Taking on a beloved character in pop culture is a stressful job for an actor, and Henry Cavill is no stranger to this convention. After portraying Superman in the DCEU, the actor will now take up the mantle of Geralt in The Witcher to roam the world of the Northern Kingdoms as a monster hunter.
Fans have had mixed reactions ever since the Man of Steel was announced as the actor who’d portray Geralt in Netflix’s live-action adaptation. While many loved the casting decision, others were skeptical of Cavill’s capability to play the hero, and some even refused to admit any resemblance to the character whatsoever. After all, The Witcher is an important fantasy series in Europe with a devoted fanbase that has grown over several decades, and the popularity of CDPR’s trilogy of games has turned it into a globally-recognized franchise.
But Henry Cavill knew this when he signed up for the job. In a new interview, the actor addressed the topic of “toxic” fandoms and noted that the matter is much simpler than many think.
“I understand what you’re saying, but when it comes to fans, it is a fan’s right to have whatever opinion they want to have,” He explained. “And people are going to be upset, especially when you’re talking about books or games, because you’re never going to be the exact person who they had in their head, or who they played on The Witcher 3, for example. I don’t necessarily consider that toxic, I just consider that passionate. And it’s something which I have obviously had to come to terms with over the years.”
Cavill also had some interesting things to say about the character of Geralt, and how unrealistic expectations actually relate to his uniqueness.
“And for me, the comparison is not like that, with Geralt walking into a bar,” He continued. “The comparison is more meta, it’s more to do with xenophobia and sexism and colonialism and all those effects that that has on people. And then who they divert their fear and energy towards, and that tends to be Geralt because he’s a guy who exists outside of society. He’s not part of a group when he walks into town, and he looks so different from everyone else, and no one can control him. He is faster, stronger, better at swords, and apparently can do magic as well. So the last thing you want to do is — you can’t control him. And you fear him. And therefore, all of your energy, especially in a crowd of people, will be diverted at him, because of everything that’s happening above you in the world.”
Whether this new adaptation or Cavill himself will be well-received by fans is anyone’s guess at this point, but with the showrunner already planning out 7 seasons and Netflix renewing the series for a second season before it’s even premiered, The Witcher is now poised to become a worthy successor to Game of Thrones.
You can catch the first season, consisting of 8 episodes, on December 20th on Netflix.