Why Henry Cavill does his own stunts on Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’
(Credit: Netflix)

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Why Henry Cavill does his own stunts on Netflix's 'The Witcher'

Netflix’s foray into the gaming realm comes from their love for adapting video games into TV shows and films. While reception has been mixed, the adaptation of Andrzej Spkowki’s acclaimed novel series The Witcher, from which the popular video games was adapted, led to Lauren Schmidt Hissrich adapt the same into the popular eponymous Netflix series, starring Henry Cavill. 

The first season premiered on Netflix in 2019 and garnered a lot of attention from audience members that included die-hard fans of the Witcherverse. Given the positive reaction and overwhelming acclaim, the series is set to premiere its second season this year on December 17, 2021. 

Besides the basic, supernatural premise — complete with fantastical elements and monsters threatening humanity and a gruff witcher swishing his sword despite being considered an abomination by the greater majority of humans — the show’s main attraction was Henry Cavill. The former Superman did absolute justice to his role as the ripped man of few words, Geralt of Rivia, who simply answers in swift and soft disgruntled hums.

As an avid gamer in real life, Cavill wanted to do justice to his role as the protagonist and went beyond his means, especially while shooting the stunt sequences, which he insisted on doing alone.

 In a typical, The Witcher fashion, Cavill’s character had to present a lot of heavy action sequences involving sword-fights, combats and more. Amidst these brutal conflicts being faced by Geralt, Cavill, unlike most other contemporary actors, insisted on doing his stunt scenes alone without seeking help from a stunt double. 

He has often referred to Tom Cruise’s brilliant stunt work on Mission: Impossible- Fallout for having inspired him to do the same and piquing his interest in “physical stuff”. He even tried to learn the art of sword fighting whenever he had free time in between shoots or at home to ensure the best performance on-screen. 

In 2020, Cavill, who was last seen as Superman on Man of Steel, told Variety, “If an audience is watching Geralt on-screen, they must believe that it is me”. 

He further went on to say, “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.”

His sheer dedication and perseverance added more ruggedness and anticipation to the grappling fight sequences in the show.