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If you're wondering who you have to thank for getting Henry Cavill more excited about stunts by the time The Witcher rolled around, you have an answer. It turns out that it was Cavill’s Mission: Impossible - Fallout co-star, Tom Cruise, who helped usher in the age of Cavill as an active stunt man.
When it came to The Witcher, Henry Cavill did everything in his power to bring the real deal to the screen, a commitment that almost blinded him due to wearing color contacts for his role as Geralt of Rivia. But when it came to the stunts, Cavill still needed a little bit of a friendly push.
As it so happens, there was more going on during Mission: Impossible - Fallout's shoot than Henry Cavill growing out that notorious mustache. While on set, Tom Cruise provided Cavill with encouragement in regard to performing his own stunts. Cavill recalled all of this to Star Trek: Picard’s Patrick Stewart for Variety's Actors on Actors and said:
For me, when it comes to stunts, I’ve always enjoyed doing the physical stuff. Working with Tom Cruise really helped — or maybe, in the eyes of the producers, made worse my enjoyment for stunts. I really want to do them now, and I think it’s an essential piece to the character. If an audience is watching Geralt on-screen, they must believe that it is me. 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.
I completely understand what Henry Cavill is saying here and bless him for it. Having recently watched Roman Holiday for the first time, one of the biggest things I (and probably other viewers) noticed was that neither Audrey Hepburn nor Gregory Peck were actually driving/riding the Vespas in that infamous scene. As a result, it completely took me out of the moment. With this, Cavill’s willingness to step in the gap for The Witcher should keep such a break from occurring for his audience.
Time will tell how much stunt work Henry Cavill will be able to do when production on The Witcher finally resumes. As many probably know, the show was among the many that were forced to shutter filming due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic even hit close to home, newcomer Kristofer Hivju tested positive for the virus.
As a result of the delay, Henry Cavill has had to stay busy for the past few months as he's waited for production to start back up. This, of course, means he's gone a while without doing any stunt work. One can only hope he and Tom Cruise have stayed in touch to figure out how to keep things fresh in between filming. Or maybe getting back to stunt work again is as easy riding a bike?
Luckily for Henry Cavill (and fans of The Witcher), Season 2 is set to resume production on August 17, and the exciting announcement was made replete with the perfect tie-in Twitter post. There was no stunt work required for it, but it was still an exciting sight to see nonetheless.
The Witcher had been expected to return for its second season on Netflix in 2021, a window well after this summer’s premieres. Time will tell if it can keep that. The good news is that you can currently re-watch and enjoy Season 1 on Netflix. The streamer will continue to serve as the home to lots of new 2020 content.