Henry Cavill takes on Sherlock Holmes but with feelings
Playing the Holmes siblings are (from left) Henry Cavill as Sherlock, Millie Bobby Brown as Enola and Sam Claflin as Mycroft.
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Henry Cavill takes on Sherlock Holmes but with feelings
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - October 1, 2020 - 12:00am

Henry Cavill has given his own take on Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes, a film that introduces “the world’s greatest detective” to his biggest competition yet, his teen sister. Enola Holmes is now streaming on Netflix.

For the 37-year-old British actor who has portrayed such iconic characters as Superman in DC Films and Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher, he admitted that Sherlock Holmes, who has already been interpreted multiple times, wasn’t really on his “radar” of roles to play. But what made Henry “jump” at this opportunity to be Sherlock Holmes was Millie Bobby Brown, who isn’t just the lead star, playing the whipsmart and free-spirited Enola, but also the producer of the film adaptation of a popular book series by Nancy Springer.

“Sherlock Holmes wasn’t necessarily something on my radar to play because he’s been played so well by so many actors over the years. But when I read the script, and I knew that Millie Bobby Brown was attached, and there was a host of other very talented actors attached as well, it was a very easy decision for me to make,” Henry told Philippine and Singaporean press in a recent Zoom interview.

That he was cast in a supporting role this time to the young British actress was the least of his concerns. “As far as playing a supporting role in this, I am a fan of Millie Bobby Brown’s. I think she’s extraordinary. I have watched her stuff, and then the opportunity to play in a movie supporting her character, especially with such a good script and with such a fantastic cast, as well as a director like Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag and Killing Eve), it was a no-brainer.”

He added that the film also has an important message to share with audiences. “There’s a really important message in this movie, as well as it being a feel-good movie — I’ve played a lot of heavier, more serious characters over the years — it’s nice to play a character with some lightness, a character who is reflective of the other aspects of my personality as well, which we don’t often get to see very much on film.”

Henry’s version of Sherlock noticeably veers from the “traditional” interpretation of the literary hero, which is a bit aloof, detached if not lacking in social graces, and may surprise purists. It’s a different take in that sense that Sherlock shows some feelings in Enola Holmes.

“The way that he is more in touch with his emotions, I think is an important part of his story because he’s a supporting character to Enola’s character. They have so many similarities… they were probably raised in a very similar way. But Sherlock was forced down the path of society. He remained eccentric and the very interesting man that he is. And he knows that Enola doesn’t have those same opportunities, that if she’s forced down the traditional path, she won’t be able to be the incredible woman that she is.

“And so that has to connect with Sherlock’s emotional side. And it’s very important that this supporting character can be there for Enola’s character. There’s an anchor there. There’s a family anchor to allow her to blossom under her own accord and within her own rights to become the incredible woman that she is.

“For the audiences, I really hope that I have done justice and time will tell, we shall see,” he said.

The actor shared that coming from a family of four brothers himself, portraying the sibling dynamics onscreen with Millie and fellow British actor Sam Claflin as Mycroft Holmes just came naturally.

Off-screen, Henry said being around Millie was a lot like having his own sister. “We had a lot of laughs together. I rolled my eyes a lot of times at Millie. And the make-up trailer was always a good laugh because she’d be talking about — I better be careful about how much I share but the make-up trailer is our sacred place of secrets — she would often talk about reality TV, and reality TV is something she is very, very well-versed in.

“But I would often switch off when she was talking. And then she’d keep on just talking at me until she realized that I wasn’t listening anymore, and she also tried to get me to do a lot of social media videos, whether it be dances or anything like that. And I, of course, gave her a good strong no with that one. And so it was a lot like having a younger sister.”

Henry stressed he can’t wait to see what else the still-16-year-old Millie can do in the years to come.

“Aside from the fact that she is enormous, fun, and very charismatic. She is extremely talented as well. And she has done so well in this role. She’s such a good actor. And she’s also an incredible producer. She has a very, very bright future ahead of her. And I’m excited to see where it goes.”

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