With the second season of The Witcher hitting our screens via Netflix on 17th, December the internet is popping with acclaimed reviews. The show is unashamedly layered and has always rewarded those audiences willing to put in the extra time and effort — it has rewarded its contributors too, perhaps most notably, its lead actor Henry Cavill.
Often thought of as the show’s leading expert, Cavill has never been shy about his love for Geralt, his character, and the fantasy series from which the show is adapted. Recently, in an interview with Fortress of Solitude, along with her co-star Anya Chalotra aka Yennefer, Freya Allen, who plays Princess Ciri in the series, opened up about Cavill being a “living encyclopaedia” of the show. However, it could have all gone easily wrong had an on-set injury been any worse.
Cavill is about as classic an “action hero” as one might hope to find outside of Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson. Starring not only as Superman but also taking a lead role in Fall Out, Cavill is no stranger to death-defying stunts. However, a seemingly innocuous scene in The Witcher could have almost ended his career.
“I was sprinting through the woods for a scene [in season two],” he told NME, gleefully explaining his career’s near-death experience. “They had this fake snow down, which is pretty slippery. I’d done one take already, maybe two takes, and because they make adjustments [between takes], I’d started to cool down. Then when I started running again, my foot hit a bit of deadwood, and it collapsed. I massively over-contracted my hamstring and tore it.”
“He’ll kill me for saying this, but we were doing the same thing really, which was run along this tree-line and jump over this log,” Freya Allen, Cavill’s on-screen love interest, confirmed. “I did my bit and was having a break in my trailer when someone ran over and said: ‘Oh shit, Henry’s fucking done something to his leg and has had to go off.’ I was like: ‘Oh my god, what are we gonna do if he’s fucking damaged himself?'”
It seemed as though they would be able to continue for a while, with the doctors confirming that no more than five hours standing work a day would be plausible. “But as things went on,” Cavill continued, “I had to work longer and longer. Eventually, I said: ‘Guys, look: I know we need to finish this, but I can’t because if I do injure myself again, then that’s my career over, let alone this season.'”
The series pivoted and brought Allen into the fold as a more dynamic and, ultimately, violent character. It’s a twist that has widely benefitted the show and has seen audiences, yet again, applaud the latest edition of the fantasy series.