Henry Cavill thanks his parents for his optimism
Henry Cavill's parents, Marianne and Colin Cavill, raised their son to be humble.
The Argylle actor grew up on a small British island with his mom, dad and four brothers: Piers, Niki, Simon and Charlie. Since growing up and becoming famous, Henry has reflected on his childhood and credited his parents for helping him keep up with the pressures of life in the spotlight.
“When you go home to family it doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what you say ... there’s something special and comforting about that,” he told the Daily Record in 2013.
“My upbringing has kept me grounded. My amazing parents have always told me to remain humble and thankful for what I get," the actor added.
From their careers to supporting his acting dreams, here’s everything to know about Henry Cavill’s parents, Marianne and Colin Cavill.
They have five sons
Henry grew up in a big family, thanks to Marianne and Colin welcoming five kids — all boys. The couple welcomed sons Piers, Niki and Simon before Henry was born in 1983. Their youngest son, Charlie, arrived two years later.
The Man of Steel star talked about his occasionally chaotic life growing up in a 2019 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, noting that it was easier to be one of the youngest in the pack because his parents were less strict.
“The eldest gets the toughest game, 100 percent, because they get all the discipline. By the time it gets to us, it’s all just free-for-all,” he joked.
Still, Henry has been complimentary of his mom's parenting in a house full of boys. “She’s extraordinary, she’s put up with a lot,” he said on Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2021. “She’s amazing. She raised us strong and tough and with lots of love, too.”
Marianne and Colin worked in finance
Although Marianne and Colin haven't talked about how they met and when they got married, Henry has opened up about his parent's professional lives.
He told Interview magazine in 2013 that Marianne worked in a bank, while Colin was the head of his finance management team.
Marianne is from the island of Jersey
Henry often talks about Marianne, who raised him in the same place she grew up: Jersey, a small island in the English Channel. The Witcher alum and his brothers were brought up in the area between England and France until they went off to boarding school.
In a 2021 Instagram post celebrating International Women’s Day, he wrote about his mom and the lessons she passed onto him.
"I'm dedicating this post to the most magnificent woman I know. My mum. An extraordinary, powerful, tough, intelligent, resilient, kind, thoughtful and caring person,” the Enola Holmes star captioned an old photo of Marianne holding him in her lap as a young boy wearing a Superman outfit.
“That little boy on her lap learned an awful lot about what it is to be a good man from her,” the actor added.
Colin looked out for Henry before his big break
Henry landed his first acting job before he finished high school with the 2002 adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Before starting the project, though, Colin shared his worries about his son not getting an education and advised him to get a university degree to fall back on in case his acting dreams didn’t work out.
“It was a fair argument! He was just looking out for me. He just turned out to be wrong this time,” Henry joked in a 2022 conversation at the cultural center 92Y.
After the film's success, Marianne and Colin celebrated their son and gave him the full support he needed to act full-time.
“My parents said, ‘You go to school to get a job and have a career, and you have a career. ... You’ve got the thing, and so go for it ... and if it doesn’t work, then you can always go finish [school] and you can join the armed forces and everything you wanted to do before,’ “ Henry recalled.
They help Henry accept rejection
There was a time in Hollywood history when Henry wasn’t booking the major movies and TV shows he’s known for now. He got passed over for several roles, including James Bond in Casino Royale and Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The up-and-coming actor was able to overcome these disappointments in part because of the way Marianne and Colin raised him. Henry told Interview magazine in 2013 that he resisted getting hung up on these rejections because of a simple belief: “If something doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen.”
“My mother and father sort of raised me to look at things that way,” he said. “They are very practical people. My mother and father have also raised five boys so they know there’s only so much that can be controlled.”
Henry revealed that he chose to "get excited" and put his all into the next audition instead of "being upset" over a lost opportunity.
Henry often brings his parents to red carpets
Henry includes Marianne and Colin in important career milestones — like the premiere of 2018's Mission: Impossible – Fallout in Paris. The red carpet took place at Palais de Chaillot with a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower, where the actor took pictures with his proud parents.
Marianne and Colin were also by his side at the 2013 premiere of Man of Steel, and he brought his mom and two of his brothers along for the 2021 season 2 premiere of The Witcher.
When his parents aren't by his side in public, Henry praises them on social media if the chance arises, including for holidays.
"Happy Father's Day to you, my incredible father, and to you my awesome brothers! Legends to a man," he captioned an Instagram photo of the Cavill men together.
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