In stark contrast to the attempted smear campaign that was launched against the fan-favorite actor in the wake of his departure from the series, the returning cast of Netflix’s The Witcher series recently praised Henry Cavill as a “good-natured professional” whose “presence is cemented in the DNA of the show”.
This latest sentiment towards the former Geralt actor was offered by series stars Freya Allan (Ciri), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), and Joey Batey (Jaskier/Dandelion) during a pre-Season Three premiere promotional interview given to comicbook.com’s Matthew Aguilar.
Near the end of their time together, Aguilar asked the group, “What was it like filming the final episodes with you guys as a group and how are you feeling about that, and how excited are you for the next chapter and Liam [Hemsworth’s replacement of Cavill]?”, to which Chalortra answered first with a rather unenthusiastic declaration of ‘”Excited.”
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“Yeah, can’t wait to have Liam on board – well, he is, but to meet him and have him as Geralt,” the actress continued. “It’s going to be bizarre, and I feel like I’m definitely going to feel that loss. I think we all will. Henry’s been incredible and carried the show, so definitely going to feel that, but very, very excited for what’s to come. There’s so much story to tell.”
“I think it’s always – it’s intriguing and exciting to get to see another version of this, or interpretation of this character,” added Allan.
Likewise, Batey asserted, “Yeah, very excited, and we’ll all miss Henry greatly.”
“And you know, as you said, behind the scenes, he’s always just been a very, very supportive and funny, good-natured professional who was always the first to laugh on those bad days and to crack jokes, and that presence is cemented in the DNA of the show,” said the fan-favorite actor.
“Yeah, cemented in probably us playing our characters,” Allan then noted. “I know that I won’t be able to help but visualize him going forward. It’s just that’s been Geralt, but I’m still really excited to see something new as well.”
While this praise of Cavill from The Witcher‘s core cast likely comes as welcome words to the actor’s fans, as noted above, the sentiment expressed by his three former co-stars stands in stark contrast to those allegedly expressed by the series’ production team.
In December 2022, celebrity gossip podcast Deux U relayed to its listeners a story purportedly sent in by an unspecified member of The Witcher team which claimed that Cavil was, for all intents and purposes, the living embodiment of the strawman conception of a ‘toxic dude bro’.
“At the beginning of the show,” wrote the source, “Henry was good to work with. A lot of unusual demands that made people feel like he wasn’t really a team player, but that’s not unusual for a big star. Though in TV, it truly usually doesn’t happen until the second season.”
“But in season 2 and 3, something shifted, and he became really impossible for women to work with, which is always a big problem,” they continued. “But even worse here, because the showrunner is a woman.”
“He would try to overrule her and try to get changes made last minute across the board without her knowledge,” said the individual. “Which if you know anything about showrunning, is completely f—ed. The showrunner has to sign off on every miniscule detail down to the buttons on a costume.”
Continuing to paint Cavill as a rampant misogynist, the source added, “Female writers and directors were suddenly completely ignored on set, unable to do their jobs.”
“Every department head was complaining,” they accused. “He started making comments. It wasn’t a sexual thing: he wasn’t grabbing anyone, or being lewd, but it was disrespectful and toxic all the same.”
Next attempting to paint Cavill’s love for and dedication for accurately portraying the series’ source material as an inherently bad thing, the anonymous accuser then complained, “He’s deeply addicted to video games, to the point where it was like working with any other addict.”
“He was distracted, he was late, he was obsessive,” they stated, making reference to the actor’s noted love of CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt video game. “And a lot of people think that the misogyny came from gamer world. Video game bro language is not how you talk to coworkers. And he wouldn’t stop. Someone on the show compared it to watching someone get brainwashed by Qanon. His whole personality shifted.”
“Eventually his disrespect escalated,” they further recalled. “He would rewrite scenes without even alerting the other actors in the scenes until it was time to shoot. He decided that he didn’t want any romantic scenes at all. No kissing, no shirtless scenes, etc. He wanted complete control of storylines, but really had no idea of the limitations of TV, structure, budget, etc.”
“He formed a weird alliance with one writer who was also a gamer, who eventually got fired after multiple HR complaints were made,” they told Deux Moi. “And after that writer left, Henry did anything he could to hold up production and cause problems.”
In terms of his exit from The Witcher, the source explained, “Eventually, top brass at Netflix was tired of him costing them money with delays in HR investigations and the showrunner was asked to construct a potential exit for him.”
“Netflix reached out to him personally, and he was given one final warning, and violated that warning with an email he sent to the entire writing staff, right after that meeting,” they concluded. “That was it.”
Ultimately, the dissonance between the actors’ sentiments and the attempted smear campaign begs the question of whether or not whether the feelings expressed by his co-stars are genuine or an attempt to by Netflix to switch PR strategies after failing to take down Cavill – but unfortunately, it’s unlikely the public will ever come to know the answer.
The first half of The Witcher‘s third season is now available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.
NEXT: After Henry Cavill Exits Series Allegedly Over Issues With Canon, Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Showrunner Lauren Hissrich Claims Upcoming Third Season “Is The Closest Thing That We’ve Done As A One-To-One Adaptation Of The Books”