Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill attends the New York premiere of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice at Radio City Music Hall - File photo REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Henry Cavill manages to ooze British sophistication, whether he is smuggling Alicia Vikander across the Berlin Wall in Man From Uncle or defending the world from imminent doom as Superman. The actor credits his very English persona to his upbringing by his Scottish-Irish mother and English father.

"My parents raised me and all my brothers as British, very British," Cavill explained of his childhood on Jersey in the Channel Islands, in an interview with The Rake. "It has always been a matter of being proud to be British. It isn't about turning your nose up at the rest of the world, it's just that we are an island that, despite all the odds, managed to survive all the other empires of history and became the largest empire itself, and has still survived to be a world power.

"I think my parents just bred it into me to be proud, and I am," he added.

The 34-year-old went on to study at the prestigious Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, England, where he recalls having a tough time with being bullied. While it may be hard for us to imagine Cavill as anything but the sharp-jawed Adonis he is today, he managed to earn a completely different sort of nickname back then — "Fat Cavill".

What made matters worse for the young boy was the descision to convert the all-boys institution into a co-educational one.

"As soon as the girls arrived — and I was not popular — all the cool guys would tell them I was a knob. All the girls turned on me and then all the guys who were my friends went for the girls," he said. "I had a handful of friends but it really surprised me. I was like, 'Wow, you totally turned on me to be cool, in front of those girls.'

"I look back and think, thank God people were such d**ks to me at school, because it taught me an awful lot about people," he continued.

The actor has come a long way since then but now has to deal with the criticism that comes with being a celebrity. "There is obviously a flip-side to [fame], too: as soon as I get into a relationship, a slew of hate, directed at me as well as the girl, saying that 'I've changed'," he said.

"I haven't changed a bit. But you have to take all of that in your stride, there are positive and negative parts to all of it, but ultimately it is enormously flattering to have people care that much. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone in my life, it is a good thing. As soon as it starts to affect people in my life, that's when I draw back."

Cavill made it a point to explain that he is not complaining about being famous. "I love my job, I love making money, I love to travel and play with all the great toys in the world, and see what I want to see," he mentioned, adding, "But none of that will be worth it if the people I love and who I want to walk that journey with are getting hurt and suffering because of that gain."

The Man Of Steel star is currently working alongside Tom Cruise on the sixth installment of the Mission Impossible series. The movie is set to release on 27 July, 2018.