Henry Cavill has made a career out of portraying some of popular culture’s most iconic heroes, from comic-book hero Superman and world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes to monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist of Netflix’s The Witcher series based on the popular book and video game series.
In the span of just a few weeks, Cavill has made well-publicized returns to two of those roles. On November 4, the Netflix sequel Enola Holmes 2 brings him back as Sherlock, the famous brother of the film’s titular, aspiring detective (played by Millie Bobby Brown), while Cavill recently followed a well-publicized cameo in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Black Adam with an announcement that he was indeed returning as DC Comics’ Man of Steel.
While promoting his return as the great detective — Sherlock, not Batman — in Enola Holmes 2, Cavill took some time to discuss his approach to these roles and others with Digital Trends. He also offered a detailed update on the status of the gaming rig the entire quarantined world seemingly watched him assemble back in 2020.
Digital Trends: Sherlock Holmes been played by so many actors so memorably over the years. What are the aspects of the character that you focused on to make it your own in these films?
Henry Cavill: Well, it’s never an approach of mine to deliberately try and make something my own. What I wanted to do here was really approach the one unique aspect of Sherlock that exists in this universe, and that’s Enola. Sherlock is a supporting character to Enola’s story in this. That was my approach here.
The wonderful thing about Enola existing is that it gives a window into the soft core of who Sherlock is. We built a backstory of him having also been raised by his mother in the same way Enola was, so there is an emotional connection there to the young boy that Sherlock used to be. It provides a slightly different viewpoint, especially when he’s the supporting player in Enola’s story.
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You’ve been Superman, Geralt of Rivia, Sherlock Holmes… They’re all high-profile characters with a lot of legacy behind them. What are some of the challenges in taking on characters with these sort of built-in expectations and well-established legacies?
“Challenges” is always a tricky word to describe it. I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re challenges, but with iconic characters come a lot of feelings. There are a lot of people who care about these characters, and there are a lot of people who have opinions about them. And I love that.
I spend a lot of my time researching how people react and their opinions on things. And then it’s about sticking to the IP and staying true to the character, while also taking note of where I may be going wrong in that process. And if I am going wrong in that process, I try and adjust, because there are people out there who love the characters just as much as me, if not more. And it’s about respecting them, because it’s the audience who matters in these situations.
You recently returned to another iconic role: Superman. What has you most excited about returning as the Man of Steel?
There’s an awful lot of opportunities and excitement now about that. I think, for me, the key is bringing optimism, hope, and joy.
A while back, you posted this wonderful video of yourself putting together your gaming rig. It was fun to watch, and everyone here at Digital Trends is curious: What’s your gaming rig like these days? Can you give us the specs?
Oh, geez. My specs? Well, first of all, they’re all going to change soon, because I’m going to be getting a new motherboard, which will go with, well… I think at the moment I’m probably going to go with the AMD chip still, but we’ll see. I’m also waiting for the AMD cards to come out to see what they’re like in comparison to the Nvidia RTX 4090. So time will tell with the specs.
But right now, they’re great. It’s still a top-end PC, but it’s all going to shift as soon as all the new gear comes in. I was slightly disappointed to learn I had to buy a new motherboard as well as everything else, but it will be fun to take everything apart and put it all back together again.
I just bought a new PSU and that was a challenge, because it was a far larger PSU than the previous one. It’s a 1600 [watt], this one. I thought it would only be necessary to unplug all the stuff from the previous one, then plug the new stuff in. Turns out I had to unplug every single cable and cord, because they needed to be both larger gauge and better cables, so it turned into a bit of a fiddle, but it was a nice warmup to the complete breakdown and reconstruction of my rig to come.
Well, I’m sure I’m not alone in looking forward to the next video. Thanks for taking the time with us here!
Thank you very much!
Directed by Harry Bradbeer, Enola Holmes 2 premieres November 4 on Netflix.
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