Rising Star: Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill took his first leap into the acting world at the Stowe Boarding School in England, where he honed the craft that would eventually land him opposite some of Hollywood’s acting greats. He got his start with smaller roles in films such as “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Tristan + Isolde,” and last year’s magical romp, “Stardust,” opposite Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The entertainment world stopped and took notice of Access Hollywood’s latest Rising Star, when Cavill was cast on Showtime’s racy period drama, “The Tudors.”

Henry plays Charles Brandon, a close confidant to King Henry VIII, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. “The Tudors is a gripping drama set in King Henry’s court, where plotting, scheming, and backstabbing-- not to mention plenty of sex, are all in a day’s work.

Charles plays an important role in King Henry’s quest to free himself from his marriage to Queen Katherine of Aragon in order to marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Charles acts as King Henry’s right-hand-man, always there to ensure the king’s every whim and desire is taken care of. Henry doesn’t only play wingman to Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ King Henry. Henry has already had his fair share of onscreen romances and sizzling scenes which remind us why “The Tudors” isn’t on network television.

Henry is not stopping with the small screen. He just wrapped the Joel Schumacher horror film, “Town Creek,” opposite “Prison Break’s” Dominic Purcell, which is set in the world of the occult. Henry is currently filming the new Woody Allen film with Evan Rachel Wood and funny-man Larry David.

We caught up with Henry to find out what’s in store for his fans this season on “The Tudors,” and what to expect from Henry’s big screen endeavors.

Access: Congratulations on being named Access Hollywood.com’s newest Rising Star. How does it feel to be one of Hollywood’s great up-and-comers?

“Well it certainly is a nice thing to hear, whether it’s the case or not, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Henry says.

What were your first thoughts about the series when you were cast on “The Tudors”?

“Considering the writing was so good, I realized that it had a very good chance of being something very special. That, coupled with a cast as strong as it was, got me really excited to get started. As far as the sex scenes go, one never knows how far an individual director is going to push the envelope. So I wasn’t aware of quite how racy some of the scenes were going to be,” he laughs.

Have there been any moments or situations in the script for “The Tudors” that have pushed your boundaries too far for you as an actor?

“What you saw was fairly extreme for me but was still shot as tastefully as it could have been so I was fairly relaxed about it. There was some question around the other scenes but the directors and I talked about them a lot and we all ended up being happy in the end and me not too naked,” he laughs.

In Season 2, your character, Charles Brandon, is already up to some intriguing scheming and plotting around the kingdom. How will your role evolve as the new season unravels?

“He becomes more and more accepting of the world he now lives in, yet battles with his conscience with almost every decision made and resulting consequence.”

Characters on “The Tudors” have a tendency to get killed, banished or imprisoned — never to be heard from again. As an actor, do you ever fear the sudden disappearance or death or your character? Do have an assurance from the producers that Charles Brandon will live to see many days?

“There are no assurances whatsoever! There are always fears lying in the back of my mind but I suppose that if the character needs to go because it’s boring or has no strong ties to the various plot lines any longer it’d not benefit me at all if I hung around. I will just have to hope that I can perform well enough and keep my character interesting.”

Can you give the fans any inside details on what to expect for the new season?

“He’s far more grown up this season, so no womanizing. He’s got family and future to think about now, although he is Charles Brandon after all, and you never know if he’ll be able to behave or not.”

Is Charles’ love life similar to your own?

“Not in the slightest!”

It’s reported that you’re filming the new Woody Allen film with Evan Rachel Wood and Larry David. That has to be a great departure from the set of “The Tudors.” Can you give us any insight on the film?

“I’m sorry but I can’t. Ask me again in 12 months,” Henry says coyly.

Do you hope to star in more sci-fi/action/adventure type films in the future? Any favorite characters you would love to bring to screen?

“I’d love to be in those kinds of movies in the future I really really would…there is nothing quite like a great sci-fi or adventure movie! There are many characters from books that I’d love to bring to film, most of them belonging to the writers Raymond E. Feist, David Gemmell or Dan Abnett. It’s just a matter of finding the right time, directors, scriptwriters and production companies to make them not forgetting of course having to actually get the film rights to the material.”

(Fun fact: Henry Cavill was one of two runners-up to play James Bond in 2006 – the role eventually went to Daniel Craig)

-- Jesse Spero

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