well-being. He went on to elaborate:
“When it comes to my mental health, [I] focus on what I can control and work on that. And that gives me something to work towards rather than something to deal with or work through or manage my life through.”
In terms of work, he was last seen in The Flash. The actor’s next project is the upcoming spy action comedy Argylle, which is helmed and produced by Matthew Vaughn. The Universal Pictures film is slated to hit theaters on February 2, 2024.
Stream Immortals on DIRECTV.