A lot of what makes Henry Cavill’s performance as The Witcher‘s Geralt of Rivia believable is owing to his true status as a nerd. He’s been very upfront about playing all the games and reading all the books and basically living with a sword in his hand for at least a year (it must have been fun being around Henry Cavill during that time, right?). So, he’s definitely got the authentic Geralt attitude down on his own, but when it came to embracing the character’s physicality, Cavill also didn’t want to take short cuts. In fact, he learned lessons in that department from Tom Cruise.
As the Man of Steel star told Variety, he’s always been up for being physical as an actor, but watching Cruise go hog wild on stunt work during their time together on Mission: Impossible — Fallout really hammered the value of doing one’s own stunts home for Cavill. He admits that producers aren’t always crazy about their leading man embracing dangerous moves, but he’s standing firm:
“I really want to do them now, and I think it’s an essential piece to the character. If an audience is watching Geralt on-screen, they must believe that it is me. If it’s not me, I feel like I’ve betrayed the character in some way, and so I try and do as much as a production will let me.”
It sounds like a difficult challenge for producers when it comes to insuring Cavill from injury, but hey, at least there’s no danger of him clinging to the side of airplanes on the continent. Instead, The Witcher mostly involves Cavill tossing himself into fight scenes, which are at least choreographed. And then he takes baths onscreen. Note that no one is arguing for him to do less of that! And to that end, The Witcher will get poetic later this summer and resume filming for Season 2. Hopefully, we’ll see Geralt’s wig on Netflix again before too long. There are monsters to be hunted, after all.