Henry Cavill went the extra mile to make Geralt look filthy in The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

One of the greatest scenes in Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher is, of course, Henry Cavill soaking in the tub. PC Gamer's favourite meme reached new heights, and getting to see Cavill with his kit off was a nice bonus. It seems like he desperately needed that bath, too, because he had a penchant for purposefully getting utterly filthy. 

Chatting with Vanity Fair, Cavill detailed his journey from some regular dude who plays Superman into the witcher, which apparently involved rolling around in puddles to make Geralt look the right level of dirty. 

"The costumers were, towards the end, quite horrified with me," Cavill says. "Before takes I would look at myself and say, 'We need more dirt on me.' They’d come up to me with this tiny little—it's like a pair of tights rolled up into a ball, with some dust in, and they’d sort of pat it on me. And I’d say, 'Yeah, guys, that's not enough.' So I’d go stand out in the rain. Sometimes I’d roll around in puddles. I would just try and get as much of the world on me, so this character looked like he had lived within it."

I'm just trying to imagine this big, buff dude in his ridiculous tight trousers and lovely flowing locks rolling around in the mud while costume designers look on with tears in their eyes—it's too good. Someone must have filmed it. I've got a socially distanced high five and a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru I just bought with your name on it if you can provide me with this footage. 

He seems pretty dedicated to getting Geralt right, to the extent that he was willing to risk damaging his eyes by keeping in his witcher contact lenses. They were fine at first, apparently, but when filming started in the Canary Islands, the volcanic dust started irritating his eyes, which was exacerbated by the lenses. 

"I would literally have to go hide in the shade before each take, and then force my eyes to stay open for scenes because they were burning. I just thought I needed to toughen up a little bit."

An eye technician eventually had to demand that he remove them, and he took a bit of prodding. Instead of worrying about his eyes, he was more concerned about looking different and putting off the other actors, somehow, which seems wild. You've gotta protect those peepers, man. 

The Witcher season 2 is set to restart production on August 17 after it was halted for several months due to the coronavirus. Netflix announced the return to work with a ditty from chatty bard Jaskier. 

Cheers, Eurogamer.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.