LOS ANGELES -- Henry Cavill's acted for a decade but except for a recurring role in "The Tudors," he's gone relatively unnoticed.
If his new action movie "Immortals" doesn't make him a recognizable name, the upcoming Superman movie, "Man of Steel," certainly will.
It's taken a long, hard journey to reach the brink of super stardom.
"I've worked incredibly hard to get where I am and there has been a lot of heartache along the way professionally. And a lot of rejection. A lot of just having faith in yourself and being the only person who has faith in you. And so it's wonderfully rewarding to have everything recognized and for people to be excited about a job which you're in that is coming out," Cavill says. "I've enjoyed every step of the way. It's been difficult but wonderful.
As soon as he was cast as Theseus in "Immortals," Cavill began training to have the rock-solid abs of a Greek hero. There were several delays before filming started, but he just kept working in the gym.
The work paid off. He was cast as Superman in the next big-screen incarnation of the comic book hero.
Cavill's worked equally hard to find the right motivation and attitude to play an average man who gets pushed into extraordinary circumstances by his situation in "Immortals."
"To play a hero effectively, I think you have to focus entirely on the flaws and doubts of the hero. In modern and past society, heroes are very prevalent and it's a little boring to be too good, and to be great at everything that you do," Cavill says. "So to focus on all of the things which make life and everything so difficult, that makes them more heroic when they overcome them.
"The personal difficulties and problems they have is, I think, what makes the hero interesting."
Asked if he uses the same philosophy to play Superman, Cavill only smiles and says you will have to wait -- a long time. The movie is slated to open in the summer of 2013.
Cavill says comic books have, in a way, become the modern equivalent of the myths and legends children heard about in ancient Greece and Italy. To him, mythology is a set of ideals represented by individuals. The only difference between myths and comics is that the modern caped heroes are a little more defined when it comes to their beliefs.
"In Superman, it's a very clear ideal. With mythological characters, especially the Greek ones, it's a bit more circumspect," Cavill says. They have a lot more in the way of flaws.
"Hopefully, kids will see that and take the good message from it as opposed to just going around stabbing people with a spear."