Henry Cavill has said he feels hesitant to talk to women in a flirtatious manner because he fears being called a “rapist or something”, in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
The Man Of Steel actor also appeared to suggest that flirting with somebody would be like “casting myself into the fires of hell”, as a person in the public eye.
The 35-year-old was asked in an interview with GQ Australia magazine about the anti-sexual harassment movement that swept Hollywood last year, and what he has learned from it.
He said he has been “fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people that behave that way”, referring to a number of high-profile stars who were accused of sexual harassment.
He added that he has been in “situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps overfamiliar with some of the actresses. But, I’ve always walked up to them and said ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy’.”
Cavill said he likes to “think that I’ve never been like that”, and added: “I think any human being alive today, if someone casts too harsh a light on anything, you could be like ‘Well, OK, yeah, when you say it like that, maybe.’
“But it’s such a delicate and careful thing to say because there’s flirting which, for example, in a social environment is in context – and is acceptable.
“And that has been done to me as well, in return.”
He said “stuff has to change” regarding the behaviour of some men, but that “it’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things”.
Cavill, who will soon be seen in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, said there is “something wonderful about a man chasing a woman”.
“There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that.”
He added: “It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like ‘Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something’.
“So you’re like ‘Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship which never really worked’.
“But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?
“Now? Now you really can’t pursue someone further than ‘No’. It’s like ‘OK, cool’. But then there’s the ‘Oh why’d you give up?’
“And it’s like ‘Well, because I didn’t want to go to jail’.”
The Press Association has contacted a representative for Henry Cavill for additional comment.