Netflix is launching The Witcher‘s first season in just a couple of weeks, with the promise of monsters, magic and dark moral themes. Superman‘s Henry Cavill stars as the titular witcher Geralt of Rivia, Anya Chalotra stars as his love interest, the badass sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Freya Allan stars as their adoptive daughter -to-be Princess Ciri. All three of them were present at the Witcher Experience fan event in LA to celebrate the show’s upcoming release, and now interviews are starting to release. We’ve gathered their best interviews below!
Henry Cavill on how and why the series will differ from the books, and on the daily makeup process required to become Geralt of Rivia
Anya Chalotra reveals new footage of Yennefer’s past
In an interview with NBC Philadelphia, Chalotra discusses the joy of working with Henry Cavill and admits the Game of Thrones comparisons are flattering despite having never watched that show. During the interview, a new clip of Chalotra’s Yennefer was revealed. Check it out below!
Henry Cavill on why Geralt of Rivia is hated and feared. Skip to 4:00 for stars Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, who have recently watched the first five episodes
A five-part twitter podcast with Chalotra and Allan about what inspired them in their roles
For the rest of the interview, visit @MOVIEDEATHBLOWS thread on twitter. Unfortunately, they get asked about the Snyder Cut (which they have no clue about).
Henry Cavill’s interview with Hollywood Reporter reveals how they filmed the show’s spectacular Blaviken fight scene
We’ve taken our favorite quotes from HR’s article and pasted them below. Make sure to read the entire thing right here.
How much of what we see onscreen in these fight scenes is actually you swinging a sword?
That is 100 percent me. It is very important to me that I continue the character into the action. The character must exist within the action as well as in the dialogue scenes and everything else, because so often you see projects and it’s all act, act, act, then action beat, then act, act, act. I wanted the story to continue seamlessly all the way throughout. Especially in episode one, [fight coordinator] Wolfgang Stegemann and I and his team designed the fight to tell the story. That was incredibly important for us and quite difficult as well because we had to put the intensity of that relationship between those two characters who fight into that second piece and, in the first piece, make it contrast very much to the second piece. You see the different intentions in the fight, you see what [Geralt] is capable of and then you see what he is not willing to do and what he is willing to do. All of that was vitally important to us. I also enjoy it, to be fair. I like swinging a sword around.
You have a wonderful chemistry with Joey Batey, who plays the bard Jaskier. How natural was that relationship for you two?
There was no working on that. Joey is a fantastic actor and did an extraordinary job of representing the polar opposite to Geralt. In the books, they are very, very close friends. That is so obvious. They speak to each other fondly. The opportunity is different in this story because Jaskier turns up and he’s not an immediate player straight away. We sort of had to show that essence of Geralt and Joey playing the complete opposite, which creates a wonderful dynamic. If I were to play it more directly like the books, it wouldn’t quite have the same sense of two fated friends. They’d just be like, “Hey, buddy!” Instead, Geralt cares deeply for Jaskier, whether he wants to admit it or not.
You’ve done a number of blockbuster films in the past few years. What about this project was appealing to go back to television?
This project, specifically, was the lore, the story, the IP. I was, and still am, a huge fan of the games. Have you played them?
Yes, they’re incredible.
Aren’t they good? So, playing through them, it’s hard to imagine what a movie or a TV show would be like. They’re so immersive; the world they build is so incredible. Then I read the books, and they are extraordinary. It was one of those things that because I grew up with the fantasy genre and I hear Netflix is making a TV show, it was, for me, the exact role I want to go for. This is the stuff I live for. I love doing my best to stay faithful to the lore.
It’s a very difficult task when you have a series of books. Books are very difficult to adapt anyway because you’re talking about inner monologues of all sorts. But, for me, especially in this, it’s about boiling the character down to his essence so the truth of the character can fit within the structure of the show.
You mentioned the “essence” of Geralt. What is it?
In the books — let’s take The Last Wish, for example. We have chapter after chapter, short story after short story where you have an intimate understanding of who Geralt is because of the intimate conversations he has. You see him, whether it be talking to a ruler of a nation and coming in very eloquent and knowing, not really how to manipulate, but ingratiate himself to certain people. And then you see his tact change throughout, when he realizes this ruler isn’t going to be a good person on his behalf. They’re going to try to manipulate and use him. You see his tact change and eventually he becomes incredibly direct with someone who is not used to it, and he remains steadfast. That is who Geralt is.
He is this incredibly direct person who, in other chapters, has this stony exterior that he forces upon himself, because it’s not his natural instinct, to survive in a world or commit actions that are necessary. To carry out the lesser evil.
These things are explained with nuance by [author] Andrzej Sapkowski over a whole book. We have a show to do it in with three characters. For me, it was all about picking out that cold exterior, that directness, and everything else that comes in emotional beats — love, caring, camaraderie — have to come out in separate moments, otherwise the character is going to be all over the place.
Henry Cavill on the pressure coming from Witcher fans and Superman
The Witcher will release on December 20 on Netflix. In the meantime, the cast will be traveling to events all over the world to promote the show. More panels and interviews are coming!