Henry Cavill, known for playing Superman, auditioned for Patrick Stewart in 2003.
One would imagine that Sir Patrick Stewart, having been onscreen and on theater stages for over six decades, could be an intimidating actor to stand in front of for an audition. For Henry Cavill, who has portrayed Superman, that couldn’t be truer as when he and Stewart got together for Variety’s Actor on Actor interview with one another, he talked about an audition in front of the Star Trek: Picard actor that changed his life.
It was in 2003, and Stewart was taking auditions for The Lion in the Winter. Cavill had only been acting for three years and admits that he was incredibly nervous to audition in front of Stewart. Cavill spent weeks learning his lines and getting prepared for the audition, but that all went out the window when it was his time to stand in front of Stewart.
"2003, when you were casting for “The Lion in Winter.” I’d been acting for three years. I was incredibly nervous to audition in front of an actor of your caliber. I had spent weeks learning my lines, and by the time I got in there, I’d whipped myself into such a frenzy that I completely flubbed the audition. I forgot how to act, and then I left with my tail in between my legs."
A few words from Patrick Stewart gave Henry Cavill strength throughout his career
Cavill left the audition, most likely feeling dejected, but as he was walking down a street in London, he told himself he could do better than the audition he’d just flubbed. Stewart told him it was okay for him to come back in and give it another try. Although Cavill’s second attempt wasn’t good enough to get him cast, he felt it was far better.
Then Stewart told Cavill he was glad he came back. Cavill said that gave him such strength throughout his career, and he’s never forgotten it. When an actor as talented as Stewart offers a thumbs-up to a struggling actor, it’s easy to understand how that small pat on the back would help fuel his future.