How Netflix’s “The Witcher” found its voice with Henry Cavill

The medieval fantasy fresco had to find its own way after the original literary work and a renowned video game adaptation. Not everything is convincing in the eyes of critics, but the work of the main actor is to be commended.

Highly anticipated, The Witcher received a relatively lukewarm reception from critics. Broadcast since December 20 on Netflix and based on the Polish work of Andrzej Sapkowski, the series is seen in turn compared to its disadvantage. Games of thrones of HBO (for Vox), at The Mandalorian from Disney (for Polygon), or to the big screen adaptation of the Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson (for Entertainment Weekly). All signaling that we would be bored a little despite the richness of the starting material.

In the eight episodes of this first season, the spectator is embarked on three parallel journeys. The wanderings of the witcher Geralt de Riv, professional monster hunter going from contract to contract accompanied by the voluble bard Jaskier, the meteoric rise of the powerful mage Yennefer shaking up the codes of his brotherhood, and the flight of the young princess Cirilla, heiress of the kingdom of Cintra, set on fire and blood. Triple tale against the backdrop of upheavals in subtle political balances on the Continent, with the expansionist appetite of the Nilfgaard Empire.

In an interview with actor Henry Cavill, who plays the title role of the witcher, Polygon Bend over on what makes one of the interests of this fictional world. Books, video games and series all speak of the fact that witches, mutants who have undergone different magical experiments, are ultimately less monstrous than humans, eager to reject or exterminate all those who are not like them. Cavill spent very long hours in the company of the White Wolf, in its literary version as a video game: “Geralt was very familiar to me right away.”

British or American accent?

How then to return to the screen the long interior monologues of the books or the involvement of the player in difficult Cornelian dilemmas of the games (where the end of the story changes according to the choices made during the adventure)?

I had to concentrate everything in the directness and the insensitive exterior of Geralt. And find the voice that went with it. This voice really helped me make this side direct. With it, I could say something very short, a single word or three, and make as much sense of it as in a whole sentence. ”

The replicas of one “Fuck” or a simple grunt indeed dotted the eight episodes. The actor also pays tribute to American game doubler Doug Cockle, noting that he had to switch from American accent to British accent, without being too forced. “[Doug] spoke with a sort of whisper. I wanted […] something a little more rocky. “ Henry Cavill also took care to support what makes the White Wolf so different, so unnatural:

It was important for me to make the public understand that it has superior capacities to human beings and that it uses them constantly, for example when when inhaling it detects the odors brought by the wind or when it hears things that others don’t hear little details like this. ”


This American site, created in 2012, likes to linger behind the scenes of the development of video games, in addition to making many criticisms. In gaming jargon, the polygon is the basic graphic unit that makes up the models


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