Henry Cavill has won the hearts of The Witcher fans all around the world over the last four years, owing to his painstaking depiction of Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix series.
However, contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t always easy for the actor at first, as he tried to nail every detail of a character who was already well-known from the books and video game series.
Some allege that after Henry makes his final appearance as the monster hunter in season 3 volume 2, they want to boycott the programme in order to prevent seeing Liam Hemsworth make his season 4 debut.
Executive producer Tomek Baginski responded to people who believe they’ll quit watching The Witcher, noting how long it took the Man of Steel actor to ‘find’ his Geralt all those years ago.
When asked how he feels about the call for a boycott among some members of the Witcher fandom, he responded: ‘I don’t know, I think wait and see. It’s the only strategy I can take at the moment because we don’t know what will happen in the future. We don’t know how it will work.’
He continued: ‘I am personally very excited about what Liam will bring to the show, because I also remember what were the first reactions for Henry years ago in 2018.
‘At that time, a lot of people couldn’t imagine this character being played by Henry Cavill, because, “Oh he’s too muscular.” There was a ton of different opinions all over the internet. And then we released first materials and then we released first trailers and finally [it] was like, “Oh, that’s interesting. That actually is working, that’s actually going quite well.”’
However, before those first look photographs of Henry were revealed, he had a long way to go in determining how he would bring his portrayal of Geralt to life on the small screen.
‘Even Henry I think it took… I don’t want to [be] very precise because it was a while ago, but we started in the fall, and we had this hiatus when we were shooting season one during Christmas,’ Tomek recollected.
‘During this hiatus both the director and Henry had the chance to watch some of the materials from what was shot before, and I remember when Henry returned after this hiatus, he returned with Geralt’s voice. But before that, it was not like that. It was still a discovery.
‘It was still like, “Okay, should we test this or test this?”, and looking for the proper voice and proper character and who this character is. And then suddenly, Henry comes back in January and he is Geralt and it was like that.’
Having ‘witnessed’ Henry’s transformation into Geralt, Tomek now feels ‘excited again’ to watch that same ‘discovery’ and ‘search’ of ‘who Geralt is’ with Hunger Games star Liam.
‘Especially who is Liam’s Geralt, because it will be a slightly different Geralt with a slightly different tone, but it will be still Geralt,’ he added.
The executive producer described how ‘wonderful’ it is to watch the creative process between directors, performers, and screenplay writers in situations like these.
‘When the synergy happens, it’s almost like a moment of magic happens in front of you and suddenly, “Oh, this guy is this character,”’ he stated.
‘This never happens automatically. People think, “I have an idea and it will happen.” No – it’s a ton of people working very, very hard to make it happen.’
Another aspect of Henry’s Geralt that didn’t come together right away was a very important attribute of the character – his white hair, which the actor wore as a wig.
While of course now Henry’s hair as Geralt looks faultless, that wasn’t always the case, we were told.
‘The first wig of Henry was not great and we were terrified,’ Tomek shared.
‘People were working day and night to make this wig look better, and suddenly, it also started to work and the voice started to work and the tone started to work and all those things connected, all those puzzles fell into place. So seeing it again, I think it will be a fun journey.’
Freya Allan, who portrays Princess Ciri in The Witcher, detailed how she’mourned’ Henry’s departure from the fantasy series via her character after learning of his departure in an interview with co-stars Joey Batey and Anya Chalotra.
When asked if she now looks back on her final moments with Henry differently, the actress revealed that the two of them had “gotten so close via those roles.”
‘He plays my adoptive father. So that part was the most sad element of it. So it was more reflecting on this whole experience we’ve had together and that coming to a close with his side of it,’ she said.
The Witcher season 3 volume 2 drops on Thursday July 27 on Netflix.