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Russell Crowe inspired Superman son Cavill when he was just 16

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Jun 04, 2013 | 8:36pm EDT

Russell Crowe was left stunned when he realised the young star playing his son in the new Superman movie, Man Of Steel, was the kid he offered acting advice to on the set of 2000 film Proof Of Life. British actor Henry Cavill was an extra playing rugby with Crowe's movie son, Merlin Hanbury-Tenison, in the film when he plucked up the courage to chat with his idol during a break. Crowe tells U.S. TV show Extra, "I was watching the kid who was playing my son... but there was a guy in that rugby match who was a dominant player. When he came over to talk to me, I gave him an ear purely because I liked watching him play. "He asked me, 'How do you become an actor?' and something in him, the way he asked that, made me take that question seriously. It was like I knew he was from my tribe. "Twelve years later, for us to be standing in a room, I was like, 'I know I know this kid', and then for him to remind me that we'd had that conversation when he was 16 years old and there he is now on this massive film..." Cavill admits Crowe's advice and the gift the movie star gave him inspired him to make the most of his acting career: "He gives me, amongst other things, this picture of him in Gladiator, saying, 'Dear Henry, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' "Now he's playing my dad at the most pivotal point of my career. You think about it and it's just one of those incredible things. I mean, what are the chances?"

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